An abundance of exciting new faces has graced movies in 2019. Here’s some of the young actors and actresses who made an impression with their excellent performances.
Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play BFFs (Best Friends Forever) in Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde. Dever, 23, born in Phoenix, Arizona, had acted in Short Term 12 (2013) with Brie Larson, Beautiful Boy (2018) with Timothée Chalamet. She says that the great thing about this generation is that you can be whatever you want to be and no one really cares anymore, that you’re not going to be judged for it. She also acted in the TV series Unbelievable. Feldstein, 26, born in Los Angeles, is the sister of Jonah Hill, she had played Saoirse Ronan’s friend in Lady Bird (2017), written and directed by Greta Gerwig.
I had already mentioned these actresses in my 2019 article, CinemaCon Embraces Diversity, and they deserve the first spot in this list for their portrayal of modern sisterhood.
Julia Butters, 10, born in Los Angeles, teaches Leonardo DiCaprio about acting in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. She cites among her inspirations Lucille Ball and Carol Burnet, Jack Black and Will Ferrell.
In the same film, I spotted a familiar face playing Manson family follower Susan Atkins, and I realized that she was Mickey Madison, 20, who plays the older daughter in Better Things, the comedy series created by Pamela Adlon.
Ana deArmas, 31, born in Cuba, plays the Latina caretaker in the whodunit Knives Out, written and directed by Rian Johnson. She had played the hologram girlfriend of Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) by Denis Villeneuve.
Eliza Scanlen, 20, born in Australia, plays Beth, the piano playing sister who dies.
Naomi Scott, 26, born in London, plays Princess Jasmine in Aladdin by Guy Ritchie, she becomes an angel in Charlie’s Angels written and directed by Elizabeth Banks. Another new face in this film is another angel, Ella Balinska, 20, born in London. Kristen Stewart, 29, plays the third angel.
Taylor Russell, 22, born in Vancouver, Canada, plays the younger sister in the same film.
Finn Wolfhard, 16, born in Vancouver, Canada, plays young Boris.
Noah Jupe, 14, born in London, plays Peter, son of British racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale) in Ford v Ferrari by James Mangold, Otis in the autobiographical Honey Boy, written by Shia LaBeouf, directed by Alma Har’el. He played the son of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski in A Quiet Place (2018).
Zazie Beetz, 28, born in Berlin, Germany, acts with Joaquin Phoenix in Joker by Todd Phillips, with Kristen Stewart in Seberg, with Natalie Portman in Lucy in the Sky. She had emerged in Deadpool 2 (2018) with Ryan Reynolds.
Zendaya, 23, born in Oakland, California, plays Peter Parker’s high school girlfriend for the second time, after Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), in Spider-Man: Far from Home. She also stars in the TV series Euphoria. She had impressed in The Greatest Showman (2017) with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. She says: “Technically we are all immigrants in America, unless you are a Native American. We are an amazing array of different cultures and colors, that is what makes this place beautiful, so we should respect people’s cultures and embrace what they bring to America; that is the foundation of what we are, this place wouldn’t run without immigrants.”
Ali Wong, 34, born in San Francisco, makes her film debut in the romantic comedy Always be My Maybe with Randall Park. We had seen her in the stand-up comedy specials Baby Cobra (2016) and Hard Knock Wife (2018).
Dean-Charles Chapman, 22, and George MacKay, 27, play the British soldiers in charge of delivering an urgent message across enemy lines in France during World War II in 1917 directed by Sam Mendes. Mac Kay says: “The film gives you an immersive experience that will make you question what’s most important to you in life, be it your morals, be it who you love, be it your reasons for doing anything.”
These two actors get the last spot in this list for their portrayal of old-fashioned brotherhood.
More actors that I had already mentioned in last year’s article about Young Faces in Movies, did great work this year
Cynthia Erivo, 31, plays Harriet Tubman in Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons.
Joe Alwin, 28, plays the slave owner in the same film.
For more info about these movies, Always Be My Maybe, Booksmart, Charlie’s Angels, Honey Boy, Little Women, Mickey and the Bear, Queen & Slim, please read my article about Women Directors 2019.