Becoming the “Next Big Thing” in Hollywood is not an overnight job. Hard work, tactical castings and rubbing shoulders with the right producers will secure you a place under the spotlight for many years to come. Over the past few years, names such as Eddie Redmayne, Emma Stone, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence have blown up on the big screen and it was all thanks to right choice of roles.
In 2016, we have some huge blockbusters due for release including Suicide Squad, Independence Day: Resurgence, Ghostbusters, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Deadpool – just to name a few. For any actor who wants their break to come in the year ahead, a part in any of these movies will see your status bounce from “Who is that?” to “Oh, that’s the actor I remember from (Insert huge successful movie here)”
The year ahead promises action, thrillers, comedies but above all – an introduction to the next generation of Hollywood superstars. Here are the ones to watch…
20. Kaia Gerber
Kaia Gerber has spent her entire life surrounded by show business, as her mother is supermodel Cindy Crawford. Her father, entertainment mogul Rande Gerber, is also best friends with none other than George Clooney – so at least we know where she will be getting all her acting tips from.
She signed her first modelling contract at just 13-years-old and will make her transaction over to the big screen next year in her debut movie role as “Young Carolina” in Sister Cities. Not content with just being famous because of who her parents are, Kaia is putting her own talent to use and becoming a star in her own right.
19. Maika Monroe
If the face of Maika Monroe is enough to send a chill down your spine, then you have probably witnessed her harrowing performance as Jay Height, a young girl followed by an evil demon, in last year’s horror hit, It Follows. She had previously won over critics after starring in thriller The Guest. Both movies had been awarded an unbelievable 96% and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Already early on in her career and she has already nailed her breakthrough performances.
There’s no denying that she is hot in demand, as next year she has six movies due for release. Again she has took on lead roles in slick and smart thrillers but she will also appear in blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence. Jennifer Garner co-stars with Monroe in thriller Bokeh, so maybe she has been listening to some hot tips on how to make it big as a Hollywood actress.
18. Jessie Usher
Independence Day: Resurgence is already expected to be one of the biggest hits of 2016, so it’s a given that this could be a huge break for any young star. Jessie Usher, known for his role as Cam Colloway TV show Survivor’s Remorse, has landed himself quite a lot of screen time which can only mean an even brighter future for the 23-year-old.
Although the pressure really is on as he has some very big shoes to fill. He spoke to Madame Noire magazine explaining, “I’m playing Dylan Hiller, he’s the son of Steven Hiller and Jasmine, who is played by Will Smith and Vivica Fox. At this point, this movie is coming out 20 years after the first one came out. It’s sort of like, a post-alien attack world. Most of the world was destroyed in the first one so now everybody is unified and all of that kind of stuff. As far as Dylan goes, he’s following in his dad’s footsteps by joining the military and now he’s a fighter pilot. He’s handling business. He’s the man.”
17. Neel Sethi
It’s amazing to believe a 10-year-old can gain entry on this list, but for Neel Sethi it appears that 2016 will be his year. He will appear opposite Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba and Lupita Nyong’o (well – technically just their voices) in next year’s The Jungle Book. Sethi takes on the role of Mowgli after he went through a long and gruelling audition process beating two thousand other hopefuls for the part.
The Jon Favreau directed live action movie will be his first ever feature role. At such a young age, he has already won over co-star Ben Kingsley who gushed, “His performance is so pure, indelible, strong and consistent.” His journey will start in the jungle but who knows where this will take him.
16. Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke is already considered to be one of the rising Scream Queens alongside Maika Monroe. She landed the female lead in Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming Ready Player One, which is due for release in 2017. She has gained a strong fan following after appearing in the hit series, Bates Motel.
Next year will see her in lead roles for Katie Says Goodbye and The Limehouse Garden. Although you won’t find her promoting these movies via social media as she doesn’t allow herself to have a Twitter account. The British born, 21-year-old said, “I think it’s best for me not to have it because my first thought is never my best; my first reaction is never my best reaction.”
15. Christopher Abbott
Former Girls star, Christopher Abbot, has a big year ahead of him with the release of comedy-war film Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, where he stars opposite Tina Fey, Martin Freeman, Margot Robbie and Billy Bob Thornton.
