This year we lost a lot of amazing stars. In the past week we lost Carrie Fisher AND her mother, my beloved Debbie Reynolds just one day apart! This was pretty traumatic for me as I love Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds is a goddamn Goddess to me. The day before she died I was legit Googling young pics of her, baffled that Eddie Fisher left her for Liz Taylor, but I digress.
For this post, I’d like to look at some of the faces that really stood out in 2016 as new, fresh and exciting. I think I’ve got like 12 here. Frankly, I was too lazy to count.
Millie Bobby Brown
The television show Stranger Things became a massive hit this year and is pretty much an instant classic, thanks, in part, to it’s phenomenal cast, especially the child actors. While all were great, no one stood out as much as Millie Bobby Brown who played Eleven. She was like a human E.T. and inspired amazing Halloween costumes for years to come.
Watching the critically acclaimed series The Night Of was hands down one of those most difficult and emotionally trying things I’ve attempted to do all year, and that is 100% because of the phenomenal performance of Riz Ahmed. Not only did he make one of the most renowned series of the year, he also had a large role in the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, making him an obvious choice for a breakout star.
Bernie Sanders might not have won the election, or even landed the Democratic nomination (shifts eyes), but I feel like he really broke on the scene this year as a political game changer, and unlike other presidential hopefuls, he hasn’t lost his strong following after his nomination loss to Hillary. I feel (and hope) like 2016 was not the last we’ve seen of the Bern man.
Lucas Hedges first came on the scene as a part of the amazing child cast in Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which is probably my favorite movie atm. This year, he landed a breakout and multi-award-nominated role as Casey Affleck’s nephew in the critically acclaimed Manchester by the Sea.
Along with those annoying douche bags, The Chainsmokers, Halsey had hands down the biggest hit of the year. Yes, I’m talking about ‘Closer’. A song that was ok at first, but now we’ve all heard it 27 million times and want to drive into a fucking wall every time it comes on. However, that doesn’t change the fact that she had a fucking massive hit this year and gained a ton of attention for her unique look (a sexy pop singer who SHAVES HER HEAD?! WHAT?! Ugh haha).
Bella Hadid broke out of big sister Gigi’s modeling shadow this year and walked some of the biggest runways in the world. From Chanel to Victoria’s Secret to Calvin Klein, she was legit everywhere. Her recently ended romance with The Weeknd also got a fuck ton of attention, and she was named model of the year by numerous industry outlets. The protégé of industry legend Naomi Campbell, Bella genuinely became a supermodel this year.
Lily Rose Depp
The daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis broke out this year, landing major campaigns with Chanel, becoming Karl Largefeld’s latest muse, and starring in her first indie film, Yoga Hosers. Her mom was a previous Chanel icon, and with a face like that it’s no wonder she ended up following in mom’s footsteps.
Technically, Donald Glover has been around for years as both a successful rapper and actor, but this year was a big one for him. He developed his own critically acclaimed dramedy, Atlanta (which he also stars in and shows his genuine nuance as an actor), released some critically acclaimed music as his rap alter-ego, Childish Gambino, and got cast as a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo Star Wars movie. He went from the lovable goofball on Community to major industry player this year.
Like Donald Glover, Kate McKinnon has been around for years and has always shone especially bright on Saturday Night Live. But this year, with Ghostbusters and her legendary portrayal of Hillary Clinton, has been especially standout for her.
Glen Powell is 250% the best thing about the show Scream Queens. He is legit one of my favorite male comedy characters of all-time and that’s saying something! This year also saw him featured in two critically acclaimed films: the comedy Everybody Wants Some and the Oscar-bait Hidden Figures.
I started working on this list last week and added Billie Lourd because, like Glen Powell, she’s a standout star on Scream Queens. She also had a bit part in the last Star Wars movie that is apparently going to be expanded on in the next one, and has filmed several other movies this year. Now, a week later, Billie has lost her mom, Carrie Fisher, AND her grandmother, Debbie Reynolds, so I kind of just hope 2017 is really great for her, because her breakout career year ended really shitty from a personal standpoint :(