35 actors under 35 to watch out for in 2020s, from Florence Pugh, Daniel Kaluuya to Zazie Beetz, Noah Jupe

Prahlad Srihari

Jan 16, 2020 08:01:15 IST

Breaking into Hollywood is something young actors all over the world aspire to do, but few persist and make a mark once they do. As the younger generation holds more and more sway over the tastes and preferences at the box office, new faces continue to emerge every year — all looking to become the next big thing.

The 2010s saw breakthrough performances from Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Adam Driver (Paterson), Brie Larson (Short Term 12), Michael B Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) among others. They not only worked with the best directors, but they also picked up plenty of trophies come awards season. Some have faded into oblivion (Lindsay Lohan), some are on their way (Johnny Depp, Halle Berry), and some are slowly mounting comebacks (Eddie Murphy, Renée Zellweger). Meanwhile, some like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart got complete career makeovers.

Which actors will become household names in the 2020s, and change the future of the craft? We have compiled a list of 35 rising stars, under the age of 35, who have enchanted us on screen in recent years. The list is based on their performances in 2010s, and subjective measures like talent, promise, bankability, and choice of projects. So below are the actors to watch out for this decade.

The cast of Little Women (Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet)

 35 actors under 35 to watch out for in 2020s, from Florence Pugh, Daniel Kaluuya to Zazie Beetz, Noah Jupe

(From L-R) Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women

The 1949 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel, Little Women, saw the emergence of Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh, both of whom went on to have great careers. The 1994 version saw the rise of Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale.

Greta Gerwig's 2019 adaptation boasts an ensemble of five of the most talented actors of our generation. Saoirse Ronan is all but 25, and already has four Oscar nominations (Atonement, Brooklyn, Lady Bird, Little Women). Florence Pugh has had a swift rise from the indie circuit to mainstream arena, having proved she can spout Shakespeare (King Lear) as easily as play a woman-on-the-verge-of-breakdown (Midsommar). Eliza Scanlen is just two films old (Babyteeth and Little Women) but has already given us one of the most chilling TV performances in HBO's Sharp Objects.

Emma Watson's career may have slightly stagnated but Little Women could rejuvenate it. In his short career, Timothée Chalamet has already worked with Christopher Nolan (Interstellar), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name), and Woody Allen (A Rainy Day in New York) other than twice with Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women). 2020 will see him collaborate with Denis Villeneuve (Dune) and Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch). Really, the only way for all five is up.

The Anglo-Australian invasion

Anglo-Australian Invasion

Top (L-R): Taron Egerton in Rocketman, Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out, Jack O'Connell in '71, Nicholas Hoult in The Favourite; Bottom: Sarah Snook in Succession, Angourie Rice in Ladies in Black, Samara Weaving in Mayhem, Elizabeth Debicki in The Kettering Incident

The Brits and Aussies are everywhere you look in Hollywood. This is not a new trend of course. From Laurence Olivier to Daniel Day-Lewis to Gary Oldman to Benedict Cumberbatch, British actors have delivered some of the most memorable performances in cinema history. Similarly, Australian actors like Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Toni Collette, and Margot Robbie have become a staple of not only mainstream and indie cinema but also the awards season. The 2020s could see more 20- and 30-something from the countries make Hollywood their permanent home.

Daniel Kaluuya | Notable roles: Get Out (2017), Queen & Slim (2019), Black Mirror (Fifteen Million Merits)

Nicholas Hoult | Notable roles: The Favourite (2018), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Taron Egerton | Notable roles: Rocketman (2019), Eddie the Eagle (2015)

Jack O'Connell | Notable roles: Unbroken (2014), '71 (2014), Starred Up (2013) 

Elizabeth Debicki | Notable roles: Widows (2018), Breath (2017), The Great Gatsby (2013), The Kettering Incident (SoHo)

Samara Weaving | Notable roles: Ready or Not (2019), Mayhem (2017), The Babysitter (2017)

Angourie Rice | Notable roles: The Nice Guys (2016), Ladies in Black (2018), Black Mirror (Netflix)

Sarah Snook | Notable roles: Succession (HBO), Predestination (2014)

The indie darlings

Indie darlings 825

(From L-R) Elle Fanning in The Neon Demon, Kelvin Harrison Jr in Luce, Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased, Riley Keough in The Girlfriend Experience

There are some actors who been privileged than most, having been able to model their careers under the tutelage of some of the most reputed filmmakers. The following four actors have attracted indie directors like Andrea Arnold, David Robert Mitchell, Sofia Coppola, Trey Edward Shults, and Kenneth Lonergan, and even foreign filmmakers like Lars von Trier, Nicolas Winding Refn, and Veronika Franz-Severin Fiala.

