From Rachel Zegler to Simu Liu and Phoebe Dynevor; Biggest Breakout Stars of the Year
Scroll down to see the biggest breakout stars of the year 2021.
From movies that lived up to our expectations to shows that pleasantly surprised us, 2021 truly delivered on entertainment. And, as with every year, there were certain stars (both debutants and veterans) whose performances stole the show this year. Some of these upcoming stars are newcomers, while others have been waiting for their big break for a long time. Looking ahead to some of the year's most anticipated film releases, 2022 too promises some major breakout stars. But meanwhile, buckle up for boldest breakouts this year in no particular order.
Gourav, who co-starred in The White Tiger with Priyanka Chopra and Rajkummar Rao, stole the show with his nuanced and empathetic portrayal of a driver who rebels against his boss after being abused and exploited by him. Gourav's tenacious performance earned him a BAFTA nomination. Gourav, who recently completed a project with Meryl Streep, will also appear in Zoya Akhtar's next film.
Steven Spielberg cast her as Maria in "West Side Story'' while she was still in high school. Because of the emotional role, the talented young actress and singer is already generating Oscar buzz. Ironically, one of Zegler's upcoming roles will be as a Disney princess in the live-action Snow White film, alongside Gal Gadot, who will play the evil queen.
Due to various delays, 2021 saw a large number of MCU projects crammed together and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was one of the most exciting. Simu Liu, who played the skilled fighter Shang-Chi in the film, played Marvel's first Chinese hero. Canadians may recognise Liu from the sitcom Kim's Convenience, where he established himself as a funny and charismatic actor. He is undoubtedly a breakout celebrity this year as the newest MCU hero.
Phoebe is a breakout star of Netflix’s show Bridgerton. While Bridgerton fans may not be familiar with Dynevor's other work, she had a long list of credits prior to joining the Shondaland project. She landed her first role as Siobhan Mailey in the fifth season of the BBC's Waterloo Road in 2009, and has since appeared in a number of other popular British series.
Regé-Jean Page captivated audiences around the world with his breakout performance as the 'Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings' in Netflix's Emmy-nominated drama series Bridgerton. Though the actor gained fame after the series, it was announced Rege-Jean will not be starring in the second season of the show.
Hailee Steinfeld has hardly flown under the radar in her entire career since her Oscar nomination for True Grit at the age of 14, but she is having a moment like we haven't seen since she plays archer Kate Bishop in Marvel's "Hawkeye" series. Now, she’s a breakout star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe too.
For the past seven years, Pugh has been working as an actor, eschewing predictable paths to fame in favour of intriguing roles that are devoid of ostentation. In 2018, she starred in Park Chan-supremely wook's stylish TV adaptation of John le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl, a performance that inspired le Carré to include a character named Florence in his most recent novel. She was cast as Yelena, Scarlett Johansson's athletic sidekick, in the Marvel film Black Widow last year. All of this has catapulted Pugh into a Hollywood performer of diverse, unconventional power—and someone who appears to know exactly what she wants.
The 24-year-old has had a steady and impressive rise thanks to breakthrough roles in films such as The Witch, Thoroughbreds, and Emma. But starring as a pill-popping, chess-playing orphan in Netflix's megahit The Queen's Gambit catapulted Taylor-Joy into a new stratosphere, as the show recently set a record for the most-watched scripted limited series ever.
The Marvel actress starred in the Disney+ series "Wandavision," which received critical acclaim and earned Olsen an Emmy nomination for her performance. This surely counts her in the Breakout stars list of the year.
The South Korean model and actress rose to international prominence after appearing in Netflix's "Squid Games." With over 23 million followers on Instagram alone, this stunning 27-year-old is unstoppable.
Following the September release of Squid Game, Netflix's most-watched show in history, Indian actor Anupam Tripathi's Instagram followers increased from 3,000 to more than 3 million "in a matter of days."Tripathi, who played Abdul Ali, a Pakistani migrant who will go to any length to support his family, is one of the survival drama's breakout stars in South Korea. The star impressed his fans of the record-breaking show with his fluent Korean and acting chops, as well as his character's heartbreaking storyline.