Meet the future of Hollywood. 

By Isabel Jones and Kimberly Truong
Updated Jan 15, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
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Brianne WIllis, Ed Maximus, Colette Aboussouan, Ed Maximus, Meron Meng, Colette Aboussouan

We’re only two weeks into 2020, and we already have so many riches: Megxit, Billson, #ChampagneGate ... But, truly, the best is yet to come, at least as it pertains to our Small Talk breakout stars. These 9 talents, selected from our up-and-comer profile franchise, are sure to make a splash in 2020 (and beyond).

Scroll down below to get to know the multi-faceted stars you’ll need to have on your radar in the new decade.

Julia Fox

BriAnne Wills

Why you recognize her: Fox stars opposite Adam Sandler in the Safdie brothers’ artsy, edge-of-your-seat thriller Uncut Gems.

Her three “desert island” movies: “Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation.”

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: After trying her hand at visual art, fashion design, and modeling, Fox says she’s found her “calling” with Hollywood. She plans to “act a little bit more” and then move into the next phase of her career: screenwriting.

Read our full interview with Fox here.

Brigette Lundy-Paine

ED MAXIMUS

Why you recognize them: Lundy-Paine broke out as protective younger sister Casey in Netflix’s Atypical, and played Megyn Kelly’s (Charlize Theron) assistant in Bombshell.

Their biggest starstruck moment: “Kate McKinnon. We hung out [on-set]. I introduced myself to her in a ball of nerves in the lunch line. I bumped her and she spilled her water, and I tried to help her clean it up and I accidentally stuck my hand in her pasta. I didn't talk to her for the rest of the day. But I'm really hoping, because I wore a wig in that movie, that I'll re-meet her one day and she won't know it's me.”

Why you need to watch for them in 2020: Lundy-Paine plays Keanu Reeves’s daughter in the upcoming Bill & Ted Face the Music (look out for the father-daughter handshakes the two made up on set).

Read our full interview with Lundy-Paine here.

Alexa Demie

MERON MENGHISTAB

Why you recognize her: Demie stars as an astute but complicated teen (with a love of provocative two-pieces and over-the-top eye makeup) in HBO’s Euphoria. She also played a small yet powerful role in Trey Edward Shults’s elegiac Waves.

One thing she wants you to know about her: "I'm such a private person. I've gotten this since high school — girls would never speak to me and I think that's why I didn't have a lot of friends. Then, when I would finally speak to them, they would be like, ‘Oh, you're not a bitch.’ I think just because, in high school especially, I was very introverted, and if I don't know you, I can be really shy. I'm either a complete introvert or a complete extrovert. I'm nice. Say hi.”

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: In addition to season 2 of Euphoria, Demie can be seen alongside Maya Hawke and Jason Schwartzman in Gia Coppola’s upcoming film Mainstream. Demie’s also planning to star in and produce a film about her mother, Rose Mendez.

Read our full interview with Demie here.

Ego Nwodim

ED MAXIMUS

Why you recognize her: Nwodim’s halfway through her sophomore season as a featured cast member on Saturday Night Live.

Her favorite SNL sketch: “Let me acknowledge that it's a hard question. But if I have to pick, if you're forcing me to pick ... I'm going to say Kerry Washington in the Miss Universe pageant sketch. It's where she plays Miss Uganda. I made a bunch of my friends watch it recently and I will make anyone who's willing watch it.”

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: Nwodim is also interested in acting of the non-sketch variety, and will flex her skills in season 2 of fellow SNL cast member Aidy Bryant’s Hulu series Shrill. Plus, you know, the latter half of SNL’s 45th season!

Read our full interview with Nwodim here.

Camila Morrone

Michael Buckner/Shutterstock/Getty Images

Why you recognize her: Morrone earned rave reviews for her performance in heartfelt indie Mickey and the Bear. Also, she’s dating Leonardo DiCaprio.

Her go-to date night look: “Probably my Levi's, a tee shirt, and some sort of cute heel to jazz it up.”

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: The actress is slated to star alongside Riley Keough in Amazon’s serial adaptation of bestselling novel Daisy Jones & The Six.

Read our full interview with Morrone here.

Ben Barnes

Why you recognize him: OG fans know him as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia films, but you might also have clocked him stealing scenes as the rich bad boy in HBO’s Westworld, or as the best-friend-turned-villain-nemesis in Netflix’s The Punisher.

His favorite rom-coms: “Anything Richard Curtis basically. I love all that, I love that vibe. I love Love, Actually, Notting Hill and all those kinds of movies. Also, I’m a child of the '80s, so I really, really, really feel a connection to When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, all those kinds of films as well.”

Why you need to watch for him in 2020: When news dropped that he was cast in Netflix’s adaptation of YA fiction series Shadow and Bone (due to be released sometime this year), his name immediately started trending on Twitter. No big deal.

Read our full interview with Barnes here.

D’Arcy Carden

Colette Aboussouan

Why you recognize her: Carden has starred as human-robot hybrid Janet in four seasons of NBC’s The Good Place. She also plays an acting student in HBO’s Barry alongside Bill Hader, who, fun fact, she used to nanny for!

Her dream reboot: "I would say Friends, but I don't actually want to see Friends. It would be fun to see the '90s Mickey Mouse Club, which involved like Britney [Spears], and Justin [Timberlake], and Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell. It'd be fun to see them do a variety show, you know like the Mickey Mouse Club now, a variety show or something where they had to like sing and dance and work together."

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: The actress is expected to reunite with Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson in Amazon’s serial adaptation of A League of Their Own.

Read our full interview with Carden here.

Maya Hawke

Kurt Krieger/Getty Images, Getty Images

Why you recognize her: Hawke was a welcome addition to Stranger Things’s third season as Robin, one-third of the fan-favorite Scoops Troop.

Her most memorable concert experience: “Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus was the first concert I ever went to. I loved her and she was amazing. It was in the Hannah Montana phase — she did half the show in the blonde wig and half the show without it. It was a thrilling experience.”

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: Hawke stars opposite Andrew Garfield and Jason Schwartzman in Gia Coppola’s love triangle drama Mainstream.

Read our full interview with Hawke here.

Hunter Schafer

Colette Aboussouan

Why you recognize her: Schafer, like Demie, stars in HBO’s unflinching portrait of modern day high schoolers, Euphoria.

One thing she wants you to know about her: "I feel like sometimes people are intimidated by me. Maybe because I'm tall, I don't know. But I am probably just as intimidated by you because I'm a shy person."

Why you need to watch for her in 2020: Schafer’s expected to reprise her role as trans teen Jules in Euphoria’s second season.

Read our full interview with Schafer here.