For any Hollywood performer worth their weight in Oscar gold, a breakout year is anticipated in order to reach the next plateau.
That minuscule 12-month timeframe is just the moment an actor needs to transition from bit player to global phenom. It has happened to all the greats (Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Angela Bassett) and continues to be the formula the stars of the future use to gauge their impact.
This year’s class of deserving, inspiring, and incredible on-camera talent bear a few distinguishable trademarks. Some come right out of left field, others are poised to be front-and-center in a blockbuster, while the rest are definitely on their way to the top.
With that said, we list these 17 new Hollywood stars who you should know. And if you already do know, tell us what you think about them in the comments section below!
Best known as Betty and Don Draper’s rebellious young child on AMC’s Mad Men, Kiernan has all the makings of a young teen superstar.
With the show airing its final episodes, the soon-to-be 14-year-old actress just completed her role as the lead in Grainger David’s dramatic short, The Edge of the Woods.
While this English actress is not related to Olivia Wilde, she does share the same drive to be a headlining performer. After marveling horror fans in the 2013 reboot of Carrie, the 25-year-old actress is planning her ascent to the top of the box office charts with roles in Shana Feste’s chick flick Endless Love and Martin Weisz’s Squatters—both out this year.
Yes, this British actor could play young Denzel in a biopic about the Oscar award winner’s life, but John Boyega has bigger plans. After wowing fans in 2011’s Attack the Block, the 22-year-old’s star seemed to cool when HBO nixed plans to go forth with a show about Mike Tyson’s childhood.
The tides turned when J.J. Abrams came a-calling. Now, the science fiction world has been speculating just what role Boyega will play when Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters. This should be the Brits second-chance at a breakout role.
Blink and you’ll miss this Israeli actress in Fast and Furious 6, but thankfully someone was watching. The former Miss Israel turned her attention from adrenaline-filled automobiles to comic book movies with the quickness.
A performer who enjoys doing her own stunts, she caused global aplomb when she was cast in Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice as Wonder Woman, princess of the Amazonians. The film is currently in-production with a release date of 2016. It should make her a household name, if the controversy hasn’t already.
Despite the flop that was That Awkward Moment, this 27-year-old Midwestern actor with a panache for comedy is trucking along nicely. He quickly rebounded with 2013’s The Spectacular Now, which showed off his quirky timing, and plays ‘Peter’ in the YA-adventure-tale, Divergent.
His breakthrough role seems to be coming in the form of playing Dr. Reed Richards in The Fantastic Four reboot, alongside his Awkward co-star — Michael B. Jordan.
Michael B. Jordan
Speaking of Awkward, the way the press has ignored Michael B. Jordan since his stellar performances in Fruitvale Station and Chronicle is exactly that. Thankfully for fans of the former Wire star, Jordan is blessed to have a busy schedule ahead of him.
His casting as Johnny Storm (aka The Human Torch) in The Fantastic Four reboot already jump-started smoke alarms in comic book fan’s eyes. Add to that that picture is already green lit for a sequel, then you know how much heat Jordan brought to the project.
Lastly, Jordan will reconnect with his Fruitvale director, Ryan Coogler, to tell the story of Apollo Creed’s grandson in the picture Creed.
The Sleepy Hollow star already cracked faces when her stunning beauty shone in films such as 42 and Shame. While television has taken up most of the Juilliard-trained performer’s time, it is only a matter of time before she gets that role of an era that catapults her amongst the grace.
If the latest Essence cover is any indication, she’ll be on her way sooner than later.
Whovians are already familiar with the Oxford, England born talent. She cut her teeth as Tish Jones on the series. But her breakthrough role came in 2013’s U.K. drama, Belle, which was based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle.
Gugu, which is short for Gugulethu, and is Xhosa for “Our Pride,” continues to make the industry and her people proud. A talented singer and dancer, Mbatha-Raw already has plans of 2015. She’s set to star in the action, science fiction adventure Jupiter Rising alongside Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. That same year, she will be in The Whole Truth, which she is filming now.
