2017. Golly! What a boring year, huh? Not for these 10 (and then some) stars who lit up screens big and portable the past 12 months! See who they are, the characters they brought to life, and even what to expect from the future.
Bill Skarsgard, IT
The time was right for a bloody, nostalgic, 1980s-set version of Stephen King’s IT, and it was right for someone to share the Pennywise mantle with Tim Curry. Like an evil cosmic chipmunk, Bill Skarsgard made the role his loopy own, something especially tough for a horror icon that frequently stalks his victims in broad daylight, without shadows to hide behind. Skarsgard of course will be back for Chapter Two, and has an unrelated role within King’s macabreverse in the upcoming Castle Rock show.
The cast of
The CW’s murder-mystery Archie Comics adaptation premiered to so-so ratings in the spring, but skyrocketed in popularity once people discovered the addictive, soapy series on Netflix, turning the young cast — red-headed football bro Archie (played by Kiwi Riverdale KJ Apa), brooding best friend Jughead (played by former Disney star Cole Sprouse), blonde girl-next-door Betty (played by Lili Reinhart) and brunette new-girl-in-town Veronica (played by Camila Mendes) — into teen idols.
Tessa Thompson, Thor: Ragnarok
Thompson already gave warmth, depth, and strength to the girlfriend role in Creed, but as Valkyrie, she truly owned a role on the biggest stage possible. Even more so than the Kiwi boulder monster. The MCU has her now: she’s back as Valkyrie in Avengers: Infinity War, but will also be in Annihilation, Alex Garland’s sci-fi follow-up to Ex-Machina.
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Netflix’s drama about a teen’s suicide was a surprise hit in the spring, thanks largely in part to its mostly unknown cast of young actors—anchored by young Aussie actress Katherine Langford in her first major role. As a high-schooler battling depression after bullying and sexual assault, she was captivating and devastating to watch.
Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Chalamet, paramour on both sides of the aisle with major roles in Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name. While the awards for the former are rightfully going for Saoirse Ronan and Greta Gerwig, Chalamet has won critics’ awards from New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and is nominated for a Golden Globe for CMBYN.
Iain Armitage, Young Sheldon
It makes sense for CBS to spin off The Big Bang Theory, its most successful comedy, but it didn’t have to be as good as it is. As the young version of Jim Parsons’ genius Sheldon Cooper, Armitage, who also starred as Shailene Woodley’s son in HBO’s Big Little Lies, is utterly charming and likable. Sheldon is a difficult character, requiring a balance of his annoying quirks with his good-at-heart nature, and the precocious Armitage is perfectly cast in the role.
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
The least famous person in a raunchy comedy ensemble usually has the most to prove, and like Zach Galifianakis and Kathryn Hahn before her, Haddish stole the spotlight as Dina in hit Girls Trip. Next year, she’ll be in Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut The Oath (about not talking politics over Thanksgiving) and Night School, starring Kevin Hart and directed by Girls Trip‘s Malcom D. Lee.
Jimmy Tatro, American Vandal
Another surprise hit for Netflix was the pitch-perfect, faux-true crime documentary American Vandal, about an act of vandalism at a high school and the teen (possibly) wrongly accused of the crime. The dumb, penis-drawing prankster suspect was played lovingly by YouTuber Jimmy Tatro, who should most certainly join the ranks of stoner comedy superstars.
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Surprise movie of the year Get Out was a tricky balancing act on the part of a lot of people, not the least star Daniel Kaluuya. His 2018 offerings include a role in Black Panther, and part of a star-studded crime ensemble for director Steve McQueen in Widows. Then there’s a voice role in a miniseries adaptation of Watership Down, which, in this day of unihibited TV, we’re sure will be as grim as the 1978 movie, just longer.
, DeWanda Wise , She’s Gotta Have It , Shots Fired Underground
Spike Lee’s updated, TV version of his 30-year-old film She’s Gotta Have It put DeWanda Wise front and center as the sexually liberated artist Nola, but the actress has had the best year of her career with breakout roles in Fox’s police shooting drama Shots Fired (as the mother of a murdered teen) and WGN America’s now-canceled Underground (as a slave in a fraught sexual relationship with her master).