Our love for teen queen Amandla Stenberg is well-documented: She was a featured voice in our Future Black History Month series, where we spotlighted the talent for her incredible work on such productions as The Hunger Games. Beyond just being an all-around incredible actress, Stenberg has been known to use her newfound fame as a platform for activism, especially for the LGBTQ community. You can read all about just how awesome she is right here.
While she grew to fame playing the too-smart-for-her-own-good Alex Dunphy on Modern Family since she was a tween, Ariel Winter has proven herself one of TV and movie's most promising actresses with a constant stream of cameos and voice roles, including voicing a new-age Disney princess as Sofia in Sofia the First. But what's perhaps even more telling is her confidence and conscience displayed from such a young age. Winter has used her various platforms to call out homophobia, as well has spoken out about her breast reduction and decision to show her surgery scars in public. It's this type of poise and self-assurance that make us think Alex Dunphy is just the first of many characters we'll grow to love from Winter.
London-born Asa Butterfield already has an extremely decorated career, with starring roles in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Hugo and Ender’s Game. Next up: the coveted lead role in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Tim Burton’s latest fantasy epic due out later this year.
Rowan Blanchard stepped into a big franchise as Cory and Topanga's daughter on Girl Meets World, helping deliver a new hit show for the Disney Channel. But we particularly love how she represents a new type of a Disney star: The self-described "queer" actress has written about the importance of feminism, spoken at the 2015 U.N. Women's annual summit, and proved her aspirations go past Hollywood, revealing her biggest dream is to attend the Columbia School of Journalism. With a wise-behind-her-years attitude, we know there's loads more walls for her to break through.
Other than nailing that cover of Paramore's "Still Into You" that one time, Chloë Grace Moretz is completely slaying the acting game like none other. We've been in love with the teen talent when she was just 7 years old and was scaring the crap out of us in The Amyitville Horror. Since then she's racked up credits on 30 Rock, (500) Days of Summer, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kick-Ass, Let Me In, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Carrie, If I Stay and so many more. Her repertoire would make even the most senior actor jealous.
The Mad Men actress had been on set with Jon Hamm for eight years until the show ended in 2015. But her early start in TV is just the beginning of what Shipka can do. The 16-year-old is not only an award-winning actor; she’s a model, a feminist and a fearless foodie (seriously, check her Instagram). She recently landed the cover of W magazine, which named her and friends Willow Smith and Zendaya as the future or pop culture. Next up, she’ll be starring in a horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, with Emma Roberts this summer.
Elle Fanning began acting at 3 years old, often playing parts with her older sister Dakota. But her breakout role came with J.J. Abrams 2011 film, Super 8. Since then, she’s become a fashion icon, starring in numerous campaigns and spreads. It sort of makes sense that her next film has her traveling to Los Angeles as a model who’s pursuing a career in fashion.
The young Englishman got his start in Billy Elliot the Musical at age 12—and now he's about to be Spider-Man. Even if we looked past his credits in the celebrated TV miniseries Wolf Hall and the Naomi Watts/Ewan McGregor–starring film The Impossible, we'd have a good feeling about the guy. Spider-Man has become a cinematic punchline in recent years, with two Andrew Garfield flicks fizzling quickly; Marvel knows that its new, finally-Avengers-bound version of Spidey has to be good, and they've entrusted Holland with the responsibility. We'll get our first chance to see him in besuited action on May 6, when Captain America: Civil War drops. The charming chap’s first solo joint, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is due July 2017.
As Arya Stark on HBO's Game of Thrones, the English actress has had our hearts in the palm of her hand since she was 14. In a deep sea of characters and a constant maelstrom of plot, it's not easy to make your performance pop on that show, and she manages it in nearly every scene she's got. Williams—whose online presence is never short of wonderful—has since appeared on Doctor Who and is in talks for X-Men: New Mutants. She’s one of the actresses we’re guaranteed to keep an eye on long after Game of Thrones wraps.