Sundance: 5 Breakout Stars With Big Pre-Festival Buzz

6:00 AM 1/17/2018

by Rebecca Ford

Valter Skarsgard, the younger brother of Alexander and Bill Skarsgard, and 'The Deuce's' Dominique Fishback are among the fest's fresh faces.

Courtesy of Paradigm; Steve Zak

This story first appeared in the Jan. 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

  • Ari Aster

    'Hereditary'

    Courtesy of Subject

    WHY HIM The snowbound horror film starring Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne could cement the 31-year-old director as the next genre rising star in the same vein as The Witch's Robert Eggers. The AFI grad previously helmed a visceral 30-minute short, The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, that became a viral sensation in 2017, five years after its creation.

  • Dominique Fishback

    'Night Comes On'

    Courtesy of Steve Zak

    WHY HER Recently seen on HBO's The Deuce, the Brooklyn native plays a young woman who gets out of juvenile detention and must face her past. The NEXT section feature is a leading-role stepping-stone for the 26-year-old actress who has proven her versatility with parts in FX's The Americans, Showtime's The Affair and upcoming YA film The Hate U Give.

  • Augustine Frizzell

    'Never Goin' Back'

    Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

    WHY HER The Texas native, a writer-editor-helmer who also acts, makes her feature directorial debut with a high-energy drama about two teen BFFs who ditch school to head to the beach but find themselves broke and in trouble (think Spring Breakers). The 38-year-old (who is married to director David Lowery) has seen two of her shorts debut at SXSW.

  • Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie

    'Leave No Trace'

    Courtesy of Subject

    WHY HER Director Debra Granik made Jennifer Lawrence into a sensation with 2010's Winter's Bone. Now she's finally returning to Sundance with Leave No Trace, which stars 17-year-old McKenzie, who hails from New Zealand, as a young girl secretly living on a nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, with her troubled father (Ben Foster).

  • Valter Skarsgard

    'Lords of Chaos'

    Courtesy of Paradigm

    WHY HIM His name may be familiar: He's the younger brother of actors Alexander (Big Little Lies) and Bill (It) Skarsgard (all sons of Stellan Skarsgard). While he plays a supporting role in the Norwegian black metal movie starring Rory Culkin, it's a promising American film debut for the 22-year-old, who starred in the Swedish drama Black Lake.