The following list highlights the actors and actresses on television and on the big screen who really caught viewers’ attention throughout this year. They appear in no particular order:
1. Brie Larson – Brie has been acting since she was a young girl eventually appearing in episodes of Raising Dad, United States of Tara and Community. But it was her Oscar-winning role in the independent film Room that put her on the map. Since then she has landed the role of Captain Marvel in the latest upcoming Avengers franchise film as well as the stand-alone Captain Marvel film. She will be seen in next year’s Kong: Skull Island movie alongside Tom Hiddleston along with the films The Glass Castle, Unicorn Store and Basmati Blues.
2. Connor Jessup – TV viewers will recognize him from his stand-out role as middle son Ben Mason on the long-running alien apocalypse series Falling Skies on TNT, but he really turned heads in the ABC anthology series American Crime.
3. Margot Robbie – She made a name for herself in Australian on the long-running soap opera Neighbours and then landed on the short-lived US series Pan Am. But it was her role in The Wolf of Wall Street that got her attention. She had a big year in 2016, appearing Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with Tina Fey, The Legend of Tarzan alongside Alexander Skarsgard and stealing the show as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. She has four films in the works for 2017, including a stand-alone Harley Quinn film.
4. Katy Mixon – Katy is well known to viewers of the CBS comedy Mike & Molly for her role of Victoria Flynn and she was one of the voice actors in the 2015 animated movie Minions; but she made a big move this year by landed the lead role in the new ABC comedy American Housewife, which was given a full season order in November by the network.
5. Gal Gadot – The Israeli born actress was not only a model and former Miss Israel, but she also served in the IDF, the military force of the State of Israel before landed the role of Gisele in the Fast and Furious franchise before landing the coveted role of Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman in the 2016 Batman vs. Superman movie as well as the long-awaited Wonder Woman film set to hit the big screen next year. She is also set to don the golden lasso and bullet-proof bracelets in two upcoming Justice League flicks.
6. Mahershala Ali – Avid TV viewers will recognize this talented actor from his role on the USA Network series The 4400 – when he used his screen name Mahershalalhashbaz Ali – but it has been his work in House of Cards, the movies Free State of Jones and Moonlight as well as the streaming series Marvel’s Luke Cage. He will also be seen in the December film Hidden Figures; and he has three films set to debut next year.
7. Haley Bennett – In 2007, Haley appeared as ditzy pop star Cora Corman in the film Music and Lyrics, but while she continued to appear in a number of movies over the years, it has been her roles in this year’s The Girl on the Train and The Magnificent Seven that put her on the map. She also has a role in the Warren Beatty-led film Rules Don’t Apply and has two big movies coming out next year.
8. Aja Naomi King – Aja has been a series regular on the much-buzzed about ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder for the past three TV seasons and then she landed the plum leading role of Cherry in the much-talked about feature film The Birth of a Nation. Before that she appeared in the short-lived shows Emily Owens M.D. and Black Box.
9. Felicity Jones – Felicity has been an actress since 1996, appearing in roles on the small and big screen, but it was her role in 2014 of The Theory of Everything that really got her attention. This year alone she has appeared alongside Tom Hanks in the film Inferno from Dan Brown, she has the lead role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and she will appear in January’s film A Monster Calls.
10. Adele – She has been a powerful force – and voice – in the music world since her debut album hit shelves in 2008. She has won countless awards for her first two albums 19 and 21, but it was the release of her latest album 25 that really put her over the top. She had a huge tour during 2016 and four years after her last album, she has added even more awards to growing collection.
11. Tatiana Maslany – Tat, as she is known to her cast members, has been in the public eye since the BBC America series Orphan Black debuted in March of 2013 although she had quite a long resume before that. But it was in 2016 where she finally got her just reward: winning an Emmy Award for her complicated, multiple roles in the show.
12. Bridget Regan – She is the most ubiquitous actress of the year, appearing as deadly assassin Dottie Underwood in Marvel’s Agent Carter, tough as nails fighter Sasha Cooper on The Last Ship, criminal mastermind Sin Rostro on Jane the Virgin and most recently as Megan Hunt on Grey’s Anatomy.
13. Tobias Menzies – He is the most ubiquitous actor of the year, appearing in the fan favorite Starz series Outlander in the dual role of Frank Randall and 18th Century villain Black Jack Randall, he returned as Edmure Tully in Game of Thrones and he starred as Geoffrey Dromgoole alongside Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie in the AMC mini-series The Night Manager. He will next star with Kate Beckinsale in January’s box office flick Underworld: Blood Wars.
Who are some of the faces from this year who caught your attention either on television, in music or in film? Please share.
TOMORROW: New Faces of 2017