Young Hollywood 2019: Top 30 Stars Under Age 18

6:00 AM 8/16/2019

by Edited by Bryn Elise Sandberg

How do you steal a scene from Leonardo DiCaprio? Just ask 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' actress Julia Butters, who joins Emmy nominees, pint-sized producers and, of course, those 'Stranger Things’ kids on The Hollywood Reporter's second annual list.

Small but mighty, THR’s Young Hollywood 2019 honorees are punching above their weight. From Emmy nominee Asante Blackk to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood scene-stealer Julia Butters, these under-18 actors are gracing tentpoles and auteur projects, filling their Coogan accounts, amassing millions of social media followers and sharing the screen with the likes of Meryl Streep. And while they’re clearly destined for bigger things — with some already stepping into the director’s chair and producer pitch meetings — they relish the kid life, too. Hot tip for adults from Avengers’ Ariana Greenblatt: “Life is too short not to have fun.”

Profiles by Trilby Beresford, Tara Bitran, Kirsten Chuba, Aaron Couch, Ashley Cullins, Mia Galuppo, Katie Kilkenny, Borys Kit, Natalie Jarvey, Bryn Elise Sandberg, Rebecca Sun and Benjamin Svetkey.

  • Asher Angel

    Michael Becker

    Age 16

    Known for Shazam!

    Angel, who first garnered attention as a heartthrob on Disney Channel's Andi Mack, added a $364.5 million credit to his résumé as the young Billy Batson in April's Shazam! The Arizona-born actor, who has nearly 4 million Instagram followers, also recorded a song with Wiz Khalifa and signed with Hitco, L.A. Reid's new label, to record R&B and pop.

    How I spent my first acting paycheck "I'm a sneakerhead, so I definitely bought some cool sneakers and a bunch of clothes."

    My advice for adults "I feel like adults don’t think we’re as smart as them, but in a way we are — in different ways. We can think outside of the box."

    I wish I were old enough to ... "Skydive."

  • Iain Armitage

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 11

    Known for Big Little Lies, Young Sheldon

    Though he grew up reviewing musicals on his YouTube channel Iain Loves Theatre, Armitage never thought he'd become an actor other critics wrote about. That changed when he landed the role of Ziggy on HBO's Big Little Lies. Now, the son of actor Euan Morton and theater producer Lee Armitage fronts his own series as a child version of Jim Parsons' Big Bang Theory character on spinoff Young Sheldon, one of CBS' top-rated comedies. When he's not acting, he's practicing his "amateur magician" skills.

    I’ve been most starstruck by ... "Ms. Chita Rivera."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "Jumped up and down."

    I’m dying to work with ... "Mr. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Sir Ian McKellen."

    My advice for adults "Don't use your phone too much."

    What other kids don't get about being an actor "That we aren’t actually our character."

  • Ella Jay Basco

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 12

    Known for Birds of Prey

    Basco makes her film debut in February, donning Batgirl's mantle opposite Margot Robbie in Warner Bros.' DC movie Birds of Prey. Though the role likely won't showcase her singer-songwriter skills (she plays guitar, piano and ukulele), her hip-hop dance training will come into play for combat choreography. Basco, the niece of Hook star Dante Basco (see page 80), has also guested on Veep and Grey's Anatomy.

    Movie that made me want to act "The Goonies."

    I’ve been most starstruck by ... "Tom Holland."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "Play my ukulele and sing songs."

    I’m dying to work with ... "Sandra Oh and Awkwafina."

    How I spent my first acting paycheck "I put it into my college fund."

    My advice for adults "Don't be so serious."

    Movie I'd love to star in "A remake of The Breakfast Club."

