18 Up And Coming Actors That Are Going To Be Huge In 2018


2017 saw many talented actors get their time in the spotlight, granting us a plethora of Oscar-worthy films to bless our screens.

Understandably, as a result of these flicks, there are quite a few up and coming actors who are set to make it big this year, so here’s a look at just who they might be:

Timothee Chalamet


Having starred in two of 2017’s biggest films – Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name – 21-year-old Timothee Chalamet has certainly burst onto the scene with the right works under his sleeve. Eagle-eyed fans might recognize him from the first season of Homeland or his slightly less meatier stint in Interstellar, but it can’t be denied that his more recent role as 17-year-old Elio, alongside Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name, truly showcased his talent, which boasts a myriad of emotive micro-expressions and natural, believable character immersion.

As for his upcoming projects, you can expect to catch Timothee in Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day in New York alongside Elle Fanning, or Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell.

Florence Pugh


There’s no denying that Florence’s performance in Lady Macbeth was electric, to say the least. The Oxford-born 22-year-old first burst onto the scene with a role alongside Game of Thrones’ alumni Maisie Williams in The Falling. And, just two years after, Florence had already secured herself a host of nominations thanks to her gripping portrayal of young, dissatisfied bride who commits several brutal murders in a desperate attempt to hide her lover from her strict, thoroughly-devout husband.

This year, Florence will star in The Commuter and Fighting With My Family, alongside the likes of Liam Neeson, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Lena Headey and Stephen Merchant.

Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya

Daniel Kaluuya has been quietly making waves in Hollywood for quite some time now, but 2017 saw him take the spotlight with Get Out, a film which has since landed him a multitude of nominations for his iconic performance. Before this, Kaluuya starred in Sicario alongside Emily Blunt and in Kick-Ass 2. But even before his establishment in Hollywood, Daniel was known for his highly-charged, unforgettable performances. For example, back in the first season of Black Mirror, Kaluuya put his acting chops on full display with his show-stopping delivery of that knife-to-the-neck monologue in the fifteen million merits episode.

2018 will see Kaluuya starring in the likes of Black Panther and Widows, alongside Viola Davis.

Barry Keoghan


Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was certainly a film to be reckoned with last year, as it stood out for its dedication to realistic portrayals of the war, as well as the gripping, emotive performances delivered by Cillian Murpy, Fionn Whitehead and many more esteemed names. Barry Keoghan may be fairly new to the acting business, but that certainly hasn’t stopped him from grabbing the spotlight in recent years. Giving what has been referred to as stand-out performance, Barry’s role as the innocent-minded George in Dunkirk captured audiences all over the globe, solidifying him as a star to watch in 2018.

Having starred alongside Nicole Kidman and Collin Firth in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, it’s understandable that Barry wouldn’t be amiss from our screens much longer. This year he’ll join Evan Peters and Ann Dowd in American Animals. 

John Boyega

John Boyega

Back in 2011, John shook audiences with his spell-binding performance in the action-packed sci-fi, Attack the Block, which saw him take on a London-based alien invasion with his friends. Since then, 25-year-old Boyega has appeared in everything from the acclaimed adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun alongside Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to the newly revamped Star Wars films with Harrison Ford. Never one to shy away from social media either, Boyega often grants fans a peep into his comedic side with pointed tweets about his day-to-day experiences. Could 2018 be the year we see him finally take on a rom-com?

We certainly hope so. Until then, however, fans can look forward to Pacific Rim 2, in which John will star as Jake Pentecost – the son of Stacker (played by Idris Elba in the first film).

Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel

Whilst most fans might be more familiar with her comedic side, thanks to the likes of Chewing Gum and Black Mirror, Michaela’s theatre roots provide enough evidence of her acting range. The 30-year-old has taken on a plethora of understated roles – Star Wars: The Last Jedi included – but it was her portrayal of the naive, sexually-deprived Tracey in Chewing Gum that gave her a well-deserved boost into the forefront of global media. With almost inexplicable comedic timing and breadth of creativity, it was only ever a matter of time before the world finally woke up to Coel’s undeniable acting talent.

This year will see Michaela take on a role much unlike any of her previous stints, as we’ll see her star in a romantic musical about unrequited love set in Camden. Simply titled Been so Long, the highly-anticipated drama will also star Arinze Kene (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) and Joe Dempsie (Game of Thrones). 

Yara Shahidi


17-year-old Yara may be young, but that certainly hasn’t stopped her from making the most of her fame. Having already secured herself a place in Harvard, Shahidi usually spends her time campaigning for equality and mental health. Of course, for fans of her works on-screen, Yara Shahidi has grown from a wide-eyed child to a smart-mouthed leading lady, as the new Black-ish spin-off – Grown-ish – will see her play a college freshman who finds it more than difficult to navigate student life on her own.

You can catch Yara in the new season of Grown-ish this year, or the anticipated animation, Small Foot. 

Anya Taylor-Joy


What Anya lacks in acting credits, she makes up with performance, as each role she’s been given so far has been delivered with an intensity so far unmatched. The 21-year-old immediately captured audiences with her faultless performance in 2015’s The Witch, and her equally as electric stint in Split. British viewers also would have been treated to her chilling turn in BBC’s The Miniaturist over Christmas, in which she dazzled as young Nella.

2018 will see Anya take on The New Mutants, a highly-anticipated Marvel horror.

