Hollywood is sadly infamous for chewing up and spitting out young ladies. Books and tabloids are filled with stories of actresses who hit it big at a young age but various factors led to them failing to be major stars. Often, they can’t handle the pressure of the business. Other times, they get hit by personal issues. And sometimes, it’s just bad luck and not finding the right projects. There’s also the brutal truth of how Hollywood has a tendency to term someone over 40 as “over the hill.” For every starlet who succeeds from a young age onward, there is a dozen more who don’t. However, there are still a few young ladies out there with all the potential to take off well in Hollywood.
It’s impressive to see slews of ladies under thirty who already have mega-blockbusters and even Oscars under their belt. Some may see it as “too much too soon” but they can pay off on their promise and build their brands up. It helps that social media has risen to allow these ladies to gain more attention and build their names up.
29 Elizabeth Debicki
With her striking height of over six feet, Elizabeth Debicki can attract attention easily. The Aussie actress has used that to build up a career growing in Hollywood. She got fame for The Great Gatsby and then for playing the conniving Ayesha in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2. She also has been adding TV work like the mini-series The Night Manager and the upcoming Lovecraft Country series. Whether on the small screen or the large once, Debicki knows how to get the camera on her.
28 Elizabeth Olsen
For most of her life, Elizabeth Olsen was in the shadow of her famous twin sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley. But today, she’s shown herself a bigger movie star than either of them. She gained attention for indies like Martha Marcy May Marlene and Silent House. Olsen then became a major star playing the Scarlet Witch in the MCU and winning huge fans with the part. While that role keeps her busy, Olsen still works in films like Ingrid Goes West to showcase her talents. Thus, whether a super-heroine or a serious star, Elizabeth is the Olsen ready to go further in Hollywood.
27 Katherine McNamara
The lovely actress got her break on the short-lived MTV comedy Happyland. She then hit serious fame playing Clary on the Freeform supernatural series Shadowhunters. That’s led to major success for McNamara with a very strong social media following. Shadowhunters is going to be ending with its next season, thus opening McNamara up for more projects. She had a good turn in the last Maze Runner movie and her stunt experience makes her a natural for action films. Throw in her alluring looks and charm and McNamara can cast a wide shadow of stardom in Hollywood.
26 Lucy Hale
A dependable TV actress, Lucy Hale got attention on short-lived shows such as Bionic Woman and Privileged. She finally hit it big on the long-running hit Pretty Little Liars to enhance her profile. Hale then moved on to the sadly short-lived Life Sentence but remains busy. She’s had movies like Truth or Dare and a successful singing career as well. It’s likely she’ll be back on TV soon and in a great way. Hale has all the ingredients for stardom in Hollywood and her social media following just boosts her more to keep her going in Hollywood.
Her name may be tough to pronounce but Hollywood is having to learn how to. Already notable as a rapper, Nora Lum has been breaking out in 2018 with movies. First, she (fittingly) stole her scenes in Ocean’s 8 as a sly pickpocket. Then, she won hails for her wild performance as a designer in Crazy Rich Asians. Both movies were smash hits which has raised her profile majorly. A proud activist, Awkwafina continues to do rapping but offers for more films are pouring in.
24 Nina Dobrev
The Canadian actress got her break starring in the long-running teen drama Degrassi. Dobrev then gained further fame starring in the CW hit The Vampire Diaries to show her great talents off. Since leaving that show (she returned for the series finale), Dobrev has been busy with movies like XXX: Return of Xander Cage and Flatliners. She’s also quite popular on social media with some great photos. Dobrev is ready to return to TV in the sitcom Fam to continue to show her sultry presence on screen.
23 Adelaide Kane
This Australian actress first got her break playing Tenya in Power Rangers RPM. Further shows in her native land followed before the CW series Reign came along. As Mary Queen of Scots, Kane showed great talent and a rather sexy side in period costumes. She recently did a stint on Once Upon a Time and is continuing to rise up. She had a role in The First Purge and is continuing to make other films. With her great charm and fun humor, it’s likely Kane continues to be an in-demand TV actress to keep her star going.
22 Lily James
The British actress came to attention as Lady Rose in the international hit Downton Abbey. She then gained attention in the title role of the live-action Cinderella. James also impressed with a pitch-perfect performance of an American waitress in the action hit Baby Driver. Most recently, she played the younger version of Meryl Streep’s character in Mamma Mia Here We Go Again. With her amazing talent for disappearing into roles, James has proven herself a terrific star and likely to take off more in either blockbusters or smaller films.