  • Asante Blackk and Caleel Harris

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Ages 17, 15

    Known for When They See Us

    Blackk and Harris garnered critical acclaim for their roles as Kevin Richardson and Antron McCray on Ava DuVernay's When We See Us, whose Emmy nominations include a supporting nod for Blackk (nephew of Orange Is the New Black star Samira Wiley). "We all knew When They See Us was bigger than any of us," says the Texas-born Harris, who in addition to appearing on Castle Rock and in the Think Like a Man films, hopes to explore producing, writing and directing with some guidance from Ava DuVernay along the way. “She really is such an important figure in my life right now,” he says. Blackk, who made his debut in DuVernay's limited series, first became interested in acting after starring as Mowgli in a junior production of The Jungle Book. The pair agree that they've found a brotherhood through the show. "Telling these men's truths made our bond so tight and it's something I wouldn't give up for the world," Blackk says. Both were nervous to meet their onscreen counterparts, but at this point they text with them on a regular basis. "He's a part of me now," Harris says of McCray, while Richardson sent Blackk a "Wow" after his nomination was announced. "With like 10 W's," Blackk adds.

    Movie that made me want to act 

    Blackk: "Training Day."

    Harris: "I chose acting really early on, but I really wanted to kick it into gear after I saw Creed."

    I’m dying to work with ...

    Blackk: "Timothée Chalamet. Every time I see him onscreen he just shines."

    Harris: "Denzel Washington because I feel like he'd be so wise. There's a lot I could learn from him. And also Michael B. Jordan, just because he's Michael B. Jordan!"

  • Julia Butters

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 10

    Known for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time in Hollywood may have been chock-full of A-list stars, but Butters was the real scene-stealer — no easy task when your scene partner is Leonardo DiCaprio. The L.A. native, who plays a precocious actress who must teach DiCaprio's Rick to get his groove back, was discovered by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino when he caught her ABC sitcom, American Housewife. She comes from a showbiz family (her father is animator Darrin Butters, who worked on Disney's Tangled and Frozen) and still hasn't seen her whole film: "It's rated R."

    My parents always tell me to ... "Take care of my cat."

    I’ve been most starstruck by ... "Chris Hemsworth, at the Hollywood premiere."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "We went to Tam O'Shanter."

    I’m dying to work with ... "Jim Carrey, Bill Murray or Kristen Wiig."

    Movie I'd love to make "The Western I wrote for Quentin and Zoë Bell."

    What other kids don't get about being an actor "Being supposedly 'famous' isn't everything."

  • Darby Camp, Chloe Coleman and Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti

    Getty Images(2); Sara Pine(2)

    Ages 12, 10, 11

    Known for Big Little Lies

    As the children of the Monterey Five on HBO's hit drama, Camp, Coleman and the Crovetti twins have acted opposite some of Hollywood's biggest names — like Meryl Streep, whose guttural scream in one scene made an impact. "We were like, 'Whoa!' " Nicholas recalls. "We were really surprised!" Up next: Camp will star in Paramount's Clifford The Big Red Dog movie and Coleman has a full schedule with Avatar 2, assassin flick Gunpowder Milkshake, Dave Bautista starrer My Spy and Disney+ series Timmy Failure. Nicholas will soon appear in crime drama The Sound of Philadelphia and will reteam with Cameron for thriller Witch Hunt.

    I've been most starstruck by …

    Coleman: "Meryl. I'm just trembling when working with her, but she looks right into your eyes and you feel so connected to her."

    C. Crovetti: "Meryl Streep. Our mom showed us a bunch of her movies — we saw Devil Wears Prada, Death Becomes Her — and we were like, 'Whoa, OK.' And then we met her and we were like, 'That’s so cool! She was in those movies we watched last night.' "

    N. Crovetti: "Nicole Kidman — we didn't know who Meryl was at first, but Nicole was in Paddington!"

    Camp: "Will Smith. He came up to me and I couldn’t talk — there were no words. I had just binged on Netflix The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

  • Millie Bobby Brown, Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink and Finn Wolfhard