The Workingham, Berkshire, England actor brought emotion to a zombie film (Warm Bodies), energy to a comic book film (X-Men: First Class), and if his career trajectory is any indication — awesomeness to anything he performs in.
2015 and 2016 will find him in a few movies of varying degree of difficulty. Mad Max: Fury Road is a reboot of the popular franchise that originally starred Mel Gibson, helmed by its creator; Equals, which is filming now, will find Hoult playing Kristen Stewart’s love interest.
The following year, Hoult will reprise his role as Dr. Hank McCoy / Beast in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Apocalypse.
Chloe Grace Moretz
The Kick-Ass star already proved she has more chops than karate by starring in Carrie as the principal character. Already ascending as a top tier actress, Moretz has six films coming out this year alone. There’s the dramatic ghost tale, If I Stay that should really be seen. Dark Places and The Equalizer are two pictures that will find Moretz on opposite ends of the acting spectrum.
After taking a year break to let the hyped films die down, the then-19-year-old will star in The Fifth Wave, which is directed by J. Blakeson.
Another That Awkward Moment alumni, this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania performer will be a name to remember as the years go on. To help with the chunking, the 23-year-old actress will star in The Town That Dreaded Sundown alongside Gary Cole and Fallen (2015) with Jeremy Irvine.
Already a big, blockbuster star in many people’s eyes, Lupita has the ‘IT’ stuff in spades. Her meteoric rise to prominence after starring in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, has only compelled the Kenyan actress to continue to accept more challenging roles.
In the next two years, her name will be linked to classic materials in the form of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII (2015) and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (2015). If you just can’t wait to get your hands on the fashionable phenom, keep eyes out for her latest project, Non-Stop, which also stars Liam Neeson.
Highly educated and classically charismatic describe this English actress to a tee. Best known for her roles in 28 Days Later and Filth, Imogen Poots is stepping her game up with roles in five films for 2014 alone.
Playing Izzy in Peter Bogdanovich’s She’s Funny That Way finds her portraying a prostitute-turned-actress that’s worth checking out. If that doesn’t do well to turn your attention to her growing star, then be sure to watch any news pegged to 2015’s A Country Called Home.
No longer little Akeelah, Keke Palmer is all woman and is showing off her talent with a head-turning year. After hosting her own talk show on BET, becoming the first African American woman to play Cinderella on Broadway, Palmer found a home on Showtime’s Master of Sex.
To continue her rise to the top of the box office charts, the 21-year-old singer-actress is slated to appear in Christine Crokos’ The Pimp, as Wednesday, a female solicitor of women looking to get out of the game.
Named for the Zulu word ‘power,’ this 16-year-old dynamo packs quite a punch within Hollywood. A Disney alum, who got her start with the House of Mouse at age four, Stenberg has already proven she has the chops in films such as The Hunger Games and Colombiana.
As Macey Irving on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, Amandla continues to increase the stock in her name. But it seems as if her role in Craig Robinson’s new comedy, Mr. Robinson, will be just the breakout moment Hollywood is expecting from this acting-comedic talent.
As the annoying brat Joffrey Baratheon in HBO’s Game Of Thrones, his demeanor is likely one of the reasons why you root for his demise. In real life, the Irish performer is anything but a bonafide star.
While the television show has taken up most of his time, Gleeson’s next role could be the tipping point that allows the greater masses to know just why he’s an amazing actor.
Quvenzhané Wallis has all the makings of a future Jodie Foster. The timing, the panache, the chops to make you laugh, cry, and feel. As the youngest actress to ever be nominated for an Oscar, Wallis is certainly on the right track to being pure box office gold.
If her IMDB is any indication, she will be able to command our attention for the next twenty years. From starring alongside LeBron James in the much-anticipated Space Jam sequel to her portrayal of Annie in Jay Z and Will Smith’s adaptation, Quvenzhané Wallis is a star who shall shine brightly for the next millennium.
Did we miss anybody? Share with us the must-see stars of the future in the comments section below!