ONTD Original: Actors to watch in 2017 and beyond

Actors to watch in 2017

2017 has blessed us with the emergence of some fresh faces on the cinema screen and for many of them, they just scored their first big break. Some got lucky scoring the dream role and others finally got payout on years of hard work in the industry. Let’s look at some fresh faces who could soon make a huge impact on Hollywood.


Kelly Marie Tran

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Kelly Marie Tran landed what could be the role of a lifetime. She secured a lead role in the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” which opens December 15, 2017. Both Director Rian Johnson and co-star John Boyega have described her character Rose as the "new lead" which continues the trend of casting unknowns in major SW roles. Rian has gushed about her character Rose and it looks like she will be a major focus in the film.

“[She] has the biggest new part in the movie and ironically is played by the smallest actor,” director Rian Johnson said of Kelly.

This will be a huge opportunity for Kelly with only having small experience in film prior to this role and has mostly worked in television in small roles. With the Star Wars hype and a major role in the next film, she’s an actor on the rise.


Sofia Boutella

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Rising star Sofia Boutella has already crafted some excellent action roles thanks to parts in “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, “Star Trek Beyond” and “The Mummy”. With the release of this month’s “Atomic Blonde”, Sofia is proving that she is on the road to becoming our next big action star.

While it’s hard to make the transition from dancer to actor (Sofia starred in Madonna’s “Hung Up” and “Sorry” music videos), Sofia has garnered great praise in her roles and tends to be the standout in what some would say are otherwise terrible films.

In addition to her string of successes on the big screen, Sofia is attracting a lot of attention for her fashion choices including gowns by Valentino, Prada and Miu Miu. Her Academy Awards look from February was jaw dropping.

InStyle even did a piece in July on her fashion impact.

While promoting her thriller The Mummy in May and June, Boutella hit countless red carpets alongside co-star Tom Cruise. Thanks to dramatic gowns by Valentino, Prada, and Miu Miu, she delivered one show-stopping look after another. During the global press tour, Boutella quickly cemented herself as a style star worth watching.

It’s a safe bet that her winning streak in film and fashion won’t end anytime soon.


Zazie Beetz

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Zazie has had the kind of year that most actors only dream of and its only growing. She has had a successful role on the hit TV show “Atlanta” along side Donald Glover and season 2 is scheduled for 2018.

In what was some of the most speculated on casting this year for comic fans, she secured the role of mutant Domino in “Deadpool 2” beating out some heavy hitters like Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Sofia Boutella (Star Trek Beyond), Stephanie Sigman (Spectre), and Sylvia Hoeks.

Like Sofia, Zazie has received a lot of attention for her fashion looks and styling. Her gown and overall look at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards garnered a lot of positive attention.

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With Atlanta S2 around the corner and the possible spin-off opportunities with the X-Force franchise, Zazie looks like she will have an even more exciting career in 2018.


Bill Skarsgård

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If the name Skarsgård sounds familiar, it’s probably because you are familiar with his brother Alexander Skarsgård who has starred in a string of flop films. While Bill is what many would consider a beautiful actor, he seems determined to pick projects that will allow him to grow as an actor and show more intensity.

Bill scored the highly sought-after role of Pennywise the Clown in the “IT” remake set to hit theatres in September. It was a surprising casting choice but one that might pay off for the actor. The film is destined to be a commercial and possibly critical success and will no doubt launch the actor into more serious roles assuming his attempt as Pennywise isn’t a total and complete flop.

Bill talked about taking over the role of Pennywise and succeeding Tim Curry.

Tim Curry's performance was truly great, but it's important for me to do something different because of that. I'll never be able to make a Tim Curry performance as good as Tim Curry.

In addition to his "IT" role, he'll be a series regular on the Stephen King anthology show Castle Rock which is shaping up to be quite an interesting project.

Oh and he's doing some magazine covers too.

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Corey Hawkins

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Corey has had an interesting career transition. You might remember him from “The Walking Dead” as Heath and his amazing turn as Dr. Dre in “Straight Outta Compton”. However, 2017 has seen the actor taking on roles in “Kong: Skull Island” and the lead role in the reboot “24: Legacy”.

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Corey is a multi-talented actor and received a Tony Award nomination as Leading Actor in a Play in 2017 for his performance in "Six Degrees of Separation".

Corey spoke with NPR about playing the role of a black man lost to the criminal justice system.
"That is the world we live in," Hawkins says, "where young black men are just numbers in our society. They're statistics."

Hopefully Corey can build on this success and looking forward to what he delivers in the future.


Tessa Thompson

Tessa has been on the scene for a long time but 2017 will see the “Creed” actress taking on a new adventure, action star. Tessa will be starring in “Thor: Ragnarok” as Valkyrie and rumored to be appearing in the follow up film “Avengers: Infinity War” in 2018.

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While she might not be a household name, Tessa has already established an exciting catalog of roles in TV and Films you most likely have seen. Some might remember her from her first role as the annoying but sometimes likable Jackie on the cult favorite “Veronica Mars” but she has carved out more serious roles over the years including parts in “Dear White People”, “Selma”, “Creed” and “Westworld”.

Tessa has spoken about considering herself a female agitator and has been quoted in support of the #OscarsSoWhite and it is thinks that movement was creating an important conversation.

“It's a complicated thing.”
“I'm really happy with the invention of #OscarsSoWhite and talk about a boycott that has the Academy now thinking, ‘We probably need to think about our membership.’ If we want diversity in the nominations, we need diversity in the people that are voting.”

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Who are some stars you predict will break out soon?

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