Due to the coronavirus pandemic and film/television projects just now ramping up, 2021 is sure to be a banner year for the industry while there are many up-and-coming actors set to break out next year, as well as previously-established actors making greater waves, we’ve selected just 10 of them for our breakout talent list heading into 2020.
Alumni of the inaugural edition of this list in 2018 heading into 2019 include Jonathan Majors, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lovie Simone and Dominique Fishback, all of whom have established themselves as forces over the last few years.
Here are our 10 for 2021:
Jordan Kristine Seamon
In her very first on-screen role as the co-lead of HBO’s Luca Guadagnino series, We Are Who We Are, Seamon debuted to a splash, earning tons of critical acclaim for her work in the show.
Thorne, a scene-stealer in If Beale Street Could Talk, also has a key role in Shaka King’s upcoming Judas and the Black Messiah and will be the next de facto Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as RiRi Williams in Disney+’s Ironheart.
In her very first role on-screen, Smith will play Monet, one of the principal characters in the upcoming HBO Max reboot of Gossip Girl.
The British actor’s profile is sure to rise as one of the leads for Barry Jenkins’ upcoming Amazon limited series, The Underground Railroad.
Ingram was a major highlight for one of the best series of the year, Netflix’s The Queens Gambit. She’s in post-production on A24’s Macbeth, starring alongside Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as Lady Macduff.
Lawson can currently be seen in Ekwa Msangi’s indie drama, Farewell Amor. She’ll further capture attention opposite Robert Pattinson, Zoë Kravitz and Jeffrey Wright in The Batman.
In her younger days, Maya was on Private Practice as the daughter of Taye Diggs and Audra McDonald’s Sam and Naomi Bennett. Now, she’s poised to springboard her recurring role on The CW’s All American into her own spinoff of the show, set at an HBCU.
After catching more attention for his key role in Riverdale and his series regular role in the short-lived Suits spinoff, Pearson, Goree is garnering a lot of buzz for his role as Muhammad Ali in Regina King’s Oscar contender, one Night in Miami.
After his pivotal recurring role in season 1 of The CW’s breakout hit All American, Reeves heads into 2021 after starring in Disney+’s football drama film Safety from Reginald Hudlin.
Amarah Jae St. Aubyn
St. Aubyn is sure to be near the top of casting director’s wishlists after stuning in Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock, one of the critically-acclaimed installments of the filmmaker’s Small Axe series.