10 Rising Actors Making 2021 Their Biggest Year Yet
Meet the stars of ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘Gossip Girl’ and more hotly anticipated releases.
Despite certain COVID-19 restrictions delaying Hollywood’s regular programming, the entertainment industry still has a lineup of highly anticipated movie and TV show releases in 2021 starring a number of emerging actors. From Emily Alyn Lind and Whitney Peak, cast in HBO Max‘s upcoming reboot of Gossip Girl, to newcomer Iman Vellani, the lead in Disney+‘s Ms. Marvel, we gather the top 10 talents set to dominate the big screen this year.
Scroll down to read our full list. While you’re here, check out all the films and series we loved in 2020.
In addition to her lead role Bloom on Netflix‘s Fate: The Winx Saga, premiering January 22, some may recognize Abigail Cowen from her guest appearances on Red Band Society and Stranger Things, as well as her character Dorcas on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Raised on a small farm in Gainesville, Florida, Cowen has always had a passion for acting. After completing her studies at the University of Florida with a major in public relations, Cowen moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dream.
Emily Alyn Lind began her acting journey at the young age of six when she appeared in The Secret Life of Bees back in 2008. Thanks to her debut role, Lind was able to pick up multiple projects including Dear Dumb Diary, Enter the Void, J. Edgar, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia, Movie 43, Revenge and Eastwick. Most recently, the talent was cast as Snakebite Andi in Doctor Sleep. This year, the actress is set to play Audrey Hope in the Gossip Girl reboot.
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Newcomer Iman Vellani will make her acting debut on Ms. Marvel as the show’s lead. The fresh high school graduate will portray Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American in Jersey City who acquires the ability to shape-shift. Actor Kumail Nanjiani has shared his enthusiasm for Vellani’s game-changing role, writing on Twitter: “Your work is going to mean so much to so many people, myself included.”
Born to a Japanese father and a Chinese mother, Kae Alexander spent most of her childhood in Tokyo and Hong Kong and eventually moved to London with her family at 10 years old. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Alexander landed a part in Bad Education as Jing Hua. The British actress also had the opportunity to portray Leaf in Season 6 of Game of Thrones and Linh Xuan Huy in Collateral. In 2021, Alexander is set to play Min Farshaw in Prime Video‘s The Wheel of Time series.
Before pursuing acting, Matilda De Angelis started out as a musician and was part of a band called Rumba de Bodas. By 2015, director Matteo Rovere discovered her on social media and cast her as the lead in Italian Race, which earned her a nomination for Best Actress at the 2017 David di Donatello. Fast forward to 2020, De Angelis joined the main cast of HBO‘s The Undoing. You can expect to see the Italian actress in the upcoming film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s Across the River and Into the Trees.
For those who didn’t know, Timothée Chalamet has an older sister and 2021 is going to be her year. Previously seen on The King of Staten Island, Pauline Chalamet is tapping into television via Mindy Kaling‘s comedy show, The Sex Lives of College Girls. The emerging actress will play Kimberly, a high school valedictorian from the Arizona suburbs who tries to find her place in her new life at college.
Another child actress, Phoebe Dynevor’s first-ever acting gig was Season 5 of Waterloo Road back in 2009. Since then, Dynevor has gone on to act in Monroe, The Musketeers, Prisoners’ Wives, The Village and Dickensian. In 2016, the British talent made her American TV debut in Snatch and worked alongside Luke Pasqualino and Rupert Grint. Prior to her breakthrough role in Netflix’s Bridgerton, produced by Shonda Rhimes, Dynevor was part of comedy-drama series Younger in 2017.
Taylour Paige is best known for her character Ahsha Hayes in VH1‘s Hit the Floor. Growing up, Paige trained at ballet academies and was eventually taken under the wing of celebrity choreographer Debbie Allen in 2001. That same year, she landed a part as a dancer in Allen’s musical called Pearl. In 2010, Paige spent three months as a Los Angeles Laker girl while finishing her undergraduate studies. Be sure to keep an eye out for Paige this year in basketball drama Boogie (March 5) and Zola (June 30).
Some may know Úrsula Corberó from Netflix’s hit series Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), but her acting credits go way back to 2002. Some of her projects include Física o química, Isabel and Cómo Sobrevivir a una Despedida. Having gained international recognition thanks to her part in Money Heist, the actress has landed her first English-speaking role in Snatch. Expect to catch Corberó on the big screen in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins as villainess Baroness on October 22.
A familiar face to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina fans, Whitney Peak is finally stepping out of her guest and recurring roles. As part of the main cast of HBO Max’s Gossip Girl, specifically portraying Zoya Lott, Peak is a rising star to watch in 2021. Premiering this summer, Gossip Girl will be set “eight years after the original website went dark, [when] a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl,” according to the show’s synopsis.