When it comes to the entertainment industry there is never a lack of actors, singers, models, and entertainers who are looking to break in, break out, or become even more successful than they already are, and it seems like the success levels of anyone working in Hollywood tend to go up or down really quickly. But even among the A-list, Z-list, and every list in between there seems to be particular people who stand out as the ones who seem like they should be at the head of their pack, and since success in the entertainment industry seems to fluctuate so quickly it’s a bit surprising that a lot of these people haven’t jumped up a level or two in their quest for success.
So, out of the celebs who are kind of riding the middle of the road in the industry, which ones deserve a little more attention than the others? These ladies might be C-listers in name, but they really deserve to be seen as the cream of the crop considering their talents, charisma, and beauty. They might not be the performers who are making headlines every other day or nabbing the best roles in the hottest films or TV shows of the day, but if they’re not already at that level, they certainly should be. So out of all of those entertainers who have reached success without hitting the very top of the game, which smoking hot C-listers do we wish we could see a lot more of?
15. Deborah Ann Woll
Deborah Ann Woll has been a working actress for nearly a decade now, and has totally nailed it in her major roles on the HBO vampire drama True Blood, Netflix’s Daredevil, and now in Netflix’s The Defenders and The Punisher too. So when you consider the fact that Netflix apparently thought she was awesome enough to be one of the main characters in their entire Marvel comic book universe then it’s kind of a surprise that she’s not an even bigger star. Plus, being a part of nearly every superhero TV show on Netflix should make it a lot easier to get more of her. I mean, if she’s basically doing the same gig for the same company on a bunch of different shows they should be able to schedule her to get the maximum amount of screen time. Not to mention, the Netflix/Marvel shows seem to have a significant lack of awesome female characters, so there’s no reason that Karen shouldn’t be getting even more face time.
14. Christina Hendricks
Christina Hendricks became a super familiar face and name after playing the role of Joan Holloway on AMC’s critically acclaimed hit Mad Men, but it seems like since the show ended her public visibility seems to have faded a bit. Hendricks has still been getting a lot of consistent work in film and television, but considering that she was nominated for a whopping six Emmys during her tenure on Mad Men it seems a little shocking that she’s not already a part of the TV A-list. Aside from being a genuinely capable actor with a solid range of skills, Christina is also ridiculously beautiful. She’s also the kind of beauty that we don’t see enough of on TV or in movies, so it’s a bummer that a lady with such a long list of qualifications along with a face and body that looks like that isn’t permanently embedded at the top of the entertainment industry crop.
13. Rachel Bilson
Considering the fact that Rachel Bilson has been the female lead of two shows in the last decade it’s kind of surprising that we don’t see more of her. Bilson, who played Summer Roberts on the Fox series The OC as well as Zoe Hart on the CW show Hart of Dixie, clearly has the chops to carry the weight of a TV show, or at least the weight of a lead character, and considering the CW’s penchant for hiring the same actors over and over it’s surprising that she has yet to show up in any significant roles in the three years since Hart of Dixie ended. Rachel showed off some significant comedic talent during her tenure on The OC and managed to eclipse their original female lead, Mischa Barton, so it’s a bit of a surprise that her initial success hasn’t yet translated into anything that shifted her up to the A-list.
12. Brittany Snow
Brittany Snow is probably a name and face you’re familiar with, but it’s kind of surprising that she isn’t a bigger name in the entertainment industry since she’s been working in that industry for the past 20 years of her life (and she’s only 31!). Obviously being one of the main stars in the Pitch Perfect franchise has raised Brittany’s profile quite a bit, but she’s been doing really solid acting work since she was a tween. Plus, aside from being super talented and super hot, she’s also the creator of the anti-bullying “Love Is Louder” movement that is dedicated to stopping school bullying and is a part of a broader self-harm prevention campaign for teenagers and young adults. Snow has done consistently well in her career since she started working, but considering the smash success of Pitch Perfect it seems like the ideal time for her to go from doing well to becoming really well known.