21 Hayden Panettiere
From a young age, Hayden Panettiere has shown an ability to be a scene-stealer. It started off as the cute girl in Remember the Titans and Ally McBeal. Panettiere then achieved huge fame as the indestructible cheerleader Claire on Heroes. When that ended, she bounced back as country singer Juliette Barnes on the hit show Nashville. Known for a fun manner in interviews and a serious mom, Panettiere is taking a break after Nashville’s finale. But it’s likely she’ll be back on TV soon to showcase that great charm that makes more than the stereotypical blonde.
20 Sarah Hyland
The joy of Modern Family has been watching as Haley turns from just a bubble-headed girl to a more mature gal who still loves her fashion. Sarah Hyland has been terrific showing it off on the show and making Haley a lovable ditz. The show has kept Hyland busy but doing well with some movies like Vampire Academy. Hyland also has a major presence on social media with a great Instagram page. It’s likely once Family finally ends, Hyland will able to rise up to major fame in Hollywood.
19 Sophie Turner
Only 13 when cast as Sansa Stark, Sophie Turner has grown up quite well on Game of Thrones. Her character has gone from a spoiled brat to a cunning player of the Game and Turner herself growing as well. She’s already moved on to playing Jean Grey in the X-Men movies and getting attention for her engagement to Joe Jonas. Turner is also quite engaging in person and that charm can also help her land some roles. Thus, it’s likely the Lady of Winterfell is going to continue to be a major force in Hollywood.
18 Maisie Williams
When Game of Thrones began, Maisie Williams was the young tomboy Arya. As the series has gone on, Arya has hardened into a stone-cold killer while Williams has matured nicely in the role. With the show coming to an end, Williams is ready to take off more, having already done great appearances in Doctor Who and the drama The Falling. She’s ready to take on the comic book game, playing Wolfsbane in the upcoming New Mutants film. Already a winner on talk shows, Williams can easily move her GOT fame to movies with ease.
17 Emma Roberts
When your aunt is an Oscar-winning box office draw, it’s obvious how you’re drawn to Hollywood. Emma Roberts has been rising up further from the kids fare of her Nick series Unfabulous and movies like Nancy Drew. She gets more attention for wicked ladies such as on American Horror Story and Scream Queens. Her sharp tongue and great looks add more appeal to her performances with an edge her own aunt lacks. It’s not at all hard to imagine that in a few years, Emma may join Julia as a major box office starlet to make the Roberts name proud.
16 Juno Temple
The British actress isn’t as well-known as others on the list but her potential is growing. Her films include The Dark Knight Rises, The Three Musketeers, Maleficent and others. They run from blockbusters to indie films with Temple always a scene stealer. With a flair for either comedy or drama, Temple is sparking folks up with her performances and accolades for the Netflix film The Most Hated Woman in America and Wonder Wheel. Given the right project, Temple can skyrocket as a star and have all of Hollywood worshipping her well.
15 Dakota Johnson
As the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, it was inevitable that Dakota Johnson would get into the family business. She built herself up as a scene-stealer for The Social Network, 21 Jump Street and others. Of course, Johnson is now famous for the 50 Shades series that showed some very daring work baring herself off. Johnson is moving on afterward, earning hails for the recent Suspiria and picking her projects carefully. Having shown off so much on screen, Johnson is ready to prove she has the acting talent to be a true star and continue for some time.
14 Hailee Steinfeld
At just 14, Hailee Steinfeld earned an Oscar nomination for her role as a tough cowgirl in the remake of True Grit. Since then, she’s been boosting herself up nicely with roles that show off her charm and amazing voice. That includes the Pitch Perfect hits and she earned a Golden Globe nomination for The Edge of Seventeen. Steinfeld is just as popular in music with hit songs and concerts but maintains her strength in Hollywood.
13 Emma Watson
The British actress is doing her best to prove she’s more than just Hermione Granger. Her role in the Harry Potter series made Watson a star as fans enjoyed watching her mature from a nerdy kid to a true beauty. After time off for college, Watson has been embracing a new stardom with Beauty and the Beast, The Circle and others. She’s a proud activist and has a charming presence in interviews which show off her great sense of humor.
12 Mia Wasikowska
The Australian actress has already gotten some blockbusters under her belt. She played Alice in Disney’s epic Alice in Wonderland remake and its sequel. Wasikowska is also adding some good films to her resume such as Crimson Peak, Only Lovers Left Alive and more. She has a charming presence and a soulful style to her performances that makes her characters feel older than they are. She still sticks more to indie films but Wasikowska is showcasing a small charm that can grow larger with her stardom in Hollywood.
