Danielle Macdonald stars in Dumplin’ Picture:  AP
Danielle Macdonald stars in Dumplin’ Picture: AP

Ten rising stars to watch in 2019

AS THE Oscar nominations draw near, the spotlight will shine on many well-known names. But let's move on and take a look at the up-and-comers in Hollywood to watch on screens in the coming years.

Some of our rising stars already had breakout roles in 2018, including Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie of Leave No Trace and John David Washington of BlacKkKlansman.

Celebrity DNA also makes our list of newbies with Washington, who has downplayed the fact that he's the offspring of the one and only Denzel, and Maya Hawke, daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

Veteran performers, including Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians), who've been toiling in the industry for years (in her case, as a rapper), also are getting their proper attention, along with the very freshest-faced of newcomers, such as 13-year-old Shahadi Wright Joseph.

Here's who the New York Post says you should keep your eye on now and in the years to come.

AWKWAFINA

 

Awkwafina as Peik Lin and Ken Jeong as Wye Mun in Crazy Rich Asians. Picture: Supplied
Awkwafina as Peik Lin and Ken Jeong as Wye Mun in Crazy Rich Asians. Picture: Supplied

Where you know her from: Her rap albums Yellow Ranger and In Fina We Trust, as Constance in Oceans 8 and as the wild and wisecracking best friend Peik Lin in Crazy Rich Asians.

Where you'll see her this year: A secretive new fantasy drama film called Paradise Hills and a Comedy Central TV series called - what else? - Awkwafina.

Why she's a standout: This 29-year-old actress, who was born and raised in New York, has an explosive personality that may have been helped along by her weird list of pre-fame jobs: bodega worker and airconditioning company employee, among them.

What she's known for now isn't selling sandwiches, but stealing scenes. In Oceans 8, she starred alongside Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Rihanna. Who was everybody talking about? Awkwafina.

In Crazy Rich Asians, Constance Wu played the romantic lead. Who did everybody remember? The hilarious best friend, Awkwafina.

In 2019, she's poised to become a comedy powerhouse.

Awkwafina. Picture: Getty
Awkwafina. Picture: Getty

ED OXENBOULD

 

Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould and Jake Gyllenhaal in Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife. Picture: Supplied
Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould and Jake Gyllenhaal in Paul Dano's directorial debut, Wildlife. Picture: Supplied

Where you know him from: As the grandson in 2015's The Visit and as Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal's emotionally struggling teen son in Wildlife.

Where you'll see him this year: Being Gavin, an Australian film that also stars his dad Jamie

Why he's a standout: Like Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea or Nicholas Hoult in About a Boy, Oxenbould is a young actor who excels at listening. For audiences, that quiet contemplation makes the teen with deep pools for eyes totally transfixing.

The 17-year-old Australian showed off his chops last year in Paul Dano's movie Wildlife, in which he outshone co-stars Mulligan and Gyllenhaal as a son who had to pave his own path as his parents' lives unravelled. He's one of the youngest actors on our list, but if this extraordinary first major role is any indication, he has many years of walking the red carpet to come.

JOE ALWYN

 

Joe Alwyn in The Favourite. Picture: Supplied
Joe Alwyn in The Favourite. Picture: Supplied

Where you know him from: Boy Erased, Mary Queen of Scots and Emma Stone's kinky boy toy in The Favourite.

Where you'll see him this year: Harriet, the new Harriet Tubman biopic starring Cynthia Erivo and Janelle Monáe

Why he's a standout: It's easy to forget Alwyn is a damn good actor. That's because his most cited credit tends to be his role as Taylor Swift's boyfriend. But while engagement rumours swirl, the handsome Brit has had a run of supporting roles in major, acclaimed films - four in 2018 alone.

With each passing role the 6-foot-2 actor reveals more personality and sheds some boyishness - sometimes scandalously.

In The Favourite, Alwyn, 27, has sex scenes with Stone and at one point tells her, "I'll have you stripped and whipped."

As for what goes on in his life with Swift, whom he began dating in 2017, he refuses to discuss it.

"I think we have been successfully very private, and that has now sunk in for people," he told British Vogue.