    Getty Images

    Ages 15, 12, 15, 17, 17, 14, 16

    After filming the third season of Netflix's Stranger Things, Brown took on a different kind of monster in the latest Godzilla installment (and is in production on another) and will executive produce and star as Sherlock Holmes’ kid sister in Enola Holmes. Season three breakout Ferguson, who says she has an old soul and got into acting to make people “cry, laugh or learn,” hopes to return to her dramatic roots in a tween coming-of-age story. Matarazzo will be touring with his band Work in Progress and just finished the Hollywood Bowl’s production of Into the Woods (theater is “where my heart is,” he says). McLaughlin, who teases that he’ll be releasing music soon and is preparing for a film he can’t discuss, says his dream role is Miles Morales. Schnapp also would love to play Spidey, though for now he has another Netflix gig lined up: a comedy with Adam Sandler. “I’ve portrayed such a serious character for the past three years, it will be nice to break out of that mold,” he says. Sink is in Atlanta filming the Fear Street trilogy, which she describes as “cool and exciting and new.” While Wolfhard can’t choose which project he’s most excited about (they include It: Chapter Two, The Goldfinch, The Addams Family and Ghostbusters 2020), he calls Floria Sigismondi’s film The Turning “scary as hell.”

    I’ve been most starstruck by …

    Ferguson: "Meeting Regina King. I love her work."

    Matarazzo: "Mark Hamill."

    Sink: "Probably the Queer Eye cast."

    My generation, in a few words, is …

    Matarazzo: "I think our generation is misunderstood, and impulsive."

    Sink: "Very involved and opinionated."

    My advice for adults

    Matarazzo: “Listen. That’s for kids and adults. Kids always think they’re right, and sometimes adults think kids are always wrong.”

    Sink: “Take a chill pill.”

  • Ian Chen

    Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

    Age 12

    Known for Fresh Off the Boat

    Chen's first acting gig was in the background of a Modern Family scene in 2013. Two years later, he landed a major role on another ABC comedy, Fresh Off the Boat — a "huge blastoff" for his career, he says, and a chance to be mentored by co-stars Randall Park and Constance Wu. His broadcast hiatus allows time for film roles; he flew to Canada to shoot Shazam! just two days after Fresh Off the Boat wrapped its fifth season.

    TV show that made me want to act "I watched a lot of Malcolm in the Middle and I was definitely really intrigued by the process."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "Sometimes, when flight attendants recognize me, I can see them chatting in the galley and peeking out."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "By rolling around the floor!"

    I'm dying to work with … "Elon Musk! I know he's not an actor, but he's doing pretty cool stuff."

    My generation, in a few words, is … "Glued to our phones."

  • Julian Dennison

    Scott Ehler/WireImage

    Age 16

    Known for Deadpool 2

    As the surly teenaged Firefist, New Zealand-born Dennison held his own against Ryan Reynolds' foulmouthed antihero in Deadpool 2 after breaking out in his countryman Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Next up is Legendary and Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. Kong.

    My parents always tell me … "Don't be famous, be a legend."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "I was sent a photo of someone with my character of ‘Ricky Baker’ in The Hunt of the Wilderpeople tattooed on his leg."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "We had roast lamb for dinner!"

    TV show I'd love to star in "Would’ve loved to have been in The Office."

  • Oakes Fegley

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 14

    Known for The Goldfinch

    Two years after making his acting debut in the Michelle Monaghan-Ron Livingston drama Fort Bliss, with roles on Boardwalk Empire and Person of Interest along the way, the Pennsylvania-born Fegley landed the lead in Disney's Pete's Dragon. Now, the son of two actors will hit the big screen again Sept. 13 in Warner Bros.' adaptation of The Goldfinch.

    My parents always tell me to … "Look out for my younger brother Winslow."

    I'm dying to work with ... "Wes Anderson and Mahershala Ali."

    Movie I'd love to star in "It’s definitely high on my bucket list to play a superhero."

