Young Faces in 2019 Movies

An abundance of exciting new faces has graced movies in 2019. Here’s some of the young actors and actresses who made an impression with their excellent performances.

Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play BFFs (Best Friends Forever) in Booksmart directed by Olivia Wilde. Dever, 23, born in Phoenix, Arizona, had acted in Short Term 12 (2013) with Brie Larson, Beautiful Boy (2018) with Timothée Chalamet. She says that the great thing about this generation is that you can be whatever you want to be and no one really cares anymore, that you’re not going to be judged for it. She also acted in the TV series UnbelievableFeldstein, 26, born in Los Angeles, is the sister of Jonah Hill, she had played Saoirse Ronan’s friend in Lady Bird (2017), written and directed by Greta Gerwig.

I had already mentioned these actresses in my 2019 article, CinemaCon Embraces Diversity, and they deserve the first spot in this list for their portrayal of modern sisterhood.

 Julia Butters (c) HFPA
Julia Butters (c) HFPA

Julia Butters, 10, born in Los Angeles, teaches Leonardo DiCaprio about acting in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. She cites among her inspirations Lucille Ball and Carol Burnet, Jack Black and Will Ferrell.

In the same film, I spotted a familiar face playing Manson family follower Susan Atkins, and I realized that she was Mickey Madison, 20, who plays the older daughter in Better Things, the comedy series created by Pamela Adlon.

Ana de Armas (c) Magnus Sundholm-HFPA
Ana de Armas (c) HFPA

Ana de Armas, 31, born in Cuba, plays the Latina caretaker in the whodunit Knives Out, written and directed by Rian Johnson. She had played the hologram girlfriend of Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) by Denis Villeneuve. 

In the same film Katherine Langford, 23, born in Perth Australia, plays the daughter of Toni Collette, Jaeden Martell, 16, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, plays the son of Michael Shannon.

Florence Pugh (c) Magnus Sundholm-HFPA
Florence Pugh (c) HFPA

Florence Pugh, 23, born in England, plays youngest sister Amy March in Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig from the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott. 

Eliza Scanlen, 20, born in Australia, plays Beth, the piano playing sister who dies.

Naomi Scott (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA
Naomi Scott (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA

Naomi Scott, 26, born in London, plays Princess Jasmine in Aladdin by Guy Ritchie, she becomes an angel in Charlie’s Angels written and directed by Elizabeth Banks. Another new face in this film is another angel, Ella Balinska, 20, born in London. Kristen Stewart, 29, plays the third angel.

Kelvin Harrison Jr (c) Magnus Sundholm-HFPA
Kelvin Harrison Jr (c) HFPA

Kelvin Harrison, Jr, 24, born in New Orleans, plays the adopted son in Luce with Tim Roth and Naomi Watts, the older brother in Waves directed by Trey Edward Shultz. 

Taylor Russell, 22, born in Vancouver, Canada, plays the younger sister in the same film.

Jodie Turner Smith, 33, born in England, plays Queen with with Daniel Kaluuya as Slim in Queen & Slimwritten by Lena Waite, directed by Melina Matsoukas.

Oakes Fegley (c) Magnus Sundholm-HFP
Oakes Fegley (c) HFPA

Oakes Fegley, 15, born in Pennsylvania, plays young Theo in The Goldfinch with Nicole Kidman. He had acted in Pete’s Dragon (2016) with Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford. 

Finn Wolfhard, 16, born in Vancouver, Canada, plays young Boris.

Ansel Engort, 25, born in New York, plays grown-up Theo. He had been featured in my CinemaCon 2017 article about Upcoming Movie Stars.

Roman Griffin Davis (c) Magnbus Sundholm-HFPA
Roman Griffin Davis (c) HFPA

Roman Griffin Davis, 11, born in London, plays a young boy in the Hitler’s Youth in World War II Germany, in Jojo Rabbit, written and directed by Taika Waititi.  

Thomasin McKenzie, 19, born in Wellington, New Zealand, plays a character inspired by Anne Frank. She was featured in last year’s article about Young Faces in Movies.

Noah Jupe (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA
Noah Jupe (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA

Noah Jupe, 14, born in London, plays Peter, son of British racer Ken Miles (Christian Bale) in Ford v Ferrari by James Mangold, Otis in the autobiographical Honey Boywritten by Shia LaBeouf, directed by Alma Har’el. He played the son of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski in A Quiet Place (2018).

Camila Morrone (c) HFPA
Camila Morrone (c) HFPA

Camila Morrone, 22, born in Los Angeles, plays the teenage daughter of an abusive father in Mickey and the Bear, written and directed by Annabelle Attanasio.  

Zazie Beetz (c) HFPA
Zazie Beetz (c) HFPA

Zazie Beetz, 28, born in Berlin, Germany, acts with Joaquin Phoenix in Joker by Todd Phillips, with Kristen Stewart in Seberg, with Natalie Portman in Lucy in the Sky. She had emerged in Deadpool 2 (2018) with Ryan Reynolds.

Zendaya (c) Magnus Sundholm-HFPA
Zendaya (c) HFPA

Zendaya, 23, born in Oakland, California, plays Peter Parker’s high school girlfriend for the second time, after Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), in Spider-Man: Far from Home. She also stars in the TV series Euphoria. She had impressed in The Greatest Showman (2017) with Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron. She says: “Technically we are all immigrants in America, unless you are a Native American. We are an amazing array of different cultures and colors, that is what makes this place beautiful, so we should respect people’s cultures and embrace what they bring to America; that is the foundation of what we are, this place wouldn’t run without immigrants.”

Tom Holland, 23, born in London, had been featured in my CinemaCon 2017 article about Upcoming Movie Stars.

Ali Wong, 34, born in San Francisco, makes her film debut in the romantic comedy Always be My Maybe with Randall Park. We had seen her in the stand-up comedy specials Baby Cobra (2016) and Hard Knock Wife (2018).

Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA
Dean-Charles Chapman, George MacKay (c) Armando Gallo-HFPA

Dean-Charles Chapman, 22, and George MacKay, 27, play the British soldiers in charge of delivering an urgent message across enemy lines in France during World War II in 1917 directed by Sam Mendes. Mac Kay says: “The film gives you an immersive experience that will make you question what’s most important to you in life, be it your morals, be it who you love, be it your reasons for doing anything.”
These two actors get the last spot in this list for their portrayal of old-fashioned brotherhood.

More actors that I had already mentioned in last year’s article about Young Faces in Movies, did great work this year

Awkwafina, 31, plays a dramatic role in The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang.

Cynthia Erivo, 31, plays Harriet Tubman in Harriet directed by Kasi Lemmons.

Joe Alwin, 28, plays the slave owner in the same film.

Lucas Hedges, 23, plays the sister’s boyfriend in Waves and the older version of Noah Lupe in Honey Boy.

Timothée Chalamet, 24, plays Laurie in Little Women directed by Greta Gerwig, Shakespeare’s Henry V in The King.

Henry Golding, 32, plays Emilia Clarke’s love interest in Last Christmas by Paul Feig. I had also mentioned him in my article CinemaCon 2019 embraces diversity.

Awkwafina © Magnus Sundholm-HFPA.
Awkwafina © HFPA.

For more info about these movies, Always Be My Maybe, Booksmart, Charlie’s Angels, Honey Boy, Little Women, Mickey and the Bear, Queen & Slim, please read my article about Women Directors 2019.

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