Joe Alwyn. Picture: Getty
Joe Alwyn. Picture: Getty

JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON

 

John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, with Adam Driver, in BlacKkKlansman. Picture: Supplied
John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, with Adam Driver, in BlacKkKlansman. Picture: Supplied

Where you know him from: Monsters and Men, Monster, The Old Man & the Gun with Robert Redford, and as a Colorado police department's first black officer in BlacKkKlansman

Where you'll see him this year: More than likely at the Oscars

Why he's a standout: In Washington's short, but impressive, inspirational career, he has done the impossible: He's made us forget he is Denzel Washington's son.

A formidable and totally different actor from his dad, 34-year-old Washington started out playing football. He was even signed by the St. Louis Rams, but soon decided the pigskin wasn't for him.

"Once I tore my Achilles tendon, I knew I couldn't play again," he told The Post last September. "That's when I transitioned to my first passion."

His biggest break so far has been Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, which earned him a Golden Globe nod for best actor. He could be forging a new acting dynasty: Barrymores, Redgraves, Washingtons.

DANIELLE MACDONALD

 

Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston in Dumplin'. Picture: Supplied
Danielle Macdonald and Jennifer Aniston in Dumplin'. Picture: Supplied

Where you know her from: As an aspiring rapper in Patti Cake$, a Dolly Parton obsessed fan in Dumplin', and the victim of an apocalyptic plague in Bird Box.

Where you'll see her this year: Paradise Hills and a Netflix series called Unbelievable, also starring Toni Collette

Why she's a standout: You've probably seen a lot of Macdonald the past few months. That's because two of her most popular films so far - Bird Box and Dumplin' - were both released by Netflix in December. The 27-year-old Australian actress radiates charm and personality on-screen, when rapping or singing, being funny or vulnerable. Her performance in Patti Cake$ made such an impact, she was offered the role of Jennifer Aniston's daughter in Dumplin' without having to audition. The role required her to croon with Dolly Parton, but Macdonald, a fine rapper, doesn't consider herself traditionally musical.

"I can't sing. So, you know, it took me a really long time to get a take that was half decent," she told Elle. "It wasn't my first time in a recording booth, but it was my first time singing and I had to sing on set to Dolly Parton."

THOMASIN HARCOURT MCKENZIE

 

Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in Leave No Trace. Picture: Supplied
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie in Leave No Trace. Picture: Supplied

You may know her from: A pitch-perfect performance as the teen daughter of a traumatised war vet (Ben Foster) in the quiet, critically-acclaimed indie Leave No Trace.

That earned her the breakthrough performance award from the National Board of Review. Or, if you're a fellow Kiwi, you may know her from earlier TV series including the kids' show Lucy Lewis Can't Lose and the soap opera Shortland Street.

Where you'll see her this year: She'll be all over in 2019, from the Taika Waititi-directed dark comedy Jojo Rabbit, playing a Jewish girl during World War II, to The King, in which she'll appear opposite one of last year's up-and-comers, Timothée Chalamet.

She's also playing a grieving sibling in the upcoming Netflix series Lost Girls, the true-crime story of a Long Island woman who goes missing - unlike McKenzie, who'll be evermore visible.

Why she's a standout: The 18-year-old actress has already shown a knack for delving deep into her roles; she learned real-life survival skills including fire-building and foraging for Leave No Trace, which, incidentally, was directed by Debra Granik - who discovered another up-and-comer by the name of Jennifer Lawrence for her 2010 film, Winter's Bone.

 

SHAHADI WRIGHT JOSEPH

 

Shahadi Wright Joseph, front row, in Hairspray Live! Picture: NBC
Shahadi Wright Joseph, front row, in Hairspray Live! Picture: NBC

You may know her from: Playing Little Inez in 2016's Hairspray Live! - in which she was the youngest cast member - plus Broadway roles in School of Rock and The Lion King.

