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20 Rising Stars You'll Be Hearing About in 2020

These actors and actresses are on their way to becoming household names in the new decade.

It's almost a new year, and that means one thing—a new batch of TV shows and movies to watch, and a new crop of talented performers poised to reach stardom. With major blockbusters and buzzy series on the horizon, these actors and actresses are bound to make their mark. They may not be household names just yet, but check back in at the end of 2020: These rising stars will definitely be on your radar.

Ana de Armas

ana de armas

Ana de Armas made her acting debut in 2006's Una rosa de Francia, and she's been steadily wracking up credits over the past 13 years in movies like Blade Runner 2049 and War Dogs. Born in Cuba, the 31-year-old actress is ending 2019 with a role in the critically adored Knives Out, and 2020 is about to get even better: De Armas is the latest Bond girl in Cary Joji Fukunaga's No Time To Die, which will mark Daniel Craig's final outing as the martini-swilling spy. She'll also play Marilyn Monroe herself in the Netflix adaptation of Blonde. A big franchise and a big biopic? The sky's the limit.

Yifei Liu

yifei "crystal" liu

At 32, Yifei Liu is huge in her birthplace of China—she's known as one of the "new Four Dan actresses," which refers to the women who can bring in the most box-office bucks, and Liu has dozens of movies under her belt already. But in 2020, she's going to bring that blockbuster energy to the U.S. with Disney's live-action remake of Mulan. You can't fight Disney star power. You just can't.

Samara Weaving

samara weaving

Samara Weaving has been on our radar for a few years now, but the 27-year-old actress first gained attention as Penelope in 2017's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and more recently earned raves as unstoppable final girl Grace in Ready Or Not. Up next: a couple major 2020 movies that will cement her stardom, Snake Eyes and Bill & Ted Face the Music (yes, with Keanu Reeves).

Lashana Lynch

lashana lynch

Speaking of 007, Lashana Lynch is it. Quite literally—as Daniel Craig hangs up his martini shaker, Lynch takes over as the new 007 of the James Bond franchise in 2020. (Phoebe Waller-Bridge is working on the script, so it's gonna be amazing.) But it should be no big sweat for the 32-year-old Lynch, as she's fresh off a turn as Maria in Captain Marvel. Trading one big hero for another.

Harris Dickinson

harris dickinson

Harris Dickinson is only 23, but he has already played near royalty (John Paul Getty III on FX's Trust) and Disney royalty (Prince Phillip in Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil). And in 2020, he's set to play a younger version of Hollywood royalty—he'll take on Michael Caine's character from the Kingsman franchise in the prequel The King's Man. Not bad shoes to walk in.

Noah Jupe

noah jupe

Don't underestimate Noah Jupe just because he's only 14. While his peers are making their mark on TikTok, Jupe has been adding roles to his résumé. He got his start on shows like Penny Dreadful and Downton Abbey before moving to the big screen. You may remember him from A Quiet Place and Honey Boy, and you'll definitely notice him in the 2020 sequel to A Quiet Place. Let's hope he's still got strong survival skills.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

yahya abdul-mateen II

Sometimes acting isn't the only thing you're good at it—Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is also an architect who just happens to be involved with some of the biggest projects of the past few years. The 33-year-old actor has had roles on The Get Down, The Handmaid's Tale, and Watchmen, not to mention appearing in the big-screen blockbuster Aquaman. He recently nabbed lead roles in 2020's Candyman remake and the fourth installment of the Matrix series, so he might have to put a pin in architecture for the time being.

Dixie Egerickx

STX Entertainment

To be cast in the prequel pilot to Game of Thrones is a big deal—and to have the series canceled before it's even begun could be a crushing blow. Luckily, that's not the last we'll be hearing of 14-year-old Dixie Egerickx. She's been on stage (Oresteia on London's West End), and she's headed for big roles in the upcoming Gemma Arterton film Summerland and as Mary Lennox in the new remake of The Secret Garden, adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic tale.

Ferdia Shaw

ferdia shaw
Ste Murray

Ferdia Shaw beat out nearly 1,200 other actors for his first leading role: He'll star in Artemis Fowl, the highly (like, really highly) anticipated film adaption of the novels about a 12-year-old criminal mastermind. The best part? This movie is his only acting credit to date. He's definitely one to watch.