His role in James White this year won him much critical acclaim with one The Hollywood Reporter critic claiming, “Watching his bruised, bristling performance as the rudderless title character, it’s natural to assume (the choice to leave Girls) was dictated by the actor’s hunger for a darker exploration of his considerable range.”
14. Katherine Waterston
If you’re a fan of Boardwalk Empire then you would have already noticed that Katherine Waterston delivered an outstanding performance in her role of Emma Harrow. She’s been in many features, with more notable roles as Chrisann Brennan, girlfriend of Michael Fassbender‘s Steve Jobs, in the biopic of the Apple founder’s life and Shasta Fay Hepworth in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice.
When JK Rowling‘s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hits the movie theatres next year then this really will be the time for the London born star to shine. Not only has she got the looks and the talent, but she will also co-star opposite much lusted after Eddie Redmayne.
13. Taron Egerton
In 2017 when Kingsman 2 is released, it would have been three years since the original and the cause of the delay was reportedly down to Taron Egerton’s busy schedule. Since he appeared as Gary “Eggsy” Urwin in the first edition, he has had movie producers beating down his door to take on more roles.
In 2016, he will appear as British ski-jumper Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards in a biopic about his life but his big moment will come when he leads as Robin Hood in Robin Hood: Origins. Alongside his incredible talents on screen, he was also recognised as GQ magazine’s Best Dressed Man. There is just no stopping his winning streak.
12. Gal Gadot
If there was ever a dream role any actress would want to land – it would be Wonder Woman. Amazingly, 30-year-old Gal Gadot will appear as her twice. The Israeli actress will first appear as the feminist icon in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice then she will get the chance to appear in her own in 2017.
She already spoke to Interview magazine about how excited she was for her new role saying, “I feel like I’ve been given a huge opportunity to inspire people, not only women. And not because of me but because of who Wonder Woman is and what she stands for. There’s a lot of responsibility. It’s going to be an amazing ride, knock on wood.”
11. Sophie Turner
Pretty much everyone in the world will recognise 19-year-old Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Yet in 2016, they are going to see the naturally shy, redhead in a very different light as she takes on lead roles in X-Men Apocalypse and Mary Shelly’s Monster.
Even if Turner quit acting tomorrow she would still be considered a screen legend, yet the British-born star still has a lot to prove. It’s also safe to say that Turner is not afraid of hard work as her gruelling film schedule for Game of Thrones has been 12-hour working days, five months every year for the past five years.
10. Billie Lourd
Carrie Fisher‘s 23-year-old daughter, Billie Lourd, has already landed a blockbuster movie debut in Star Wars: Force Awakens. (Wonder how she got that job!) Before she took to the big screen, she appeared as “Chanel #3” in the hit comedy-horror, Scream Queens.
Her breakthrough role will be when she stars alongside Kevin Spacey, Taron Egerton and Emma Roberts in next year’s Billionaire Boys Club. Her role will be Rosanna, who becomes acquainted with a group of wealthy boys in Los Angeles who indulge in a get rich quick scheme with deadly results. With Fisher as her mother and Debbie Reynolds as her grandmother, there was never any doubt she would naturally gravitate towards a career in Hollywood too.
9. Eve Hewson
Another celebrity child who gets a big leg-up in the fame game next year is 24-year-old, Eve Hewson. Her dad is the internationally famous lead singer of U2, Bono, but the Irish star has made it clear she would rather pursue acting than singing. She has already appeared beside Tom Hanks in this year’s Bridge of Spies and landed the lead role as Maid Marion, opposite other up-and-comer Taron Egerton, in Robin Hood: Origins.
Eve told The Telegraph newspaper this year that she struggles with her parents fame as she is constantly bumping into them a A-list parties. She complained, “There was one time that I went to a party and my mum was there, and I was like, ‘Urgh, I’m trying to live my life in New York and my mother’s here.’ But my mum’s actually pretty cool – I’d prefer to go out with her than almost anybody else.”
8. Adam Driver
Adam Driver went from his self-obsessed role as – well, Adam – in Lena Dunham‘s Girls to Kylo Ren in Star Wars: Force Awakens. Driver has not always gravitated towards acting, he even turned down the Girls role initially after he believed TV was the sum of all “evil.”