Where you'll see her this year: This year, she's set to revisit The Lion King as she voices the young lion Nala in Disney's live-action, big budget remake (in which Beyoncé is playing the adult Nala), out in July. She's also starring alongside Lupita Nyong'o in Jordan Peele's new film, Us, about a vacationing family with some unwelcome visitors; its trailer impressively one-ups Get Out in creepiness.

Why she's a standout: The effervescent 13-year-old made a televised smash in Hairspray, but she was a pint-size showbiz veteran years before that. And she's learning from the best: As she told Houston Style magazine, "Since I'm a musical theatre kid, most of my inspirations are Broadway actors like, Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Lin Manuel Miranda (visionary, music and book writer of Hamilton) and pop singers like Ariana Grande."

Shahadi Wright Joseph will play young Nala in The Lion King
Shahadi Wright Joseph will play young Nala in The Lion King

 

CHARLIE PLUMMER

 

Charlie Plummer as John Paul Getty III in All the Money in the World. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Plummer as John Paul Getty III in All the Money in the World. Picture: Supplied

You may know him from: Playing John Paul Getty III in 2017's All the Money in the World, and garnering heaps of critical praise for his performance in the soulful drama Lean on Pete.

Where you'll see him this year: He's currently slated to appear in five movies this year, including the dystopian drama Gully alongside Amber Heard; Words on Bathroom Walls, about a schizophrenic teenager; and Share, a social-media horror story making its debut very soon at Sundance Film Festival.

Why he's a standout: He may not be a relative of veteran actor Christopher Plummer, but the 19-year-old actor is showing signs of establishing as solid a career as his All the Money co-star. And he doesn't shy away from the tough stuff: "I'm not someone who seeks out stories of people who are suffering," he told Interview magazine. "I think they just kind of find me." Plus, it's been noted that he shares a resemblance to the late River Phoenix - never a bad thing for a matinee idol on the rise.

Charlie Plummer. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Plummer. Picture: Supplied

 

MAYA HAWKE

 

The cast of Little Women includes Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, Kathryn Newton
The cast of Little Women includes Maya Hawke, Willa Fitzgerald, Annes Elwy, Kathryn Newton

You may know her from: Playing Jo March in the PBS miniseries adaptation of Little Women (for which she dropped out of Juilliard drama school).

Where you'll see her this year: She'll play a new character named Robin on Season 3 of Netflix's Stranger Things and she has a role in Quentin Tarantino's Charles Manson-themed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She'll also work with Marisa Tomei and Liev Schreiber in an adaptation of the best-selling novel Human Capital.

Why she's a standout: If you had to pick a celebrity union that would yield a next-generation talent, smart money would have been on Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman.

The 20-year-old actress inherited both her parents' good looks, leaning a bit toward Thurman. But despite leaving academics behind, she says she wasn't ever raised as a movie-star kid: "It wasn't like I was dragged around on red carpets. They wanted me to have a childhood, they wanted me to be in school," she told the Hollywood Reporter.

Maya Hawke in Little Women. Picture: Supplied
Maya Hawke in Little Women. Picture: Supplied

LANA CONDOR

 

Lana Condor in a scene from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Lana Condor in a scene from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

You may know her from: Starring in one of the summer's most popular shows, Netflix's To All the Boys I've Loved Before (and thrilling fans by announcing on Jimmy Fallon's show that she and co-star Noah Centineo definitely shared real chemistry vibes while shooting).

Where you'll see her this year: The 21-year-old actress will star in one of 2019's most hotly anticipated thrillers, the Robert Rodriguez-directed and James Cameron-produced CGI extravaganza Alita: Battle Angel, and she'll play one of the students in the Syfy series Deadly Class.

Why she's a standout: Condor, who was born in Vietnam, has been hailed as a prominent talent in a year that saw major strides forward for Asian representation in American film, and hasn't shied away from talking about it. Of To All the Boys, she told Nylon magazine that she was proud "it's not an Asian rom-com. It's a rom-com that happens to have an Asian actress as the lead. It normalises, because, unfortunately, this is still a groundbreaking thing."

Lana Condor attends the premiere week screening of Deadly Class. Picture: Getty
Lana Condor attends the premiere week screening of Deadly Class. Picture: Getty

 

 

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and is republished here with permission



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