  • Elsie Fisher

    JB LACROIX/AFP/Getty Images

    Age 16

    Known for Eighth Grade

    The breakout star of Bo Burnham's Eighth Grade kept busy making awards-season rounds that included a Golden Globe nomination and a Gotham Award win. Next is MGM's animated The Addams Family, a return to voice acting for the young star who can be heard in Universal's Despicable Me movies as Agnes ("It's so fluffy, I'm gonna die!"). She is also set for the Misery-themed second season of J.J. Abrams' Hulu series Castle Rock, with Tim Robbins, and will lead a musical biopic about '60s cult rock band The Shaggs.

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "People DM me the weirdest things! I’ll get people that are genuinely angry with me over how my character Kayla treated her father in Eighth Grade. It’s like, you get that I’m acting, right?"

    I’ve been most starstruck by … "Sam Elliott. I very briefly met him at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. I’ll always treasure that experience."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "I went out and bought myself my very first Pokémon game for the Nintendo DS."

    I’m dying to work with ... "Taron Egerton would be awesome to work with. His work in Rocketman is phenomenal."

    How I spent my first acting paycheck "I bought these toys called Littlest Pet Shops! I was so obsessed with them as a kid!"

    Best acting advice I've been given "To pick my projects based on the director, not the script."

    My advice for adults "Stop being scared of teens! Or judging us! While some of us are a little more … rebellious, just cut us a little slack."

  • Abby Ryder Fortson

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 11

    Known for Ant-Man and the Wasp

    Growing up with actor parents, Fortson booked her first commercial the day she turned 4. "We celebrated my birthday on the back of the car we shot the commercial in," she says. Since then, she's starred as Paul Rudd's daughter in Ant-Man and its sequel, and also appeared in TransparentA Dog's Journey and Room 104. Up next, she will recur in Amazon sci-fi series Tales From the Loop.

    I’ve been most starstruck by ... "Lin-Manuel Miranda. I saw him at the Mary Poppins Returns premiere. I was too shy to go say hi to him and I still regret being that shy but I’m a big Hamilton fan."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "Read. I’m a very big reader and I always need to have a book with me in my trailer so I can relax. The problem is I read very, very fast, so I go through books like crazy."

    Movie I'd love to star in "A remake of Harry Potter. All of the books, I've read them over 100 times."

  • Mckenna Grace

    Courtesy of Paradigm

    Age 13

    Known for Captain Marvel

    Extensive film and TV work, including a breakout role opposite Chris Evans in 2017 drama Gifted, have culminated in a zenith year for Grace — who played a young Carol Danvers in Disney's Captain Marvel and starred in the James Wan-produced horror hit Annabelle Comes Home. Now she's filming Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters 2020 and producing a passion project.

    My parents always tell me to … "Brush your teeth, clean up your room, and get out of your pajamas."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "We were shooting in a small town on Ghostbusters and I signed somebody’s Crocs. I also signed some phones. Their parents are going to be mad.”

    How I spent my first acting paycheck "It was a long time ago so I can't really remember, but I can say with full confidence it was on a stuffed animal."

    The best acting advice I've been given "When Gifted came out I was reading all the reviews and Twitter comments and getting upset if people said negative things about it. Octavia Spencer gave me the best advice: She said told me not to read anything because if you believe all the good things people say, then you have to believe the bad things they say, too."

    My favorite app "Pokémon Go."

  • Jack Dylan Grazer

    Hudson Taylor

    Age 15

    Known for It

    After roles in It and Beautiful Boy, L.A. native Grazer (yes, his uncle is producer Brian), who'd long dreamed of starring in a superhero movie, got his wish playing the eponymous hero's boyhood pal in Warner Bros.' Shazam! He'll return for It: Chapter Two (Sept. 6) and appear as a "weird, internal character" on Luca Guadagnino's HBO limited series We Are Who We Are.

    Movie that made me want to act … "The Goonies and Stand By Me."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "There have been many ridiculous fan interactions and a lot of them take place at conventions. Let’s just say that people are heavily dedicated."

    Movie I'd love to star in "The Indiana Jones franchise, if they ever reboot it."

