From newcomers to acting vets, 2017 saw the rise of some great talents in movies. Here are 10 that made an impact this year:
▪ Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird” – He made a huge splash this year in two films that have best picture Oscar potential: In “Call Me” (which hasn’t opened in Wichita yet) he is said to be absolutely stunning as the young lover to Armie Hammer’s character (and signs are pointing for Chalamet to get his first best actor Oscar nomination at age 22), and in “Bird” he plays Saoirse Ronan’s brooding love interest. Chalamet also appeared in the festival hit “Hostiles” starring Christian Bale, now in limited release.
Next up: Leads in “Hot Summer Nights” and “Beautiful Boy,” both due in 2018.
▪ Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip” – She uproariously stole the show, which is no small feat considering her co-stars were Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Regina Hall. Her comedic performance nabbed her a best supporting actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle.
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Next up: Roles in “All Between Us,” “The Oath,” “Limited Partners” and “Night School.”
▪ Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out” – The biggest box-office surprise of the year is still being talked about come awards season, a rare feat for a film that was released all the way back in February. Kaluuya has been showered with praise as well, nabbing a best actor nomination from the Golden Globes, SAG and Independent Spirit awards.
Next up: Marvel’s “Black Panther, in theaters Feb. 16.
▪ Dafne Keen, “Logan” – With an intense presence and athletic mobility, she absolutely shined as the young mutant to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in her film debut. That the role had hardly any dialogue was a testament to her acting ability – and she’s only 12.
Next up: Lead role in “Ana,” opposite Andy Garcia.
▪ Pom Klementieff, “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” – As the creature Mantis, Klementieff was the newest addition to the “Guardians” family and brought a steely innocence to her role.
Next up: She’ll reprise the role in a little movie called “Avengers: Infinity War.”
▪ Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project” – The 7-year-old is said to be nothing less than revelatory in Sean Baker’s film festival darling, a look at the people who live in motels that are in the shadow of Disney World.
Next up: The family comedy “Monsters at Large.”
▪ Bill Skarsgard, “It” – The brother to actor Alexander and son to actor Skellan Skarsgard, he’s completely unrecognizable as the evil clown Pennywise, but he brought a creepiness to the role that was downright horrifying. He also appeared this year in the Charlize Theron actioner “Atomic Blonde.”
Next up: He’ll star in “Castle Rock,” “Assassination Nation” and the “It” sequel.
▪ Tessa Thompson, “Thor: Raknarok” – She’s certainly no newcomer with 46 acting credits on her resume, but she got her juiciest film role this year starring opposite Chris Hemsworth’s Thor as the rowdy warrior Valkyrie. You might have seen her last year in HBO’s “Westworld.”
Next up: She’ll return for the second season of “Westworld,” as well as appear in four other films in 2018.
▪ Fionn Whitehead, “Dunkirk” – This London import was plucked from obscurity by director Christopher Nolan to play the lead in his war film. Before that, Whitehead’s only previous acting credit was in the 2016 British miniseries “Him.” His almost dialogue-free performance in “Dunkirk” is entirely captivating – he’s the emotional gravity of the film.
Next up: He’ll appear in the BBC miniseries “Queers” and the film “The Children Act” opposite Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci.
▪ Zendaya, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “The Greatest Showman” – She was already a huge pop music star but crossed over into acting this year with her first film role in “Spider-Man” as Peter Parker’s classmate Michelle, aka MJ. She is also among the ensemble cast of “Showman” as a trapeze artist and Zac Efron’s love interest.
Next up: Her music career remains hot, but she’s rumored to return in the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” sequel.