11. Shay Mitchell
Despite the fact that her breakout role was on a teen soap littered with so many pretty people that it literally has the word “pretty” in the title, Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell managed to stand out as the super hottest out of the entire hottie cast. The biracial Canadian native is actually a bit of a quadruple threat too. In addition, to acting Shay is also a published author, has her own YouTube lifestyle channel, and has been booking modelling work since she was a kid, so with that kind of skill set it seems like she should be a bigger name in the entertainment industry than she already is now. Since the end of Pretty Little Liars Mitchell already has a few different projects in the pipeline, and she has already gotten one of the lead roles on ABC’s upcoming TV show The Heiresses, so it looks like we’ll all be seeing a bit more of Shay, which we doubt anyone is complaining about.
10. Alison Brie
While Alison Brie is certainly beautiful and talented enough to be an A-lister, she has not had enough successful projects to take her into the A-list. After a few years on the TV show Community and Mad Men, she seemed set to take Hollywood by storm. However, this rise to stardom never seemed to come to fruition. Regardless, she has always been a beautiful woman with a solid fanbase (that largely consists of men who admire her beauty).
Despite being married to Dave Franco, she is still sitting further down the Hollywood food chain than she deserves to be. However, her recent Netflix TV show Glow might be the project to launch her into greater fame. The show about female wrestlers has been well-received, but it has not been a huge hit like other Netflix shows, such as Riverdale or Orange is the New Black. Either way, we love seeing her jumping around in tight wrestler gear on the show.
9. Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester got her start playing fan favorite mean girl Blair Waldorf on the CW’s teen soap Gossip Girl, but since the show ended Meester’s profile seems to have dropped quite a bit too. Meester has consistently been doing TV and film work in addition to marrying fellow teen soap royalty Adam Brody, but none of her projects seemed to have gotten as much attention as her breakout role. I think it would be nice to see her take on some more significant projects, and since she managed to work with a lot of hit or miss writing on a show that was very hit or miss in general it seems like she has enough acting chops to tackle some more intense material. Plus, now that she has outgrown the teen drama genre it seems like the perfect time to start working on some more mature and prestigious projects aimed at an adult market.
8. Kat Graham
Kat Graham is best known for playing Bonnie Bennett on the long running CW vampire drama The Vampire Diaries, but this multi-talented actress and singer has been really underrated for longer than she should have been. She recently played Jada Pinkett in the Tupac biopic All Eyez On Me and has a few other film projects in the pipeline, but she really hasn’t had the chance to stretch her talent legs on a highly visible stage as of yet. But we are m sure once she gets her chance she’ll kill it. I mean, she was one of the leads on one of the CW’s longest running shows, managed to churn out four albums during her tenure on the show, and is a pretty fab dancer on top of it (she was also the star of the straight to DVD release Honey 2, where she did all of her own moves for the role).
7. Camila Cabello
Cuban born beauty Camila Cabello first came on the scene when she tried out for the reality TV competition The X Factor. Cabello wound up meeting her future Fifth Harmony bandmates through the show, and as a group they managed to make it to third place. The girl group wound up doing considerably better than the average former reality show contestants usually do, but even within the group Camila seemed to be a bit of a standout. And apparently she felt the same, because Cabello decided to ditch Fifth Harmony and strike out on her own. Her first solo album is just about here, and we are sure you’ve heard her hit song “Havana” on the radio at least a dozen times already since it has already gone platinum in the US. It seems like the middling success of this singer is about to step up a notch, so it’ll be interesting to see if this C-lister might be able to make it to the A-list.
6. Tessa Thompson
Pretty much everyone is probably familiar with Tessa Thompson now that she has made her debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the introduction of Valkyrie into the latest instalment in the Thor franchise, but Thompson has actually been around for quite a while beforehand. She has also appeared in some pretty high quality projects since she started acting, like Veronica Mars, Selma, and Dear White People for starters, and now that she’s one of the main characters on the HBO hit Westworld as well as one of the mains in the upcoming action thriller Annihilation, it seems like the perfect time for Tessa to take her career and visibility to the next level. I mean, you’d think that someone who is now a star in the Marvel Universe as well as being a star in an HBO prestige show at the same time would already be considered part of the A-list, but Thompson still isn’t quite there yet.