    I wish I were old enough to … "Complain about adult issues and get excused from things."

  • Ariana Greenblatt

    Age 11

    Known for Avengers: Infinity War

    This Florida-raised dancer has parlayed a role on Disney's Stuck in the Middle into a budding film career, including her turn in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, where she and co-star Josh Brolin (whom she nicknamed "Sesame" because of the dots on his motion capture suit) took to prank-calling people on his contacts list. She'll star opposite Angelina Jolie in The One and Only Ivan, voice Young Velma in Scoob and don her dancing shoes for Jon Chu's adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical In the Heights: "My whole mom's side is Puerto Rican," she says, "so it was really great to embrace that culture."

    My parents always tell me to ... "Lower the volume on the TV. I always want to feel like I’m in a theater, even when I’m in my living room."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "I was filming on set and this girl ran up to me and asked if she could be my best friend, have my phone number, email and other information. I said yes to the best friend part."

    I’ve been most starstruck by ... "Oh easy, Angelina Jolie on the set of The One and Only Ivan. I was filming a scene and when we finished, I was walking off set and she was waiting for me with her kids to say hi. I couldn’t move. She is more beautiful and kind in person."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "To play Monopoly Deal with my mom and listen to music like Billie Eilish, old-school rock music or the new Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran song. It’s the song of the summer."

    Most surprising on-set moment "When I taught Josh Brolin and 200 aliens from Infinity War how to Dab and Milly Rock! Where is that BTS footage, Marvel?"

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "My family took me out to my favorite restaurant to celebrate, Benihana!"

    TV show I'd love to star in "I just finished binging Gossip Girl and I’m so obsessed."

  • Roman Griffin Davis

    Courtesy of subject

    Age 12

    Known for Jojo Rabbit

    The London-born Griffin Davis has only one role under his belt, but it's a big one as the lead in Taika Waititi's satire Jojo Rabbit. Palling around with his imaginary friend Hitler (Waititi), Griffin Davis is in every scene of the Nazi Germany-set film and beat out many child stars in an extensive casting search for the Fox Searchlight project, premiering in September at the Toronto Film Festival.

    My parents always tell me to … "Stop swearing."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "I haven't got any fans. Just my mum."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "To hide from the ADs."

    My advice for adults "Stop arguing, because we can hear you."

  • Arica Himmel

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 14

    Known for Mixed-ish

    "I just love the thrill of being someone else," says the NYC native, who got hooked on acting while performing off-Broadway at 11. Now, she's starring as young Rainbow Johnson on Black-ish spinoff Mixed-ish, which premieres Sept. 24 on ABC. After learning she had the role, Himmel met with Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays the character on Black-ish, and rewatched episodes of the series. "They discuss issues that need to be discussed, even though it might make people uncomfortable," Himmel says.

    I've been most starstruck by ... "I met Kenan Thompson at upfronts and he was very kind. I've been watching him on SNL my whole life."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "To make dances on TikTok. It’s my way of cooling down after shooting long scenes."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "A trip to Disneyland with my dad."

    I’m dying to work with … "Rainn Wilson. I love watching him on The Office."

    My advice for adults "Listen to kids, even if you may think we’re too young to understand issues in the world."

  • Maxwell Jenkins

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 14

    Known for Lost in Space

    No one is as uniquely prepared for juggling Hollywood and high school as Jenkins, who started performing in his family's Chicago circus at the age of 3, and next stars in 2020's Good Joe Bell alongside Connie Britton and Mark Wahlberg. The Lost in Space star was inspired to act by E.T. — and worked with the film's star Henry Thomas on ABC's Betrayal — but he's torn when asked if he'd want to play Elliott in a reboot. "They should never do that because you should never remake E.T., but if they did I would definitely be very interested."

    My parents always tell me to ... "Be kind, humble and never go to the Dark Side."

    I’ve been most starstruck by … "Mark Hamill. He came to my Lost in Space premiere and it blew my mind!"