Elle Fanning | Notable roles: Somewhere (2010), Ginger & Rosa (2012), The Neon Demon (2016), 20th Century Women (2016), The Beguiled (2017)

Kelvin Harrison Jr | Notable roles: It Comes at Night (2017), Luce (2019), Waves (2019)

Riley Keough | Notable roles: American Honey (2016), The Girlfriend Experience (Season 1), Under the Silver Lake (2018), The Lodge (2019)

Lucas Hedges | Notable roles: Manchester by the Sea (2016), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), Boy Erased (2018), Honey Boy (2019)

The leap from indies/TV to mainstream

TV-indie to mainstream

(Clockwise from top left) Dev Patel in Lion, Ezra Miller in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Imogen Poots in Green Room, Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You, Kaitlyn Dever in Unbelievable, Olivia Cooke, and Anya Taylor-Joy in Thoroughbreds

If some actors have worked almost exclusively on indie films, there are others who have been leaping back and forth between indie and mainstream, cinema and TV quite seamlessly. Though some may be little known to mainstream audiences, they are likely to rise up the ranks in the coming years. Fiercely independent in their choice of roles, we believe they have what it takes to even win that coveted Oscar.

Lakeith Stanfield | Notable roles: Short Term 12 (2013), Get Out (2017), Sorry to Bother You (2018), Atlanta (FX)

Kaitlyn Dever | Notable roles: Short Term 12 (2013), Them That Follow (2019), Booksmart (2019), Justified (FX), Unbelievable (Netflix)

Dev Patel | Notable roles: Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015), Lion (2016), The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019)

Anya Taylor-Joy | Notable roles: The Witch (2015), Split (2016), Thoroughbreds (2017), Peaky Blinders (Season 5)

Imogen Poots | Notable roles: Green Room (2015), Frank & Lola (2016), Vivarium (2019), The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

Ezra Miller | Notable roles: We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011), The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015)

Olivia Cooke | Notable roles: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015), Thoroughbreds (2017), Vanity Fair (ITV and Amazon), Bates Motel (A&E)

The supporting act

Supporting roles 825

Clockwise from top left) Will Poulter in Detroit, Margaret Qualley in The Leftovers, Zazie Beetz in Atlanta, Haley Lu Richardson in Columbia

Some actors have often been reduced to playing the supporting role to bigger stars, but they make the world of each film they inhabit more interesting just with their presence. Every time, the movie begins to lose your attention, these actors add some zest to the proceedings. Having co-starring alongside established stars in plenty of films and shows, we believe it is time these actors are given the opportunity to take on lead roles.

Haley Lu Richardson | Notable roles: The Edge of Seventeen (2016), Columbus (2017), Support The Girls (2018)

Zazie Beetz | Notable roles: Atlanta (FX), Easy (Netflix), High Flying Bird (2019), Joker (2019)

Will Poulter | Notable roles: The Revenant (2015), Detroit (2017), Midsommar (2019), The Little Stranger (2018)

Margaret Qualley | Notable roles: The Nice Guys (2016), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), The Leftovers (HBO), Fosse/Verdon (FX)

The wild cards

Wild card actors 825

(Clockwise from top left) Bill Skarsgård in Castle Rock, Helena Howard in Madeline's Madeline, Sasha Lane in American Honey

We have unfortunately not seen these actors in enough films. But from what we have seen, we know they boast some of the rawest talent in the industry. All three have have delivered performances of such astonishing conviction, that we cannot wait to see them in more films in the coming decade.

Helena Howard | Notable roles: Madeline's Madeline (2018)

Bill Skarsgård | Notable roles: It (2017), Castle Rock (Season 1)

Sasha Lane | Notable roles: American Honey (2016), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

The child actors

Child actors 825

(Clockwise from top left) Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project, Jacob Tremblay in Room, Noah Jupe in Honey Boy, Mckenna Grace in The Haunting of Hill House

The 2010s also saw some incredible breakthrough performances from child actors. Of course, it is easy to get carried away when it comes to precocious talents like these. History tells us the transition to adult actors is rarely smooth but under the right guidance, these four actors could very well have storied careers similar to that of Leonardo DiCaprio or Natalie Portman.

Noah Jupe | Notable roles: Honey Boy (2019), A Quiet Place (2018)

Jacob Tremblay | Notable roles: Room (2015), Wonder (2017)

Mckenna Grace | Notable roles: Annabelle Comes Home (2019), Troop Zero (2019), I, Tonya (2017), Gifted (2017), The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)

Brooklynn Prince | Notable roles: The Florida Project (2017)

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

Updated Date: Jan 16, 2020 18:33:10 IST