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Top 6 Rising Stars of 2017 Who Are On Their Road To Greatness

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By: Nikoleta Pajic

Paving your way to success is never an easy task, especially in an industry that’s overflowing with thousands of people who share your dream. That’s probably how many young actors feel after arriving in Hollywood hoping for their big break, only to realize they need to take baby steps before achieving that goal. Indie movies tend to be an excellent tipping point for the artistic souls who aren’t solely looking for fame. Some of the most recognizable young stars have started their professional growth in this circuit, giving career-defining performances in engaging projects that explored the human condition in the ways popcorn movies often don’t. That tradition continues in 2017 – the year that gave us intimate and often terrifying portrayals of young individuals searching for passion, revenge, meaning and acceptance.

Daniel Kaluuya

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Get Out was one of the most surprising hits of 2017, and despite having many established actors among its ranks, it was Daniel Kaluuya who made sure we never forget it. Some took issue with the fact he’s a British actor, who’s not completely capable of relating to the problems black Americans face on daily basis, but his performance proves otherwise. Even before the movie takes an agonizing turn, his character perfectly captures the way people of colour deal with the low-key racism, feeling unwelcomed even by self-proclaimed allies who “don’t see colour”. 2018 is also going to be a big year for Kaluuya, who is set to appear in Marvel’s Black Panther and Steve McQueen’s Widows.

Florence Pugh

indie actress

Indie period pieces often tend to be dismissed by the wider audiences, but Lady Macbeth is not easy to be ignored. British 19th-century drama, based on the novel by Nikolai Leskov, tells a story of a young woman who will stop at nothing in search of her sexual freedom after being forced to marry an older man she doesn’t love. Pugh’s Katherine seems like an ice queen, but she’s hiding a roaring fire inside her, ready to devour anyone who stands in her way when the time comes. She balances the character’s duality with understanding and poise, creating a rare costume drama heroine who would rather have blood on her hands than accept her wretched fate.

Timothée Chalamet

timothee chamlet

This year’s Oscars race for the Best Actor has many Hollywood veterans on the front lines, yet the one person nobody seems to stop talking about is relatively unknown 21-year-old from New York. We’ve seen Chalamet’s face on the big screen before since he already worked with renowned directors Christopher Nolan and Jason Reitman, but it was his turn in Call Me by Your Name that made him a household name overnight. The young star managed to transfix audiences with his raw and intimate performance in one of the most honest portrayals of self-discovery in recent memory. His sheer passion and commitment to this character combined with the movie’s success give us hope we’ll get to re-visit Elio in decades to come.

Danielle Macdonald

Hailed as “the next Rebel Wilson”, the young Aussie star delivered one of the most talked-about comedic indie performances of 2017 in Patti Cake$. It’s an underdog story of Patricia Dombrowski, who’s trying to follow her dream of becoming aspiring rapper while working a dead-end-job and dealing with family struggles. On the surface, it sound like many movies we’ve seen before, but it’s Macdonald who makes it worth a watch, transforming Patti Cake$ into a symbol of confidence and body-positivity. She’s already been cast in several new projects and will be playing titular character in the adaptation of the young adult novel Dumplin’.

Barry Keoghan

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk introduced us to a large ensemble of young actors, many of whom have the ability of becoming big stars in the future. However, looking at 2017 alone, Barry Keoghan was the only one who impressed us even outside the blockbuster war epic. It was his performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer that really struck a nerve – it’s one of the most tormenting portrayals of teen brutality and violence we’ve seen since Ezra Miller shook us to our core in We Need to Talk about Kevin.

Haley Lu Richardson

Haley Lu Richardson’s face may look familiar – we’ve already watched her as Hailee Steinfeld’s best friend in The Edge of Seventeen and one of James McAvoy’s victims in Split. These movies only gave us a glimpse of her talents, since she was surrounded with actors who had more compelling material to work with, but with Columbus it was finally her time to shine. As architecture enthusiasts Casey who doesn’t leave her small town in order to take care of her mother, Richardson seems wise beyond her age and proves a performance doesn’t have to be forceful and fleshy to be terrific.

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