    I’m dying to work with … "In terms of film, Steven Spielberg and Spike Lee."

    How I spent my first acting paycheck "I save all my paychecks for college. Except I bought one thing, a new guitar. It's a Gretsch and I named her Jupiter."

    My advice for adults "Adopt don’t shop, please use less plastic, don’t forget to play and vote!"

  • Noah Jupe

    George Pimentel/Getty Images

    Age 14

    Known for A Quiet Place

    After parts in Suburbicon and Wonder, Jupe had his breakout as John Krasinski and Emily Blunt's onscreen son in A Quiet Place. The London-born actor reprises his role in the upcoming sequel — but first he'll appear as a young Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy and opposite heavyweights Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari, both slated for November. He's also starring on HBO's new David E. Kelley series, The Undoing, alongside Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "Dance."

    Best acting advice I've been given " 'Arrive late and leave early.' I tried that on set, but it didn't go well."

    Best part of being an actor is … "Telling someone else’s story."

  • Dafne Keen

    Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

    Age 14

    Known for Logan, His Dark Materials

    When she wasn't pranking cast and crewmembers on the set of HBO's His Dark Materials, the British-Spanish actress was working up the courage to belt out Hamilton's "My Shot" to co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda. “On the last day, ‘My Shot’ was magically [playing], so Lewin Lloyd and I sang, ‘I am not throwing away my shot!’ Lin started singing with us. We were so happy.” The Madrid-born Keen first rose to fame opposite Hugh Jackman in Logan. "He is like my fake dad. I actually call him ‘Fake Dad,’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s Dafne,’ says the musical theater aficionada, who had a comedy theater company with her best friend growing up.

    Movie that made me want to act "Probably Singin' in the Rain and Oklahoma! I watched them when I was about 5 or 6 and I was obsessed. I even bought a yellow raincoat."

    My advice for adults "Guys, please just listen to children. We're much more rational than you. We're creatures of great wisdom in small heads."

    I’d like to star in a remake of … "Blade Runner, West Side Story, Hamilton, Friends and E.T."

    I wish I were old enough to … "Drive."

  • Peyton Elizabeth Lee

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 15

    Known for Andi Mack

    Starring as the title character on middle school dramedy Andi Mack — Disney Channel's first show to deal with topics like an unplanned pregnancy — has made Lee super famous among a certain demo. "No, it's not Beatles fame," she says. "But it's incredible to see the impact the show has had." Up next: Disney+ movie Secret Society of the Second Born Royals, a "contemporary princess story."

    Movie that made me want to act "Silver Linings Playbook. Jennifer Lawrence is just brilliant."

    Best acting advice I’ve been given "To stay present in the moment. That’s when the most magic happens."

    My advice for adults "Don’t underestimate the power of youth."

  • Sophia Lillis

    Presley Ann/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    Age 17

    Known for ItSharp Objects

    Lillis won her first big role onstage in 2013 with the Julie Taymor-directed A Midsummer Night's Dream, which helped her land her It role, which she'll reprise in the upcoming sequel. She played the young version of Amy Adams' character on HBO's Sharp Objects and starred in Warner Bros.' Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase. Next up is Netflix YA series I Am Not Okay With This

    Movie that made me want to act "I grew up watching a lot of foreign films because my stepfather was really into photography and film. We would watch all these French New Wave films or Italian classics like Fellini films or Bergman films."

    My parents always tell me to ... "Speak up. It's something I'm working on."

    What other kids don't get about being an actor "It’s a lot of work."

  • Jaeden Martell

    Leslie Alejandro

    Age 16

    Known for It

    The Losers Club leader has had a packed 2019. Ahead of sequel It: Chapter Two on Sept. 6, he's been seen on the festival circuit, in Sundance thriller The Lodge and dramas Low Tide (Tribeca) and The True Adventures of Wolfboy (Karlovy Vary). And he has two upcoming projects opposite Chris Evans: Rian Johnson dramedy Knives Out and Apple+ series Defending Jacob, as a boy accused of murdering a classmate.