11 Saoirse Ronan
The Irish actress already has two Oscar nods under her belt despite not being 25. She broke out huge with her first Oscar-nominated turn in the drama Atonement at just 13. Since then, Ronan has added more dramas to her belt such as The Lovely Bones. She also earned accolades for performances on Broadway. Ronan won a Golden Globe and another Oscar nomination for her turn in Lady Bird and a charming presence in interviews. At such a young age, it’s likely Ronan earns a few more Oscar nominations as she rises up more in Hollywood.
This Disney Channel starlet is making a major jump to the big leagues. Zendaya started off working with Bella Thorne on the series Shake It Up and did a few movies for the channel. She also starred in the hit show K.C. Undercover. She was a hit in the new MCU Spider-Man film and The Greatest Showman. A hit recording star as well, Zendaya is taking up more projects. Still quite young, her looks and amazing voice should serve her well.
9 Dove Cameron
The Disney Channel has been good for this nice starlet. She started up in the dual roles of identical twins in the successful series Liv & Maddie. Even bigger was her turn as Mal in the smash hit Descendants movies. Cameron is also a successful recording star and is voicing Ghost Spider for an animated Marvel series. She got attention as a wicked operative on Agents of SHIELD and is quite popular on social media. Thus, it’s likely Cameron will be another Disney starlet turned major Hollywood success story.
8 Bella Thorne
Another former Disney Channel starlet rising up, Bella Thorne got her break playing the quirky CeeCee on the series Shake It Up. She’s been rising up with Scream and starring in the Freeform series Famous in Love. Thorne is also getting attention for her rather wild ways, flaunting herself a lot on Instagram which adds to her brand. That makes her a risk in some ways but she still has amazing talent.
7 Shailene Woodley
The young actress came to fame as a pregnant teen in the long-running ABC Family show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She has played the studio game, starring in the Divergent series which sadly ended on a bad note. But Woodley is showing her power as an actress, earning accolades for her roles in The Descendants and the HBO series Big Little Lies. She can be daring in several of her roles and thus showcasing how she’s a better actress than when she began. Thus, Woodley is likely to continue to rise in Hollywood for some time.
6 Kristen Stewart
Acting since the age of 9, Kristen Stewart got attention playing Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room. She then became an international star playing Bella in the Twilight saga. While she can still do the odd blockbuster (Snow White and the Huntsman), Stewart has gained acclaim for her daring indie dramas. She also has attention for her personal life and her outspoken mentality on various issues. Still, her talent is great and showcases how she’s transforming from just a child star to a well-regarded actress who can be more of a power in the town.
5 Margot Robbie
The Australian actress had been making the rounds on TV shows such as the short-lived drama Pan Am. However, it was her daring role in The Wolf of Wall Street that put Margot Robbie on the map. Since then, she’s been building up her resume nicely, playing Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad amid other parts. She’s also proven herself as a capable actress by earning an Oscar nomination for I Tonya. Robbie will reprise the role of Harley while also taking on Queen Elizabeth I, thus proving she’s more than just a hot face.
4 Alicia Vikander
The Swedish actress broke out huge in 2015. She played a robot in the acclaimed sci-fi drama Ex Machina; a spy in The Man From UNCLE; and won an Oscar for her turn in The Danish Girl. Alicia Vikander continues to impress in various roles for dramas like The Light Between Oceans and various indies. However, she’s also taking off nicely playing Lara Croft in the recent Tomb Raider reboot. With her mastery of genres, Vikander can continue to pay off her Oscar acclaim for a long journey in Hollywood.
3 Chloe Grace Moretz
Her debut role was a major eye-opener. Chloe Grace Moretz broke out as the foul-mouthed pint-sized masked psycho in Kick-Ass which was a sensation. She reprised the role in a sequel but has been showing a great grasp for adult material. She’s played the studio game with The 5th Wave and Neighbors 2. However, Moretz is taking on tougher parts like Suspiria and even taken to the New York stage. With her nice looks and talent for acting older than she seems, it’s like Moretz will continue to rise in Hollywood and be in the A-list in no time at all.
2 Emma Stone
With her deep eyes and nice looks, Emma Stone was rising as a comedy actress with films like The House Bunny, Zombieland, and Crazy Stupid Love. However, The Help and Birdman both showed her promise as a serious actress as well. That paid off with her winning the Oscar for La La Land and rising further to the top. She can do period pieces as well as modern dramas.
1 Jennifer Lawrence
At just 28, she is dominating Hollywood. From her breakout in Winter’s Bone, Jennifer Lawrence possessed a talent greater than her years and she’s backed it up. She’s headlined mega-blockbusters like The Hunger Games and X-Men while winning an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook. She can be daring in roles like Red Sparrow while still possessing a terrific sense of humor. She also wins folks over with her “down to Earth” mentality and comes off great in interviews.