It’s time for Hollywood to make some room because there’s a new generation of stars in town and they’re here for the long haul. Each year, new and talented young actors rise to the top of the entertainment industry and start turning heads in a major way. Some of these fresh faces have landed coveted roles, gotten politically involved, and even garnered major award nominations. Others may be just breaking into the circle of Hollywood’s elite but are showing great promise in the potential they have to be the next Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, or Viola Davis — oh, and they can’t even legally drink yet. Hollywood, look out — these young female stars are taking over and they’re here to stay.
18. Chloe x Halle
Not only do these two star on Freeform’s hit show Grown-ish, but they’re also an R&B; duo signed by Beyoncé (yes, the one and only). Chloe (19) and Halle (18) Bailey did a cover of “Pretty Hurts” on YouTube that later went viral, and the queen herself reached out and gave them a record deal. Later in 2016, they made cameo appearances in Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album (!!!) and served as her opening act in the European leg of The Formation World Tour. As Queen Bey protégés, Chloe and Halle have been doing pretty well for themselves. Most recently, the appeared on The Daily Show and performed live on Jimmy Kimmel, promoting their debut album The Kids Are Alright. But, back to Grown-ish, that show’s like THE hit TV series right now and we think it’ll probably be around for a while.
17. Rowan Blanchard
We’ve loved Rowan ever since she was cast as Riley Matthews in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World. (Fun fact: she sang the theme song, along with co-star Sabrina Carpenter). She was the perfect choice to play the daughter of Cory and Topanga from Boy Meets World. Although the show is no longer making new episodes (RIP), Rowan is still a force to be reckoned with. She is a major advocate of feminism, human rights, and gun control. While most of her comments regarding these issues are posted via Twitter or Tumblr, she has also spoken at the UN Women and US National Committee’s annual conference as part of #TeamHeForShe, a feminist campaign. At 16, she’s already been featured in several magazines like W, Teen Vogue, Interview, Seventeen, and more. Literally, why weren’t WE this cool at that age? She’s going places.
16. Yara Shahidi
Yara Shahidi is Harvard University-bound and the star of the Freeform’s Grown-ish, next to Chloe and Halle. She’s just 18 years old but is wise WAY beyond her years. While Shahidi is famously known for her role as Zoey Johnson on Black-ish (and now Grown-ish), she’s been acting since she was a child. She made her cinematic debut almost ten years ago, starring opposite Eddie Murphy in Imagine That. Not only is she an actress, she’s an activist as well — it’s one of the reasons why we love her so much.
Yara founded eighteenx18, a platform to encourage young people to vote for the very first time in our upcoming midterm elections, and Yara’s Club, which provides online mentorship in hopes to end poverty through education. She’s also besties with former first lady Michelle Obama (who wrote her a letter of recommendation to Harvard, BTW) and interviewed Hillary Clinton for Teen Vogue. Like, what is her life? Even though she’s taking a hiatus to attend college, we have no doubt Hollywood will welcome her back with open arms.
15. Auli’i Cravalho
Just last month, the Hawaii native and voice of Disney’s Moana signed with WME entertainment. Her most recent role is as high schooler Lilette in the new drama series Rise, which debuted on NBC in March of this year. In addition, she is set to return as the voice of Moana in Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. Now with a TV series added to her resume, Cravalho next big role is imminent. And considering she’s only 17, there’s no telling how far she’ll go (haha, get it?) in the years to come.
14. Maisie Williams
You probably know Maisie as Arya Stark of Winterfell in the HBO show, Game of Thrones. Her character is one of the most interesting people on the show and has become a fan favorite. She’s fiercely loyal and unapologetically vicious. Maisie hasn’t starred in much else other than GOT, which was her very first acting gig. But with the show coming to an end in 2019 (fingers crossed her character remains intact), we’re sure she’ll be included in several new projects. She already has one lined up in 2019; she’s set to star as Wolfsbane in the superhero film New Mutants.
13. Maddie Ziegler
Getting her start on Lifetime’s show Dance Moms in 2011 at age 8, Ziegler is a triple threat: she is an actor, dancer, and model. After garnering the attention of Sia while on the reality show, Maddie went on to star in six (and counting!) of the singer’s videos, including “Chandelier.” In 2016, she became a judge on So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation and her memoir, The Maddie Diaries, became a New York Times best-seller last year. She’s also had guest spots on the Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally and Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars. Is there anything this girl can’t do? We’re thinking probably not.
12. Storm Reid
This 14-year-old starred in A Wrinkle in Time with our new favorite trio: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling. If their star power rubbed off at all, she’ll be winning Oscars by her 20th birthday. Storm is also set to star in the horror movie Only You with David Oyelowo. Not even able to drive yet, her resume already looks better than most of ours. Okay, all of ours. The actress was also in the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave as Emily back in 2013. Other notable films include the film Sleight, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Chicago P.D.. It’s safe to say that Storm’s career is off to a great start.
11. Bella Thorne
Bella’s claim to fame is her role of CeCe Jones on the Disney Channel’s Shake It Up. After shedding her Disney image, she went on to star in movies like The DUFF and Midnight Sun. She now stars on Freeform’s show, Famous in Love. She’s been a vocal supporter of Time’s Up and the #metoo movement. She’s the type of actress everyone has an opinion on – but with the number of projects she’s working on, there’s no doubt she’ll be in Hollywood for a long while.