    Movie that made me want to act "I found Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to be mesmerizing."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "I was helping my mom pot some plants and a car ran a stop sign on our street. As one cop went to give the guy a ticket, his partner got out of the car and looked at me, cocked his head and said, ‘Hey, are you in that movie It?’ Then he called over the other cop and asked if we could take a picture together."

    I've been most starstruck by ... "Bill Murray on my first movie, St. Vincent. I was so nervous around him that I would never laugh at his jokes, so he always called me 'straight face.' "

    I’m dying to work with … "Christopher Nolan or Hirokazu Kore-eda."

    My advice for adults "Stop taking pictures with iPads."

  • Marsai Martin

    Amanda Edwards/WireImage

    Age 15

    Known for Black-ish

    Martin has starred on ABC's Black-ish since she was 9, a role that has earned her multiple SAG Award noms and Image Award wins. She parlayed her network fame into Universal's April comedy Little — not only headlining her first film (with Regina Hall and Issa Rae), but also making a foray into producing as an EP. Now she has her own shingle, Genius Productions, with a first- look deal at Universal (see page 76).

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "I was peeing and someone knocked on the door on the stall I was in and asked for a picture."

    I’ve been most starstruck by … "Beyoncé."

    How I celebrated landing my first big role "I called everyone in my contacts and told them the news."

    I’m dying to work with … "Rihanna."

    Most surprising on-set moment "Everyone gathered to see Anthony Anderson pull Miles Brown's tooth. It was nuts."

    My generation, in a few words, is … "Powerful, unique and inclusive."

    My favorite app "YouTube."

  • JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph

    Yuri Hasegawa; Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic

    Ages 12, 14

    Known for The Lion King

    The voices of young Simba and Nala in Disney's reboot have had a busy year. Joseph, who played Nala in Broadway's Lion King, debuted on the big screen in March in Jordan Peele's Us. She's branching into music, too, dropping her first single, "Skin I'm In," this summer. McCrary contributed guest vocals to the 2017 Childish Gambino track "Terrified," and after he appeared on NBC's kids' Little Big Shots performing a spot-on Jackson 5 cover, Dr. Dre and Jason Derulo reached out to work with him. He has also played opposite Marsai Martin in Little, guest starred on Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here and booked a role on OWN's The Paynes. Up next: a Dre collaboration via Apple series Vital Signs.

    I've been most starstruck by … 

    McCrary: "Beyoncé. Second is a tie between my surprise sushi lunch with Logic and surprise birthday FaceTime call with my favorite YouTuber, CoryxKenshin!" 

    Joseph: "Definitely Beyoncé."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set

    McCrary: "Eat fruit snacks and play video games after I kick off my shoes."

    Joseph: "I love watching WWE because I love how fake it is."

  • Brooklynn Prince

    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Age 9

    Known for The Florida Project

    The Oscar-nominated Florida Project put Prince on Hollywood's radar in 2017. And the Florida-based actress hasn't stopped working since. She voices a part in The Angry Birds Movie 2 as well as the Angelina Jolie-produced The One and Only Ivan. She's near the top of the call sheet for Apple's upcoming mystery drama series Home Before Dark. And she has her sights set on directing: Her first short screened in June at Cannes Lions.

    I’ve been most starstruck by … "I was at the Gotham Awards and I have a huge crush on John Boyega. And, well, he was there, and my mom made me go say hi. All I said was, 'I love Star Wars’. Then I walked away. It was super embarrassing."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "I like to knock on everyone‘s door, and then hide in my trailer — basically ding-dong ditching everyone on set."

    Best acting advice I've been given "Gal Gadot told me, 'Don’t do anything you don’t want to do and are not comfortable doing.' I met her at the Governors Ball."

    I'm dying to work with ... "Number one is Letitia Wright. We've been messaging each other on Instagram and she seems super cool."

