Pin It
Sadie Sink, taken from the autumn/winter 2017 issue of DazedPhotography Pascal Gambarte, styling Ibrahim Kamara

Eleven young actors you should be watching

From skateboarding teens to soon-to-be serial killers, these are the names of 2018

Let’s face it, we’re a society obsessed with movie stars – the performers who are plastered everywhere you look, from magazine covers to the same ten GIFs that circulate Twitter. And while there are those who have rightfully earned their status as legendary, provocative, or just downright weird, we're always on the lookout for new names, new faces, and a new generation of actors bold enough to turn down the goddamn franchises. On that note, here are the eleven actors up for contention in the Dazed 100, getting attention for playing roles as diverse as skateboarding teens and soon-to-be serial killers. Remember, your vote matters.


Lynch, at 22, is shedding his squeaky-clean image. The one-time star of Disney’s Austin & Ally is now depicting Jeffrey Dahmer in Marc Meyers’ new coming-of-ager My Friend Dahmer. As with most serial killers, the role is psychologically complex, exploring the high-school years of someone who’ll later murder 17 victims – along with defiling and then eating the corpses. Remember, this actor came from Disney. Also look out for Lynch as the new Harvey in Netflix’s reboot of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Will Harvey slaughter the cat and Aunt Hilda? We’ll have to wait and see.



In Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline, there’s only one Madeline – and that’s Helena Howard. In the role of Miranda July’s daughter, Howard plays a precocious actor who doubles as a grandmaster of psychological chess: she threatens her mother with household objects, she treats her drama coach like an actual parent, and then she flirts outrageously with said teacher’s husband. Howard’s performance, which earned her a contract with WME, wowed crowds at Sundance and has us eagerly awaiting the theatrical release.



An actor, model and Broadway star, Sink has accomplished more at 16 than the average Netflix subscriber will do in a lifetime. Recognisable as Max Mayfield on Stranger Things, she was brought onto season two as a sorely needed addition to a boy-heavy ensemble. What’s more, as a rad skateboarder and reigning champion of Dig Dug, her character puts the others to shame. Ahead of season three’s Upside Down adventures, Sink will appear in Eli, a horror movie set in a haunted prison. Expect something scarily good.



Kaya Wilkins makes music (sometimes solo, sometimes with King Krule and Porches) but arthouse cinemagoers (the tone-deaf ones who didn’t hear her contributions to The OOZ) will know her from Joachim Trier’s lesbian psychosexual drama Thelma. The titular Thelma is an Oslo teen whose supernatural powers awaken following a meet-cute with Anja (Wilkins) in a swimming pool. In other words, Wilkins possesses a spellbinding onscreen presence, and thus an enticing filmography awaits. All that’s stopping her is blossoming music career and a debut album out next month.



Harrison Jr is set to be one of those actors – Riley Keough and Caleb Landry Jones are prime examples – who seem to have five great movies every year. That said, the 23-year-old is already there. If you don’t already know him as a teen facing life’s two toughest obstacles (adolescent sexual frustration and a virus wiping out mankind) in It Comes at Night, then you have Assassination Nation, Monsters and Men, JT Leroy, Jin, Luce, Monster and The Wolf Ahead coming up. Plan ahead and make it a marathon day of screenings.



Nakhane Touré spent his adolescence as a closeted gay Christian in South Africa. After coming out in his twenties, the actor and musician then faced death threats for starring in The Wound, an LGBTQ drama about the Xhosa community’s ritual of Ulwaluko – a tradition where young men are circumcised. Although the film’s same-sex romance sparked homophobic protests in South Africa, it was also the country’s Oscar entry and is still in playing UK cinemas. Now a Dalston resident, Touré recently found time to release his second album, You Will Not Die.



Young proved she was the real deal two years ago as Hedvig in Simon Stone’s The Daughter, an underseen modernisation of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck. And yes, Young played the daughter, and did so very well, taking home the Best Actress trophy at Australia’s version of the Oscars. Since then, the 18-year-old has not sold out (at least, not yet) and has instead stuck with evocative indie movies. Her upcoming projects include Sam Taylor Johnson’s A Million Little Pieces and a lead role in the bonkers-looking social media-thriller Assassination Nation.



At the age of 14, Reid has already rescued the universe from evil forces. For it is in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time that Reid plays Meg Murry, a maths geek protagonist whose expertise with a tesseract allows her to teleport through time – perhaps how someone that young can possess such knowledge about astrophysics. Later this year, Reid will star alongside David Oyelowo in Only You, a Blumhouse thriller about the aftermath of a murder – this, too, will involve time travel, meaning Reid has what is surely the coolest niche out there.



So far, Plummer has earned praise for depicting the bullied protagonist of King Jack, Michael in Boardwalk Empire, and the kidnapped figure of John Paul Getty III in All the Money in the World. That said, we’re totally in awe of Plummer’s nuanced lead in Andrew Haigh’s unsentimental coming-of-ager Lean on Pete. As a boy with a stolen horse, Plummer navigates tricky terrain: he’s violent, he steals from waitresses, and he gulps down food disgustingly (maybe I’m the only one troubled by this), and yet we sympathise him all the way.



The actor generating the most noise in surprise horror hit A Quiet Place has undeniably been Simmonds. The film’s premise is simple: be silent, or else a monster will devour you. So it’s cause for celebration that not only is a deaf 15-year-old in a multiplex blockbuster, but she also – spoiler – saves the day. However, if you only see one of her films, it absolutely should be Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, in which Simmonds plays the younger version of Julianne Moore – an early sign of the greatness to come.



Vinberg is a founding member of Skate Kitchen, a collective of mostly teen girl skateboarders in New York. If you haven’t seen them in Miu Miu campaigns, on Pharrell’s Instagram, or maybe just hanging around the ramps of Brooklyn, then there’s Crystal Moselle’s forthcoming feature, Skate Kitchen. Out in the UK later this year, the drama stars Vinberg and her crew as semi-autobiographical versions of themselves – except onscreen, Vinberg has a secretive romance with a rival boarder played by Jaden Smith. She skates, she scores!