5. Paris Jackson
Clearly this whole thing where the children of famous people become famous in their own right isn’t going to go away any time soon, so if that trend is here to stay for quite a while then it seems more like Paris Jackson is the kind of person we’d want to see becoming more successful. Aside from being unique looking and strikingly beautiful, Jackson seems to have a genuine interest in artistic creativity as well as philanthropy and activism. Obviously living with a dad like Michael Jackson gives you a pretty unique experience growing up, and dealing with the serious issues that I’m sure Jackson and her siblings had to deal with has given her some insight into the darker aspects of the entertainment industry and more importantly insight into how to avoid those pitfalls. Paris has said that she wants to make her own mark in the world apart from her father, and if she has even a shred of his talent it seems like that’s a pretty reasonable goal.
4. Julia Goldani Telles
Julia Goldani Telles might not be a familiar face to you quite yet, but you might have already caught her in her supporting role as Whitney on the Showtime series The Affair, or maybe you caught her performance as a teen on the tragically short lived ABC Family series Bunheads. But she’s definitely someone you’d want to familiarize yourself with, because she was talented enough to book the lead role on Bunheads for her first acting job ever (although I’m sure her mad dancing skills helped with that a lot). Telles is a well trained and experienced ballet dancer, but luckily seems to be keeping her focus on acting as of now. And it’s a good thing too, because she can play the mean girl, play comedy, and play drama. It’s no surprise that the work she’s booked so far has been pretty high quality, but as of yet none of them have really given her the public attention that she deserves.
3. Sarah Gadon
Actress and Canadian native Sarah Gadon has been consistently working since 1998 (when she was only 11 years old!) and has done some very solid work for a long time. Superstar Canadian director David Cronenberg also seems to be a fan, since some of her biggest movie roles to date have been in his movies. However her name and face isn’t super recognizable as of yet, and here’s hoping that changes sooner rather than later. You may have caught her in a few shows lately, she played the lead female character in Hulu’s Stephen King adaptation miniseries 11.22.63 and also played the lead role in Netflix’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace. Alias Grace especially shined a light on Gadon’s range as an actress, and that kind of ability paired with a face like that seems like a guaranteed recipe for success. We wouldn’t be surprised if she became one of the entertainment industry’s new leading ladies.
2. Amber Rose Revah
Amber Rose Revah was finally introduced to American audiences when she took the role of Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani on Netflix’s superhero TV show The Punisher, but the English actress has been building up a lengthy acting resume in her home country for years. The biracial beauty definitely has the acting gravitas to go up against a character like Frank Castle, and Madani seems to be one of the stronger female entries in Netflix’s Marvel comics TV world. Not only is Revah the type of actress it would be nice to see more of, clearly there are ample opportunities for her to appear in one of the other half dozen Marvel shows that Netflix has to offer. And aside from having a face to die for she’s also quite the pleasure to watch, and based on her performance in The Punisher you’d never guess that she was hiding an English accent beneath all that sass.
1. Gina Rodriguez
Chicago native Gina Rodriguez really increased her public profile when she won the titular role of Jane Villanueva in the CW’s telenovela style dramedy series Jane the Virgin. Rodriguez has actually been nominated for three Golden Globes for her work on the show (and she has won once), and for good reason. Over the course of the show’s four seasons Gina has basically single-handedly carried the show on her shoulders. After her initial breakout success Rodriguez seems to be taking some tentative steps into the film industry, and she seems poised to make herself one of the bigger names in Hollywood if she plays her cards right. She also seems like the kind of person who quite frankly deserves it. Aside from her work in film and TV Rodriguez is a participant in at least half a dozen philanthropic endeavors, most of which aim at the advancement of women and/or Latino people.
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