You may have seen them on Netflix. Or maybe the indie art film recommended to you. From broadway musicals to heartwarming family films, these faces have been both a small and major part of the many on-screen features you've possibly encountered. As they embark on the bigger projects of this year, we tell you why you need to pay attention to these up-and-coming faces.
A distinctive face you’re unlikely to forget, Anson Boon is one of those actors you google after finishing a series. It’s no surprise Boon has already been announced as one of Screen International’s stars of tomorrow when he’s all over the screens. Alexandre Aja’s Crawl last summer brought us his role as Stan, while sci-fi psychological drama The Feed by Channing Powell of The Walking Dead let us see Boon as the young Anton.
Since featuring in Netflix’s The Alienist, he continues across multiple film and television projects like Roger Michell’s remake of Blackbird with the illustrious cast of Kate Winslet, Susan Sarandon and Mia Wasikowska. Just last month, Boon starred in Sam Mendes’ directorial feature 1917 on the penultimate year of World War I alongside George MacKay, Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth. Boon is a busy man.
Finally, he takes on the lead role in the upcoming horror thriller The Winter Lake, where he plays a withdrawn teenager who makes a grim discovery about his neighbours while exploring his mother’s childhood farm. We can’t say we’re not excited.
Louis Partridge was first a recurring face in the political medieval series Medici. Set in the early 15th century in Florence, Italy, the show tracks the wealthy family’s power struggles and secrets in its ascension in a time of great social upheaval. Admittedly, it’s pretty intense for a debut.
The teen actor then went on to appear in feature film Amazon Adventure that’s based on an inspiring true story, and more famously, Paul King’s well-received and heartwarming Paddington 2 alongside Hugh Grant.
Partridge belongs to a group of generation Z faces that harnesses the potential for reshaping the industry. One where a role can easily completely transform his life and possibly ours as the consuming audience. Thus, as with all things new, time will tell.
Viveik Kalra has indeed experienced a rapid rise with one of the lead roles he earned straight out of The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. He auditioned three times for the role of Javed in Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Light, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film attained such critical acclaim that it generated the festival’s biggest sale.
Even during drama school, the 22-year-old actor from Windsor, Berkshire secured a leading role in his first year on the thriller TV series Next of Kin. In the tangle of betrayal, conspiracy and murder, you can only imagine Kalra’s depth in carrying that role while handling life as a student. Once again collaborating with Chadha, who has been known to represent the industry’s Indian diaspora, Kalra joined Tom Bateman, Marc Warren and Lesley Nichol in a drama following the lives of residents living in a Delhi mansion on the cusp of the 19th century.
Kalra has much to say about the racial landscape that he’s exposed to and understands the significance of the opportunity he holds in his roles. This year, he breaks into the sci-fi world with the recently shot Voyagers opposite Colin Farrell and Lily-Rose Depp. Chronicling the multi-generational mission of a group’s search for a new habitable environment, the odyssey is one to look forward to in 2020.
Emilia Jones’s career debut was at the wee age of eight. On Lone Sherfig’s feature film One Day, she played a small part, a character named Jasmine. Now, the rising British actress has traversed family flicks like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and off-kilter films such as High Rise which boasts a star-studded cast including Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss.
It’s obvious to say she’s done everything from comedy to horror and even westerns. Netflix fans probably find her familiar as Charlotte from Residue, but Jones stands on her own in Dr Who in her role as Young Queen of Years, Merry Gejelh. Still, it was her leading performance in the film adaptation of Horrible Histories that garnered her a nomination for best actress at the Children’s BAFTA Awards.
Most recently, Jones has completed the forthcoming Pathé Films/Vendôme Group feature, Coda, where she plays the leading role of Ruby, the only hearing child in a deaf family who has a talent for music. This year, the actress revisits Netflix in in the highly anticipated series Locke and Key, based on Joe Hill’s popular comic book series.
Everybody will soon be talking about John McCrea. We know him as Jamie in Jonathan Butterell and Tom MacRae’s British musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Receiving an Olivier nomination for best actor in a musical and a WhatsOnStage award in the same category for his titular role, McCrea tells the story of the teenage drag queen with his soul. The show has seen sell-out runs at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre, moved to the spotlight in London and will soon be adapted to film.
For the self-professed naturally exuberant actor, this is a call of destiny. McCrea went from being an easily distracted kid to encountering drama class for the first time upon the suggestion of his teachers. One of his early roles? ‘Unnamed sewer child’ in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, who only makes his appearance well into Act 2. The twist being, as he tells Playbill, that while his entire dance school came to see him, because of the stage set breaking halfway in the show and his late entrance, none of them were able to see him perform.
Since leaving the West End, McCrea has worked on some of the most exciting British television including thriller Giri/Haji, Netflix’s Dracula, feature film God’s Own Country and even an upcoming Disney film. Even so, there’s no forsaking the stage. He’s set to return in early spring with Danya Taymor and Jeremy O Harris’s melodrama Daddy. Just as The Critics Circle has deemed—the most promising newcomer.
Styling by Fabio Immediato
Make-up by Andrew Denton
Hair by Brady Lea / The Only Agency using Kevin Murphy
For more stories like this, subscribe to Esquire Singapore.