Who will be the next hot young thing in cinema in 2018? The movie stars of tomorrow are already lining up…
Here’s the 10 hottest upcoming actors to watch out for.
Though his name might not exactly trip off the tongue, Alden Ehrenreich is the name on everyone’s lips in 2018. Why? He’s the new Harrison Ford, in a quite literal sense: Ehrenreich will play a young Han Solo in Ron Howard’s Star Wars anthology story, Solo. He’s only 28-years-old but he’s already worked with the Coen brothers, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola and Warren Beatty; owner of the kind of face you could easily see in a ’50s detective noir, Ehrenreich is nonetheless the future of Hollywood. He’s got mighty big shoes to fill, but if you saw him hold his own against Ralph Fiennes in Hail Caesar! then you know – like a certain Mr Ford – he’s not short on charisma.
The 14-year-old acting prodigy from Atlanta, Georgia has already been in the business for over a decade, most notably starring as young Emily in Steve McQueen’s Oscar-winning drama 12 Years A Slave, but 2018 will be the year she breaks into the big-time – a Storm is brewing. Reid plays the lead in Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of sci-fi classic A Wrinkle In Time, as a young girl who must collapse space and time itself to rescue her scientist father, and she’ll star with none other than Hollywood legend Oprah Winfrey. Reid will also head up Only You, the latest horror from mega successful studio Blumhouse Productions, with Oscar-nominee David ‘Selma’ Oyelowo. Storm Reid is keeping good company.
You may have seen this 34-year-old Luxembourgian in Joe Wright’s Hanna or the John Le Carre adaptation A Most Wanted Man, but it’s a starring role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s upcoming fashion-thriller Phantom Thread that will catapult her into the A-list. Starring opposite Daniel Day-Lewis, undoubtedly our greatest living screen actor, is no mean feat for any thespian but earning rave reviews in the process, and being hailed as the breakout star of the film is another thing entirely. Phantom Thread is Day-Lewis’ final screen role, but Krieps is surely just at the start of a long and promising acting career amongst Hollywood’s greatest.
You’ll know her better by her stage name, but 2018 is set to be the year Lady Gaga drops her pop-singer persona and becomes recognised as a bona fide screen presence. Gaga won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in 2016 for her work in American Horror Story, and has made appearances on film before (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For), but her headlining performance in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born Remake will make people take her seriously as an actor. Gaga reportedly studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute for ten years, so we could have another Cher on our hands.
If you sat and blubbed your way through Luca Guadagnino’s touching romance Call Me By Your Name, you’ll already be familiar with Timothée Chalamet, a quite phenomenal young actor who has talent running through him like a stick of rock. Chalamet – who you might have spotted as Matthew McConaughey’s son in Interstellar and as the son of the Vice President in Homeland – already has a banner year lined up for 2018. First is Scott Cooper’s western Hostiles, opposite Christian Bale, which is being touted for Oscar success, then there’s Woody Allen’s A Rainy Day In New York. Chalamet is already in deep with the Hollywood set, so much so he once dated Madonna’s daughter Lourdes, so at least he has someone to ask for advice on how to handle fame (not so much on acting, though).
The breakout star of the year’s breakout comedy, Tiffany Haddish made Girls Trip one worth taking – but her trip is only just getting started. Haddish, who lived out of her car in Beverly Hills until her career began to take off, hosted Saturday Night Live in late 2017 and her delivery of the line “Booty hole” has since passed into legend. She’ll play the lead in her own star vehicle, Limited Partners, in 2018, and is currently filming new comedy Night School opposite Ben ‘Jean-Ralphio’ Schwartz and Keith David. Given its $100m success, Girls Trip 2: Trip Harder is surely only a press release away.
2017 was indisputably Gal Gadot’s year – could 2018 belong to this fellow Israeli? Though she first stepped in front of the camera as a model in high profile campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Gap and Tommy Hilfiger, Odeya would write and perform her own plays when she was just 8 years old. Now 20, she’s staging her own Hollywood takeover, first in Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age modern classic Lady Bird alongside Oscar front-runner Saoirse Ronan, then in comedy Dear Dictator as a teenage rebel who is led astray by Michael Caine’s world leader in exile. Oh, and her first name, Odeya? It’s Hebrew for “Thank God”. How fitting.
It’s no secret that overseas markets are now considered just as important – if not more important – than the domestic box-office, but the days of studios making token efforts to appeal to Eastern audiences are over. Disney neatly sidestepped a potential whitewashing PR nightmare by casting an authentic Chinese-American actress for 2018’s forthcoming live-action Mulan remake by hiring Yifei Liu (also known as Crystal Liu), one of the most promising young actresses in Asia. Liu, who has the nickname ‘Fairy Sister’ due to her sweet and innocent industry persona, isn’t just a pretty face: she’s an award-winning actress in her homeland, and oh yeah, she can sing too. Prepare for an all-singing, all-dancing, all-ass-kicking Disney princess for a new generation.
With a name like that, surely this 22-year-old Los Angelino was always destined for greatness. Smith led Baz Lurhmann’s short-lived Netflix musical The Get Down, demonstrating his acting abilities alongside his impressive rapping and breakdancing skills as teen hip-hop sensation Zeke “Books” Figueroa. Although The Get Down was cancelled after just one season, Smith has capitalised on the show’s cult success landing leading roles in 2018’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the romantic YA drama Every Day. He’ll also begin shooting the first live action movie based on the hit video game series Pokemon, called Great Detective Pikachu. He’s not playing Pikachu, before you ask.
James Cameron’s sci-fi pet project Battle Angel Alita pre-dated even Avatar, but after a retooling and a retitling, it’s back on the calendar and battle ready with Robert Rodriguez in the hotseat and young actress Rosa Salazar on the front line. Despite her cool surname, Salazar made a living playing characters in futuristic sci-fi series who had names like secretaries, playing Brenda in the second Maze Runner movie and Lynn in the Divergent movies. There will be no note-taking in Alita: Battle Angel, apart from the act of taking names: any Manga adaptation good enough for producer James Cameron is surely going to have a high ratio of boots to asses.