The entertainment industry is always on the lookout for fresh new talent. As we enter 2024, several emerging actors are poised for a breakout year. From indie darlings to blockbuster newcomers, these young performers have shown immense promise and will likely become household names in the coming months.
In this extensive blog post, we will closely examine ten up-and-coming actors who are generating buzz in Hollywood and beyond. Through a deep dive into their budding careers so far and an analysis of their forthcoming projects, we will uncover what makes each of these talents so unique and why they are names you need to know.
At just 23 years old, Australian actress Angourie Rice already has over a dozen feature films. After getting her start in short films and TV shows in her home country, Rice had her breakout performance playing Ryan Gosling’s daughter in The Nice Guys in 2016. Since then, she has landed major roles in blockbusters like Spider-Man: Homecoming and Black Mirror, proving her versatility across genres.
In 2024, Rice is poised to catapult into true stardom with leading roles in two highly anticipated book adaptions: Looking for Alaska and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. As the star of the new Hulu miniseries Looking for Alaska, based on John Green’s bestselling novel, Rice will show off her dramatic chops in the complex coming-of-age story. In The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, she demonstrates her romantic comedy appeal as the lead of the buzzy new film.
With her talent, diversity of roles so far, and two starring vehicles in 2024, Angourie Rice is undoubtedly a rising star. The following year promises to propel her from a supporting player to a household name.
Fresh off her scene-stealing performance in the blockbuster Ghostbusters: Afterlife in 2021, Celeste O’Connor has proven she can make a big impression even in a small role. She displayed great comedic timing and charisma as the quirky friend of McKenna Grace’s Phoebe character. Now, O’Connor has no shortage of promising projects lined up to showcase the full extent of her skills.
In 2022, she appeared in the eerie Sundance sci-fi thriller After Yang, followed by Mad God, the highly anticipated new film from special effects legend Phil Tippett. But even bigger things are in store in 2024 when she takes on the co-lead role in Fairy Tale, the new fantasy movie from Harry Potter director David Yates. This big-budget young adult adaptation has the potential to launch O’Connor to fame the way Harry Potter did for its young stars.
With her endearing screen presence and knack for balancing blockbusters with compelling indies, Celeste O’Connor looks to become a significant force in Hollywood in the coming years. 2024 is shaping to be her biggest year yet.
British actress Naomi Ackie first drew attention with her performance in the 2016 indie film Lady Macbeth. But her role as Jannah in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker indeed marked her as an emerging talent to watch. As an integral supporting character in one of the biggest franchises ever, Ackie made an impressive impact.
Up next, she is taking on the lead role of Whitney Houston in the highly anticipated biopic I Want to Dance With Somebody. Portraying such an iconic yet complex figure would be daunting for any actor, but Ackie has proven capable of tackling multifaceted characters. With her powerful screen presence and incredible vocal talents, she seems primed to embody Houston and break through to the A-list.
Beyond the Whitney Houston biopic, Ackie has also wrapped production on The Score, co-starring Will Poulter. After a few years of steadily accruing exceptional credits, 2024 looks set to be Naomi Ackie’s biggest year. Playing Whitney Houston will surely skyrocket her fame and cement her status as a star to watch.
English actor Josh O’Connor has established himself as one of the most exciting rising talents across the pond in just a few short years. He first gained attention 2017 for his role in the LGBTQ drama God’s Own Country, earning critical praise. But playing a young Prince Charles on the hit Netflix series The Crown truly put him on the map.
O’Connor embodied the future king with nuance and depth, earning himself a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in 2020. With The Crown behind him, 2024 will see the actor expand his range even further in two very different upcoming projects.
In Mothering Sunday’s intimate indie drama, O’Connor will get to flex his dramatic skills. Co-starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, it promises to be an actor’s showcase. Then, in the period crime thriller Masters of the Air, O’Connor enters the action genre by playing a British Royal Air Force pilot in WWII. Given his versatility and recent accolades, Josh O’Connor is undoubtedly one of the most promising actors of his generation. 2024 looks to cement him as a star.
At just 25 years old, Cailee Spaeny’s career is off to an incredible running start. Between acclaimed indies like Bad Times at the El Royale and major sci-fi flicks like Pacific Rim: Uprising, Spaeny has already notched some seriously impressive credits. With her piercing green eyes and unique screen presence, she has regularly stunned audiences, even in minor roles.
After a brief appearance in 2021’s Mare of Easttown, the actor landed her most high-profile part yet as the lead of 2023’s The Power. The thriller based on Naomi Alderman’s feminist sci-fi novel has already generated tons of buzz before its release. And as the centerpiece of the promising adaptation, Spaeny has a real chance to propel her fame to new heights.