Thomasin McKenzie

thomasin mckenzie

Very few 19-year-olds get to work with big names like Taika Waititi (in Jojo Rabbit) and Timothée Chalamet (in The King), but for Thomasin McKenzie, those guys are old hat. In 2020, she'll be becoming a big name herself with swinging '60s London flick Last Night in Soho with Anya Taylor-Joy, and ripped-from-the-headlines murder thriller Lost Girls with Amy Ryan.

Barry Keoghan

barry keoghan

Have you seen Barry Keoghan's portrayal of Martin in 2017's The Killing of a Sacred Deer with fellow Irishman Colin Farrell? Because it is absolutely terrifying (and totally brilliant). Keoghan has kept up the intensity with roles in Chernobyl and Black '47, and in 2020, he'll star as last surviving man Yorick in Y, the long-awaited TV series adaptation of the Y: The Last Man comics.

Isa Briones 

CBS All Access

It takes a strong actress to join a huge television franchise with millions of multi-generational fans, and 20-year-old Isa Briones seems to be taking it all in stride. She's nabbed the role of Dahj in Star Trek: Picard, the newest chapter of the Star Trek universe. It probably helps that she's got Patrick Stewart by her side.

Brian Michael Smith 

brian micheal smith

Brian Michael Smith has credits on After and Blue Bloods, but his role on Queen Sugar—the first opportunity for this trans actor to play a trans character—is what really got him noticed. Smith was tapped to star in Fox's 9-1-1 spin-off, 9-1-1: Lone Star, and the highly anticipated revival of The L Word, The L Word: Generation Q. Both of those series will keep Smith busy through the beginning of the next decade.

Corey Cott

corey cott

Corey Cott can sing and dance—he was Jeremy Jordan's replacement in Newsies on Broadway, and he starred in the musical Bandstand—and he's also made appearances on non-musical series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Madam Secretary. But Cott is hitting TV leading-man status in 2020 alongside Kim Cattrall on buzzy new series Filthy Rich, which follows the heirs of a wealthy Southern businessman as they scheme to get all of his money after he dies in a plane crash.

Connor Jessup

connor jesup

At 25, Connor Jessup is no stranger to powerful television roles—he played two different parts on acclaimed ABC drama American Crime, and he starred with Noah Wyle on TNT's Falling Skies. In 2020, Jessup will keep the mystery going on Locke & Key, a new series based on the comics by Joe Hill about three siblings who move into a magical ancestral estate after their father is murdered.

Leo Sheng

leo sheng

Born in Hunan, China, Leo Sheng crew up in Michigan and studied at the University of Michigan. His first major role was in the indie Adam, which drew controversy but did allow Sheng, a trans man, to play a trans character. Next up, he'll also be appearing on The L Word: Generation Q, which is poised to be one of the biggest TV premieres of 2020.

Sasha Lane

Sasha Lane

Making her debut as Star in the 2016 film American Honey—appearing alongside Shia LaBeouf and Riley KeoughSasha Lane subsequently had roles in movies like Hellboy and After Everything. But being chosen for a major Amazon series is no small feat: She'll play Jessica in Utopia, adapted from a British series where young adults that meet online are hunted by a deep state organization thanks to a graphic novel in their possession. Sounds like something we'll be bingeing!

Jonny Beauchamp

jonny beauchamp

Ready for a Riverdale spinoff? Jonny Beauchamp is. He'll be starring on the Lucy Hale-led CW series Katy Keene as Jorge/Ginger Lopez, an aspiring Broadway star who wants to take his drag game up a notch. The 30-year-old native New Yorker will feel right at home, as Katy Keene is set in NYC. Beauchamp previously made memorable appearances on shows like Penny Dreadful and Chicago P.D., and in the 2015 film Stonewall.

Tess Romero

tess romero
Laura Luc

We may not be quite there yet when it comes to female presidents, but tween actress Tess Romero certainly is—she's all set to star on Disney+'s newest show, Diary of a Female President. Romero has very few credits to her name, but this role, a 12-year-old middle-school student navigating her life until she one day becomes POTUS, will surely get her noticed.

Callie Hernandez

callie hernandez

If you've been wondering what happened to all the musical TV series, you're in luck. Smash's Josh Safran has a new show, Soundtrack, coming to Netflix—and Callie Hernandez stars as Nellie O'Brien. The series follows a group of listless performers in Los Angeles. Hernandez appeared in La La Land and screamed her lungs out in Blair Witch, so a leading role is just the thing to round out her résumé.

Lindsay Denninger
Lindsay Denninger is a pop culture and food writer and editor. Read more
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