8:00am PT by THR staff
TV's 7 Rising Stars Poised For a Breakout in 2019
Each year, a handful of fresh faces stun on the TV screen. Australian newcomer Eliza Scanlen did it this past year with her juicy role opposite Amy Adams in HBO's Sharp Objects, as did Stephan James via his starring part in Amazon's Homecoming with Julia Roberts. As the "Peak TV" era shows no signs of slowing down, 2019 is sure to usher in a new crop of breakout stars. Among those positioned to reach a new level of fame are model-turned-actress Hunter Schafer (HBO's Euphoria), Dunkirk discovery Barry Keoghan (FX's Y) and Olivia Hussey's daughter India Eisley (TNT's I Am the Night). Ahead of the new year, The Hollywood Reporter highlights seven actors — some newbies, others more recognizable — who are poised to make their mark on the small screen in 2019.
The trans activist first made a mark in 2016 when she became a plaintiff in the American Civil Liberties Union's lawsuit against North Carolina's "bathroom bill." The Raleigh native moved to New York after her high school graduation in 2017 and signed with Elite model management. But now she transitioning into acting with her first major onscreen role in HBO's hotly anticipated YA drama Euphoria. The series, produced by Drake and starring Zendaya and Kissing Booth breakout Jacob Elordi, will feature Schafer in one of the leading roles, and sources who've screened the first episode say she gives the standout performance.
While Keoghan's had a burgeoning film career that's consisted of enviable roles in Christopher Nolan's war epic Dunkirk and and Yorgos Lanthimos' psychological thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer, the plum part he landed in FX's Y pilot, based on the popular Brian K. Vaughan comics Y: The Last Man, is sure to give him a major boost. (It hasn't yet been ordered to series but the success of the comics and the star power it boasts makes the project all but a slam dunk for the network in the coming year.) He'll star in Y as Yorick Brown, the last surviving human with a Y chromosome after a mysterious plague wipes out the male chromosome. And he's in good company on the show, too, as Keoghan's co-stars include Diane Lane as his onscreen mom and Imogen Poots as his sister.
I Am the Night, TNT
The daughter of Olivia Hussey, Eisley is setting out to make her own mark in Hollywood. After appearing in shows including The Secret Life of the American Teenager and films such as Underworld: Awakening, the 25-year-old has landed a starring role of her own. She'll play the female lead in Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins' six-episode TNT drama I Am the Night. As Fauna "Pat" Hodel, Eisley stars opposite Chris Pine as a naïve girl growing up outside of Reno, Nevada, who embarks on a desperate quest to discover who she is. Turns out, she was given away at birth and there's many secrets to investigate about her past. What more could an actress ask for?
Umbrella Academy, Netflix
Britton first garnered buzz for his role as real-life serial killer Edmund Kemper Netflix's David Fincher drama Mindhunter. The 32-year-old, who stands at a towering 6 feet 5 inches, even nabbed a guest actor Emmy nomination for his haunting performance. Next up, Britton is expanding his relationship with the streamer via a role in the upcoming comic book adaptation Umbrella Academy. He'll play Hazel, an infamously ruthless and efficient hitman who is currently under contract. His job is to time travel and assassinate targets in different decades. Though a loyal company man who has enjoyed what he does for decades, the job starts to wear on him, putting him at odds with his equally lethal partner, Cha-Cha (played by Mary J. Blige). Umbrella Academy bows February 15, 2019.
There's no question Mizuno already had a bit of breakout year in 2018. She graced the big screen in critical and commercial smash Crazy Rich Asians, and followed it up with Cary Fukunaga's trippy Netflix series Maniac. Hot off the two plum parts, she landed a starring role in Alex Garland's FX drama Devs. The casting will see her reunite with her Ex Machina director (she played the dancing robot in the 2014 indie drama) for the 8-episode series, due out next year. In it, she plays young computer engineer Lily Chan, who investigates the secretive development division of her employer, a cutting-edge tech company based in San Francisco, whom she believes are behind the murder of her boyfriend. She'll star opposite Nick Offerman, Cailee Spaeny and Alison Pill.
True Detective, HBO
Ejogo isn't exactly new to Hollywood but this coming year will see her in one of the biggest parts yet. The British actress — whose credits include Selma, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald and Alien: Covenant — managed to nab the leading role opposite Oscar winner Mahershala Ali in the new season of True Detective. In the highly anticipated third season of HBO's Nic Pizzolatto anthology, Ejogo will play Amelia Reardon, an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980. A lot is riding on the upcoming season, which will tell the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods — and Ejogo is likely to turn heads.
The Act, Hulu
As a child actor, King rose to fame as Ramona Quimby in the adaptation of Beverly Cleary's children's book Ramona and Beezus. But in recent years, the 19-year-old actress has shed her kid star persona with edgier parts in horror flicks like The Conjuring and Slender Man. She catapulted to a new level of fame in Netflix's summer rom-com The Kissing Booth. Despite being poorly reviewed, the film developed a bit of a cult following that boosted her and co-star Jacob Elordi's profile. Next, she's graduating to Hulu's true crime anthology series The Act, in which she'll star alongside Patricia Arquette and Chloë Sevigny. The first season is based on a 2016 Buzzfeed article and follows Gypsy Blanchard (King) as she tries to escape the toxic relationship she has with her overprotective mother, Dee Dee (Arquette). Her quest for independence opens a Pandora’s box of secrets that ultimately leads to murder — a role juicy enough to already be drumming up buzz for King. She even shaved her head for the part.