He joined the Marines after school remembering, “I auditioned in Chicago for Juilliard and didn’t get in. I was basically living in a back room of my parents’ house, paying rent and not doing anything with my life. I’d like to say it was patriotic to join the Marines, but it was also that I was doing nothing honorable with my life, and spending too much time at McDonald’s.” Now he is set to be the next big thing in Hollywood cinema.
7. Alicia Vikander
Swedish-born Alicia Vikander has already wowed critics with her performance as A.I robot, Ava, in sci-fi thriller Ex-Machina. She then took a lead in Guy Ritchie‘s spy movie The Man From U.N.C.L.E and Academy Award nominated The Danish Girl. It would seem so far so good for the 27-year-old, yet her greatest movie moments look set to take place next year.
She is currently shooting a Bourne sequel starring opposite Matt Damon and Vincent Cassel. Then she will star opposite James McAvoy in Submergence, after he is captured by jihadist fighters on the eastern coast of Africa, enduring a series of flashbacks to their previous romance. Sounds like the kind of award season gold any actress would want to be attached too.
6. Tony Revolori
Many will recognise the cheeky and cheerful face of 19-year-old Tony Revolori from his lead role as bell boy, Zero, in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Although he may be young, this Californian actor is expecting nothing less than an epic 2016, with four movies due for release.
He will star as Bennie in When We Were Pirates, the apocalyptic The 5th Wave with Chloe Moretz, comedy Table 19 with Anna Kendrick and Low Riders with Eva Longoria. Not only is he raking in the roles but also he’s ticking many stunning leading ladies off his “must be in a movie with” list.
5. Scott Eastwood
Does Scott Eastwood look quite familiar to you? Well, the last name is a dead giveaway as he is Clint Eastwood‘s son. The 29-year-old has not had the easiest ride in Hollywood as many critics and producers initially dismissed him as “just a pretty face”. Yet since his role in Fury, starring opposite Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf, he must have had some on-screen pointers as now the big roles have really started pouring in.
Next year, he will appear alongside Will Smith and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad, he will also star opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in thriller Snowden and a lead role in Mercury Plains later in the year too. So much for being just a pretty face, right?
4. Ezra Miller
23-year-old Ezra Miller has already caught the attention of critics with previous performances in The Perks of Being A Wall Flower, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Amy Schumer‘s hit comedy Trainwreck.
However, his really big break will eventually come next year as he has three much-hyped blockbusters lined up. He will take the lead role in DC movie The Flash, then reprise this role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and also take on the part of Credence in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
3. Cara Delevingne
Model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne already has the looks, the fame and the fortune – but it appears this hard-working 23-year-old isn’t just content with resting there. She has a total of six movies coming out next year including parts in Tulip Fever, London Fields, Kids In Love and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
It will be her roles in DC’s Suicide Squad as Enchantress and as Laureline in Luc Besson’s Valérian and the City of a Thousand Planets that will really blow audiences away. Empire magazine has already featured her as a cover star, so it’s safe to say her transition from the catwalk to the big screen is going extremely well.
2. John Boyega
Screen International had already named John Boyega “a star of tomorrow” back in 2011. Around this time he was still landing roles in British urban flicks such as Attack The Block. Then came along his big break, after bagging the lead role as Finn in Star Wars: Force Awakens and the rest is set to be movie history.
The best thing about it all is Boyega is a die hard Star Wars fan. He told The Verge magazine, “I’m having so much fun, because you know what? They cast a Star Wars fan in a Star Wars movie – biiiiiggg mistake.” He got excited when he realised he could add an actual figurine of himself to his own Star Wars collection.
1. Daisy Ridley
London born Daisy Ridley has quickly become one of the most recognisable faces in Hollywood, after she took on the role of Rey in Star Wars: Force Awakens. She was sent to a performing arts school to help her get over a spell of rebellion as a child. The 23-year-old said, “I went to a school called Tring Park School for the Performing Arts. I went because initially I was very naughty, and my mom thought if I was busy, I’d be better.”
Well, it did work out for the better as she managed to secure a salary of $450,000 for Star Wars: Force Awakens and also a cut of the profits. The movie took $529m during it’s opening weekend so even if her cut of the profit is set to 1% she will still be taking home an eye-watering amount – not bad for a first feature movie. We will see her return again in Star Wars: Episode VIII.