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As another year goes by, another crop of rising stars gets one step closer to joining the Hollywood elite. From Baby Driver’s Ansel Elgort to model Paris Jackson, 2017 gave many young actors the opportunity to either enter the film and television world or explore corners of that world they hadn’t yet discovered. From promising newcomers to reformed favourites, here are a few young breakout actors we’re sure will continue to impress and surprise us in 2018.
We gushed about Chalamet in our Golden Globes breakdown, but with all the awards buzz surrounding his outstanding performance in Call Me by Your Name (we think he might actually win an Oscar, you guys), it’s only natural that we include the 21-year-old actor in this list, too. In addition to Call Me by Your Name, Chalamet made a splash as the broody, detached Kyle in the Globe-nominated Lady Bird. Plus, Chalamet recently filmed a role in 2018’s Beautiful Boy, in which he plays a young drug-addict. Based on his stellar work in 2017, we’re sure Beautiful Boy will be a hit.
Ok, so everyone learned who Zendaya was ages ago. But we’d still argue that 2017 was somewhat of a breakout year for her. To start off, she landed the role of Michelle “MJ” Jones in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming—she’s now officially a part of the MCU, which is huge. Zendaya also has a major role in The Greatest Showman, in which she plays pink-haired trapeze artist Anne Wheeler. The Showman trailer pretty clearly foreshadows a romance between Wheeler and Zac Efron’s Phillip, and we consider that a cause for celebration in and of itself. TV Zendaya is great, but we’d love to see more of movie Zendaya in 2018.
We talked about Ross Lynch’s surprising turn as serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in My Friend Dahmer earlier this year, but it’s worth mentioning again. Before 2017, Lynch was best known for appearing in Disney projects like Teen Beach Movie and Austin & Ally. So the fact that he nabbed the starring role in an intense and interesting drama could mean that his Disney days are officially over. Maybe Quentin Tarantino will cast him in that Charles Manson movie everyone’s been talking about.
The 21-year-old Australian actor was a virtual unknown before she was cast as 13 Reasons Why’s Hannah Baker. Now she’s a Golden Globe nominee and already has a few projects lined up for 2018, including 13 Reasons Season 2, teen rom-com Love, Simon, and a drama called The Misguided. Plus she has a pretty fire Instagram account.
In 2017, Dacre Montgomery made a name for himself by playing two characters that are essentially polar opposites of one another—the genial and heroic Red Ranger in this year’s Power Rangers reboot and the immensely hateable Billy Hargrove in Stranger Things. His wide dramatic range will surely lead to good things in 2018 (even though we kind of want to see Steve Harrington punch him in the face). We also want to shout out Montgomery’s Power Rangers co-star Naomi Scott, who landed the role of Jasmine in the upcoming live-action Aladdin remake.
Like Zendaya, Zoë Kravitz was all over our movie and television screens way before 2017. But this year she not only played Bonnie Carlson in the award-winning Big Little Lies but was also in the critically-acclaimed thriller Gemini alongside John Cho and Gone Girl’s Lola Kirke. She also laughed with Ilana Glazer and Kate McKinnon in Rough Night and voiced Catwoman in The Lego Batman Movie. We already know that she’s reprising her role as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but who knows what else could happen in 2018?
We’re going straight from one Zoe(y) to another. Deutch appeared in a whopping five films in 2017 alone, including the Groundhog Day-esque Before I Fall and The Disaster Artist. She also played Ed Sheeran’s love interest in his wintery “Perfect” music video and made all of us wish we were her. If Deutch keeps it up, 2018 better watch out.
Honestly, we probably could have put together a separate list dedicated to all the Riverdale stars. But not even KJ Apa or Lili Reinhart have managed to top the popularity (or Twitter following) of Cole Sprouse, everybody’s favourite beanie-wearing misfit. To be fair, Sprouse had a head-start—most of us knew him as Cody Martin from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody before he became wannabe author Jughead Jones. But from his artsy Instagram posts, his snarky yet insightful tweets, and his meme-inspiring turn in Riverdale, 2017 may have been Sprouse’s best year yet.