Fuse is celebrating Teen Takeover Week right now! Stay tuned for lists, interviews and videos all week and be sure to tune in to our Teen Takeover music video block on Fuse on Friday morning, April 28 at 9:30/8:30c. Find Fuse in your area with our Channel Finder.
Birthday: April 6, 1998
Why They're Great: Peyton List has established herself as a breakout star of the Disney Channel, most memorably as Emma Ross on Jessie and its new spinoff series Bunk’d. Years of film work and a growing profile point to List eventually becoming a post-Disney superstar. Just last October, she starred in YouTube Red's thriller The Thinning alongside Vine star Logan Paul (R.I.P. Vine).
Birthday: January 28, 1998
Why They're Great: 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. She also played Smurf Lily in Smurfs: The Lost Village (released April 7). 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.
Birthday: May 28, 1999
Why They're Great: This Los Angeles native has been winning hearts ever since the age of 9, where he made his movie debut in 2008's Mirrors. After scoring roles in Eagle Eye and Grown Ups, Boyce went on the route that most actors his age do if they want to make it big—he headed to Disney Channel! He landed a starring role in Jessie as Luke Ross and also acted in network favorites Good Luck Charlie, Shake It Up, Bunk'd and more.
As of now, Boyce is most famous for Disney Channel's original movie Descendants, and he's currently working on the follow-up (set for a July 17 premiere) that teens are freaking out over! But along with his bubbly personality and genuine connection with fans, Boyce (who is biracial) showed his vulnerable side by sharing his grandma's story during Black History Month. The actor's openness, along with his talent, will take him far.
Birthday: November 1, 2003
Why They're Great: Yang may be the youngest person on our list, but he's also one of the most promising actors. We were first introduced to him as the lead star in ABC's Fresh Off the Boat, where he plays the young Eddie Huang. The role already scored him three Young Artist Awards! The New York native is breaking barriers for the Asian-American community in Hollywood at such a tender age, so it'll be exciting to witness his growth as his career blooms. And a quick scroll on his Instagram account will make you wish you were just as a cool.
Birthday: October 23, 1998
Why They're Great: Our love for teen queen Amandla Stenberg is well-documented: She was a featured voice in our Future Black History Month series last year, where we spotlighted the talent for her incredible work on such productions as The Hunger Games. Beyond just being an all-around solid 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. Look out for the actress' latest role in Everything, Everything when it premieres on May 19.
Birthday: April 8, 2002
Why They're Great: Why weren't we as fly as Skai Jackson at age 15? The actress grew into a lovely young lady before everyone's eyes while playing Zuri Ross on Disney Channel's Jessie. (Do you see a pattern here? The network gives birth to stars!) She also appears as her character in Austin & Ally, Good Luck Charlie and the Jessie spinoff Bunk'd. While Jackson is also a great actress, she holds a lot of maturity (and excellent shade skills) offscreen. Last spring, she defended Zayn Malik after Azealia Banks went on an unnecessary racist rant about him. The actress swiftly told Banks that she “needs to simmer down a little.” After the rapper sent a sharp retort, Jackson came back with this incredible response: "When a no hip having 14 year old has more class than you. Worry about your career. Get one. ✌🏽"
Whether she's becoming a hilarious viral meme or being the inspiration for Marvel's Invincible Iron Man #7's Riri Williams, the multi-faceted Jackson always keeps things interesting while remaining as humble as ever.
Birthday: November 10, 1999
Why They're Great: 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 landed the cover of W magazine last spring, which named her and friends Willow Smith and Zendaya as the future of pop culture. She starring in a horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter, with Emma Roberts (released March 31). The actress also landed a stint on FX's Feud: Bette and Joan playing Bette Davis' (Susan Sarandon) daughter B. D. Hyman.
Birthday: October 14, 2001
Why They're Great: 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 and the end of Girl Meets World, we know there's loads more walls for her to break through.
Birthday: April 9, 1998
Why They're Great: 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. Last year, Fanning starred in 20th Century Women alongside Annette Bening and Greta Gerwig, as well as Live by Night with Ben Affleck. She also has four projects in the works for 2017, so look out for more Elle Fanning on your big screen very soon.
Birthday: February 10, 2000
Why They're Great: Yara Shahidi is best known in Hollywood for her role Zoey Johnson in ABC's hit sitcom Black-ish. Yet while she's a stellar actress with great comedic timing, the 17-year-old has blossomed into an industry force that goes way beyond the big screen. Along with her on-point fashion sense and warm personality, she established herself as an activist with best friend Rowan Blanchard. Shadidi, who is half-Iranian, also effectively uses her celebrity status to call out outrageous political discrepancies like Trump's immigrant travel ban. he spoke about representation and being a humanitarian with Teen Vogue:
"For me, just by being on a show called Black-ish, race became an unavoidable conversation. It gave me this platform to address these topics, and that opened the doors to develop my voice in an intentional way. On a personal level, even though I was always hyperaware of our history, I didn’t put race in a real physical context until I hit my teens. Being mixed—I’m half Iranian and half black—even has its strange amalgamation of problems. The first instance that really rubbed me the wrong way was when somebody called me whitewashed. I couldn’t process what that meant. In theory, I’d heard all the stereotypes. But it was my first time seeing, Oh, wow, people still believe in a black stereotype. What was conflicting was that I was surrounded by successful women and people of color who were—by society’s view—the anomaly. All around me, there were examples of excellence and excelling. But because I carried myself a certain way, I wasn’t a “believable” black person to them. That was the strangest moment."
The actress' intelligence led her to be accepted into every single college she applied to. And it doesn't hurt that her recommendation letter was written by Michelle Obama! “I did get all of my college acceptances and I’m keeping them close to the belt as of right now, but I got into every college I applied to. So that’s really exciting,” Shahidi told Seventeen. “I found all of that out last week. My college plans are all up in the air, but I will choose within the next month.” Shahidi's grace, humor and strides to change the world's perspective in any form that she can is a beautiful source of inspiration for all of us—no matter what age you are.