    Movie I'd love to star in "A remake of Matilda."

    I wish I were old enough to … "Cook. My mom still doesn’t let me use the oven. She still stresses when I use the microwave."

  • Storm Reid

    Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

    Age 16

    Known for Euphoria

    After breaking out in Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time in 2018, Reid appeared on the director's Emmy-nominated Netflix limited series When They See Us and on HBO teen drama Euphoria. Next, the Atlanta native is set to work on Universal's The Invisible Man with Elisabeth Moss as well as the Suicide Squad sequel alongside Margot Robbie and Idris Elba. She's also producing with an as-yet-unrevealed TV project.

    Movie that made me want to act "Matilda. Just to be able to see something so magical and to see a young girl be so independent, positive and smart, I think that shaped not only my career but my entire life."

    I've been most starstruck by ... "The moment I met Zendaya at Ben & Jerry's when I first moved out here or when I met Miss Oprah and she knew my name."

    Best acting advice I've been given "Miss Oprah told me not to waste energy on things I can't change in life when I could be using that energy for something else positive in my life. That's really stuck with me."

  • JoJo Siwa

    Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

    Age 16

    Known for Dance Moms

    After getting her start on Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition and Dance Moms, Joelle Joanie "aka JoJo" took on YouTube, where she has 10 million subscribers. Nickelodeon signed the Omaha-born performer to an overall deal, leading to projects including May's JoJo's Dream Birthday. She's also made music videos, launched a nationwide tour and struck a deal with Claire's to release a line of hair bows (part of her signature look) and an ill-fated makeup set: It was recalled by the FDA after multiple kits tested positive for asbestos.

    My most ridiculous fan interaction "Once I was driving in Santa Monica and a mom literally held her kid out a window to say hi to me."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "Play Monopoly."

    I'm dying to work with ... Adam Sandler

    How I spent my first acting paycheck … "Bought a laptop."

    TV show I'd love to star in "Grey's Anatomy."

    I wish I were old enough to … "Skydive."

  • Jacob Tremblay

    Yuri Hasegawa

    Age 12

    Known for Room, Good Boys

    Since his breakout turn in Room, the Canadian-born Tremblay has starred opposite Julia Roberts in Wonder, worked with Shane Black on Predator and is about to be heard uttering words no 12-year-old should know in the R-rated comedy Good Boys (Aug. 15). "I don't want to ever give up acting," he says. "But I'd also like to be a director. Or a producer. Or a screenplay writer — I'm always writing down ideas." 

    I'm dying to work with ... "Probably Will Smith. Me and my sister have been watching Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set "I have a Nintendo Switch and I hook that up to the TV and play video games."

    My advice for adults "Treat kids like adults because we’re working hard too."

  • Maddie Ziegler

    Presley Ann/Getty Images

    Age 16

    Known for West Side Story

    Ziegler's creative partnership with Sia — dancing in several of her videos — has expanded to include a starring role in the singer's directorial debut, Music, about a teen with autism. "I'm so honored that I got to represent and play this role," says Ziegler. When the Dance Moms breakout (she has 13 million Instagram followers) isn't touring with her sister, Mackenzie, she has found time to shoot Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, where she'll get to show off her moves as a member of the Jets. "Dance is obviously my No. 1 passion," she says, "but I am really, really loving acting."

    TV show that made me want to act "Hannah Montana. When I was little, I was inspired by the fact that she could sing and act and dance, as well."

    My parents always tell me to … "Make my bed."

    My most ridiculous fan interaction “A fan once came to our meet-and-greet in London and fainted when she saw us. She had to get taken away in an ambulance.”

    I've been most starstruck by ... "RuPaul. It was 6 a.m. and we had to say, 'Good morning, America' together on Good Morning America, and it was the best 20 seconds of my life."

    Favorite thing to do in my trailer on-set ... "Watch YouTube videos from NikkieTutorials. She’s my favorite beauty guru."

    I wish I were old enough to … "Get a tattoo."

    A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.