Malachi Kirby


Eastenders fans will recall Malachi from the BBC’s failed attempt to make the soap-opera applicable to youths by incorporating a story-line about marriage and racial stereotyping. Of course, that quickly ended, and Malachi used the opportunity to move onto better things. From a guest appearance in Doctor Who to ITV’s Jekkyl and Hyde, 28-year-old Kirby didn’t really get a chance in the spotlight until he landed the iconic protagonist role in the newly revamped Roots. Shortly after this, he also starred in an episode of last season’s Black Mirror. 

In 2018, you’ll be hearing Malachi voice a character in Squadron 42, a video game which will also have the likes of Mark Hamill and Gary Oldman lending their vocals too.

Tosin Cole


Another soap-opera name, Tosin Cole rose to fame when he landed a role in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks – the show which launched everyone from Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) to Ricky Whittle (American Gods). Before this, he also starred in an attempted Eastenders spin-off called ‘E20’ (which didn’t last very long). Last year, Cole gave audiences a taste of his unmistakable acting talent in the Netflix flick, Burning Sands, which saw him take on the gripping role of a young, American college student who is forced to endure brutal acts of violence during his introduction into a fraternity.

2018 will see Tosin return home, however, as he’ll be signed onto the newest season of Doctor Who as a series regular.

Sophie Turner


With the final season of Game of Thrones looming, it’s only a matter of time before Sophie leaves her iconic role of Sansa Stark behind. However, what with her recent stint as young Jean Grey in the new X-Men films, it’s probably safe to say that she’ll still be ever present on our screens from now onwards.

2018 will see Sophie Turner reprise her role as Jean Grey in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, where – this time – she’ll be taking the spotlight as the main character.

Jessica Barden


Much like Anya Taylor-Joy, Jessica Barden truly knows how to bring a high level of intensity when she takes on a role. The 25-year-old has clearly mastered her niche, as we first saw her take on Showtime’s Penny Dreadful as a young prostitute with an undeniable hunger for blood. Since then, Barden has popped up in everything from The Lobster (as a girl with unstoppable nose-bleeds) to Far from the Madding Crowd – but this year will see her venture even deeper into the dark genre of angst and murder.

Barden kicked off 2018 with the release of her new Netflix series, End of the F**cking world, which surfaced online with a wildly NSFW trailer for season one.

Letitia Wright

Letitia Wright

Perhaps you’ll recognize Letitia from her recent stint in Black Mirror as the mysterious traveller, Nish, in the Black Museum episode – but this 24-year-old has actually been on the acting scene from as far back as 2011. After having conquered the Holby City’s and Top Boy’s of terrestrial TV, Leticia made her movie debut in the highly acclaimed independent flick, My Brother the Devil. After a myriad of memorable roles in Humans, Cucumber and Doctor Who, Leticia will finally be making a splash across the pond with a selection of films set to conquer the box office this year.

Expect to see Leticia in The Commuter, Ready Player One and, of course, Black Panther this year. Also, thanks to the fact that she’ll be playing the panther’s younger sister, Shuri – we’ll also be seeing her in the new Avengers flick too.

Alex Lawther

Alex Lawther

Alex Lawther may have stolen the show in Imitation Game, but most viewers know him from what has been helmed as the darkest Black Mirror episode of all time – Shut up and Dance. The quirky 22-year-old managed to make audieneces feel everything from sympathy to disgust in the space of just minutes, with a performance that can only be described as sensational – it’s only right that he steps into the limelight this year.

Alex will star alongside Jessica Barden in the raunchy Netflix series, End of the F**cking World. 

Tessa Thompson

Tessa Tjom

Tessa is certainly no stranger to Hollywood. Having starred alongside Janet Jackson in For Colored Girls back in 2010, and Heroes in 2009 – this 34-year-old certainly knows how to give audiences a good show. However, in recent years, Tessa has popped up in a lot more mainstream titles – Westworld included – and 2017 saw her take on an instantly iconic role in Thor: Ragnarok. From Dear White People (the movie) to Selma, you can catch Tessa in a whole host of flicks to see her acting chops on display.

Tessa Thompson will star in Annihilation alongside Natalie Portman and Gina Rodriguez, but that’s certainly not all. 2018 will also see her take on roles in Creed 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.

Finn Wolfhard


Thanks to his stint in Stranger Things as the loveable Mike Wheeler, Finn Wolfhard is definitely one teenager that everyone loves. This 15-year-old made waves when he took on the Stephen King adaptation, IT, as part of the Losers Club, but seeing as Stranger Things is set to carry on for a few more seasons – we’ll certainly be seeing a lot more of him for years to come.

2018 will see Finn take on the canine-loving flick Dog Days, and The Turning – a horrifying adaptation of the classic ghost story, The Turn of the Screw.

Zoe Kravitz


Zoe Kravitz, like most mentions of this list, has been around for some time. She starred in Mad Max: Fury Road and plenty more big name films before that. However, it’s clear that this 29-year-old is intent on breaking away from her famous parents (Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet) by making a name for herself in Hollywood – and she’s already going about it the right way. With Big Little Lies already under her belt, we’re desperate to see what Zoe takes on next.

Zoe will star in the second instalment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise this year, and she’ll also star, alongside James Franco, in a gripping drama called Kin. 

Rachel Brosnahan


Fans of House of Cards will recognise this 27-year-old actress from the first season of House of Cards, which saw her take on the small but memorable role of a prostitute hired to ruin the life of an up-and-coming politician. Since then, Rachel hasn’t really starred in much, but her most recent role in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel resonated so much that it landed her a big win at the Golden Globes. We’re looking forward to see what else she has in store for us this year.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Images via Getty

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