10. Marsai Martin
At 13 years old, Marsai Martin (aka Diane Johnson on ABC’s Black-ish) will be an executive producer on her own film… which makes us seriously wonder what we are even doing with our lives. The film, Little, will be about a woman who gets the chance to relive the carefree days of her youth after the pressures of adulthood overwhelm her. No word on the premiere date yet since it’s still in the pre-production stage, but we’re so excited and have no doubt it’s going to be amazing. Since Marsai’s breakthrough role on the ABC sitcom, she’s received numerous awards and nominations, including six NAACP Image Awards nominations and two SAG nominations. She’s not going anywhere – that’s for sure!
9. Kaia Gerber
Following in her mom’s footsteps, Kaia Gerber is on her way to becoming America’s favorite supermodel. Did we mention that Kaia’s mom is Cindy Crawford? They literally look like twins, it’s crazy. Only 16 years old, she’s already scored her first solo Vogue cover and appeared in campaigns for brands such as Versace and Marc Jacobs. Just last year she made her runway debut and during this year’s Fashion Week she walked for Burberry, Alexander Wang, Coach, Prada, Chanel, Fendi, Moschino, and Versace, alongside her mother. If Kaia is anything like her mom, we predict that she’ll have a long-lasting career in Hollywood.
8. Elle Fanning
Fanning’s acting career began at just three years old. She initially started playing the younger versions of her older sister Dakota Fanning’s characters in movies like I Am Sam, but the almost 20-year-old has since then carved a path of her own. Elle had her first breakthrough role in J.J. Abrams’s Super 8. Since then, she’s starred in several blockbuster hits. In 2016, she starred in The Neon Demon, and recently appeared alongside Nicole Kidman in How to Talk to Girls at Parties AND The Beguiled. With over 50 acting credits to her name and so much more to come, there’s no debate that Elle Fanning is the next big name in Hollywood.
7. Sabrina Carpenter
Singer, songwriter, and actress, Sabrina Carpenter is a triple threat at just 18. She had a recurring role as the young version of Chloe Goodwin in The Goodwin Games and starred as Maya Hart in the Disney Channel series Girl Meets World alongside previously mentioned Rowan Blanchard. With the end of GMW, Sabrina has had plenty of time to focus on other projects. She’s already released two albums (Eyes Wide Open and Evolution), completed a sold-out world tour, landed a series regular role in the NBC comedy So Close, and wrapped up filming The Hate U Give for FOX. This girl is crazy busy and we don’t know how she does it.
6. Lennon & Maisy Stella
Originally from Canada, these two sisters rose to fame with their viral cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” The YouTube video has almost 30 million views! After this video was posted, Lennon and Maisy performed their cover on Good Morning America. From there, their careers took off. The duo score roles as Maddie and Daphne Conrad in the CMT’s drama Nashville. We’re excited to see what their next endeavor will be since the series is ending this year. Sky’s the limit for these two.
5. Kiernan Shipka
We got to know 18-year-old Kiernan Shipka on AMC’s Mad Men and we’re about to get to know her a heck of a lot better on Netflix’s upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch dark reboot, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, created by the same minds behind Riverdale. She’s got two movies set to premiere this year: Lapham Rising and The Silence and already has 17 movie and short film credits to her name along with several TV appearances. Citing Grace Kelly as one of her biggest inspirations, there’s no question Kiernan is going to be one of the biggest actresses of her generation.
4. Paris Jackson
Paris Jackson is carving a path of her own. After an extremely private childhood and adolescence, the activist and model is finally stepping into the limelight through a series of magazine covers (Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, W) and red carpet appearances. Last year, she signed a modeling contract with IMG Models and booked a seven-figure (!!) spokesperson and modeling deal with Calvin Klein. Paris has also appeared on FOX’s Star and made her film debut this past March in Gringo. She’s also expressed serious interest in music, so perhaps we’ll see her follow in her father’s footsteps with a future album. Whatever she decides to pursue (music, activism, acting, modeling), we have no doubt that she’ll be successful. She’s got pure talent in her genes, after all.
3. Joey King
Starring alongside actors such as Channing Tatum, Selena Gomez, Julianne Moore, and Christian Bale, Joey King has grown up surrounded by A-list royalty. Besides the prized role of Ramona Quimby in Ramona and Beezus, Joey has also starred in Fargo, The Dark Knight Rises, and Crazy, Stupid, Love. She has more impressive acting credits than some actors twice her age. Most recently, Joey has been cast as the lead in the CW’s new supernatural cop drama pilot Dead Inside. No premiere date yet, but we’re really pumped to see it. Having been seen hanging out with the likes of Hailee Steinfeld, Camila Cabello, and Taylor Swift, Joey also has a pretty awesome squad. It’s safe to say she’s ready for Hollywood.
2. Ariel Winter
Ariel Winter is famously known for her role as Alex Dunphy in our favorite comedy series Modern Family. Since the show’s premiere in 2009, she and her cast mates have won four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Ariel also plays the voice of the following characters: Sofia in the Disney show Sofia the First, Marina the Mermaid in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, and Penny Peterson in the 2014 animated film Mr. Peabody and Sherman. While Ariel’s professional life is seriously impressive considering she’s just barely 20 years old, she’s also outspoken about body-positivity and makes front-page news whenever she refuses to let media standards dictate how she acts or dresses. Being so sure of herself will definitely pay off in the entertainment industry!
1. Millie Bobby Brown
At just 14 years old, Millie Bobby Brown is legit taking over the world. She’s popularly known as Eleven on the Netflix show Stranger Things — a role that earned her an Emmy nomination (NBD, right?!). Then last year, she made her modeling debut in a Calvin Klein campaign. In 2019, she will be making her film debut in the film, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Before Stranger Things, Millie had made guest star appearances in several shows such as Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, NCIS, Modern Family, and Grey’s Anatomy. Everyone is pretty much obsessed with her, and you should be too.