Beyond The Power, the young actor also has a romantic drama, Frankie Keeps Talking, in post-production. Given her staggering early successes, Cailee Spaeny seems poised to become Hollywood’s highly sought-after rising star. 2024 could be her biggest year yet.
Character actor Fred Hechinger has been quietly building an impressive resume with supporting turns in several acclaimed films like Eighth Grade, News of the World, and The White Lotus. But his performance as the disturbed teenager opposite Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window first revealed his ability to make a terrifying impact.
That chilling role landed Hechinger on several rising stars lists. And in 2024, he is set to creep out audiences again in Fear, a psychological horror film from up-and-coming director Liam O’Donnell. As the villainous lead antagonist, Hechinger will get a chance to bring nightmares to life.
With his lanky frame and ominous screen presence, this emerging character actor seems ideally suited to send shivers down viewer’s spines. After impressing in small doses thus far, Fear promises to give Fred Hechinger a real star-making turn in 2024. He is one to watch in the horror genre and beyond.
When the Hulu miniseries Normal People became a surprise hit at the height of the pandemic in 2020, it vaulted Paul Mescal to instant fame. The Irish actor embodied Connell, one-half of the show’s central on-again-off-again couple, with nuance, sensitivity, and sex appeal. His breakout performance rightfully earned him a Primetime Emmy nomination.
With instant name recognition after Normal People, Mescal has chosen his follow-up roles exceptionally selectively. He starred opposite Tom Holland in the demanding one-person show Sea Wall/A Life on London’s West End in 2021. And he is set to appear in two wildly unique indies in 2024: Strangers, co-starring Andrew Scott, and the mind-bending sci-fi romance Foe.
These bold choices prove Paul Mescal is not interested in chasing mainstream fame for its own sake. He wants to continue down an unconventional path, sticking to provocative material that allows him to flex his acting chops. That artistic integrity, combined with his overnight success, positions Mescal as one of the most exciting rising actors to watch closely in 2024 and beyond.
Ruggedly handsome British actor Luke Pasqualino first turned heads playing the brooding Freddie on the series Skins in 2009. He soon began landing roles in Hollywood blockbusters like Battle: Los Angeles and The Apparition. But his most widely seen performance came as D’avin on the sci-fi show Killjoys from 2015 to 2019. As the confident, charming lead, Pasqualino displayed action-hero potential.
In 2022, he returned to high-octane stunt work as part of the ensemble of Operation Mincemeat, a historical spy film by acclaimed director John Madden. In 2024, Pasqualino is set to take on his first actual leading man role in a major studio project with Bed Rest, a thriller from buzzy horror director Edgar Wright.
As a husband confined to his bed who begins to experience disturbing occurrences, Pasqualino will get to carry a film and cement his status as a bankable star. Given his compelling screen presence and charisma, this opportunity will propel the actor to new fame and roles. If he excels as the anchor of an Edgar Wright horror flick, major stardom seems inevitable for this long-underrated thespian.
The classically trained British actor Aaron Pierre burst onto the Hollywood scene after landing the pivotal role of Cassius in the 2020 sci-fi adaptation Old Guard. As one member of the immortal warriors led by Charlize Theron, Pierre displayed action chops and emotional depth that promised a significant talent on the rise.
Quickly following up that breakout blockbuster performance, Pierre was cast as Marcus in one of the most significant TV events in 2022: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. In the monumental Lord of the Rings prequel series, the young actor portrays an entirely original character created just for the show. Early footage has already shown him excelling with gracefully athletic combat.
With two colossal fantasy franchise roles under his belt already, at just 29, Aaron Pierre seems destined for an A-list career. And in 2024, he is set to show off even more range in The Mothership – a heady sci-fi drama in which he plays the son of Halle Berry’s lead astronaut character. After years of slowly accruing small credits, Pierre is suddenly starring in some of the most significant projects. His meteoric rise is only just getting started.
As this extensive overview has shown, the future of film and television is full of incredibly gifted up-and-coming actors ready to take center stage. From screen veterans like Angourie Rice to total fresh faces like Fred Hechinger, these young performers have demonstrated raw talent and charisma that comes along only rarely.
Based on the trajectories of their still early careers and the exciting projects lined up in 2024, all signs point to significant stardom for these names very soon. With such compelling rising stars waiting in the wings, the entertainment industry will surely be in an excellent place this coming year and beyond. Movie and TV buffs would be wise to keep close tabs on these brilliant young talents as they continue their ascent. The next generation of icons may be found right here.