Making it big in Hollywood is more difficult than ever — and aspiring actors aren't the only ones to think so. Even top entertainment executives agree that finding fame and becoming a household name is more elusive than it's ever been before. Everyone from agents to managers to studio execs agree that even those stars that are afforded a breakthrough moment have a tough time achieving superstar status.
That's why when stars do manage to capture the public's attention in a major way, they immediately shoot to the top of every casting agent's wishlist. But who exactly are these Hollywood standouts in 2021? The Hollywood Reporter surveyed some of the top industry execs to find out exactly what stars are defining the new A-list.
Find out which actors are at the top of every casting director's wishlist (in no particular order)...
British actress Florence Pugh made a splash in Hollywood after her role in 2016's "Lady Macbeth" earned her rave reviews. But it wasn't until 2019 when she truly had a breakthrough moment after starring in three consecutive projects that showcased the range of her acting skills. Florence first played a professional wrestler in "Fighting With My Family," and went on to highlight her talents in horror flick "Midsommar" before taking on the role of Amy March in "Little Women."
Florence went on to earn a starring role in the "Black Widow" stand-alone film and is set to be featured in Disney+'s "Hawkeye" miniseries as well as "Don't Worry Darling" and "A Good Person."
"She has every offer under the sun," one talent rep told THR.
"Bridgerton" heartthrob Regé-Jean Page quickly made his mark on pop culture when the Netflix series premiered in late 2020. One binge watch of the show alone was enough to skyrocket Regé-Jean to fame, who recently revealed he wouldn't be returning for season two. Instead, he has captured the attention of casting agents everywhere, who tell THR that he has the "It" factor Hollywood is always after.
So far, he's signed on for action flick "The Gray Man," a film adaptation of "Dungeons & Dragons" and a reboot of "The Saint." Not to mention the rumors that he may be taking on the role of James Bond!
Anya-Taylor Joy had already made her mark as an indie darling when she became one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actresses after starring in "The Queen’s Gambit." The role earned her a SAG Award and a Golden Globe as well as the attention of many prominent executives in Hollywood. Not only is she now exceptionally in demand, but she's also extremely thoughtful about which roles she accepts.
"If I feel the opportunities that are being given to me aren't the right ones, then I have to stick my neck out and go, 'Hey, I think I could maybe do this [role] if you'll give me the opportunity to try,'" she told THR.
Up next for Anya-Taylor is psychological thriller "Last Night in Soho" as well as the leading role in the upcoming "Mad Max" spinoff.
Anthony Ramos may be one of Hollywood's newest hot talents but at one point he considered giving up acting. Everything changed when Lin-Manuel Miranda gave him his breakthrough role in "Hamilton" and from there, it's all been an upwards trajectory. He's now even taken his Broadway chops to the big screen. After landing roles in "A Star Is Born" and "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," he found his way back to Lin-Manuel to team up for the film adaptation of "In the Heights."
"He has undeniable charisma. He lights up any room he walks into," one rep told THR.
While Anthony is said to be "fielding major offers," he can currently be seen in HBO's "In Treatment" and will star in the next installment of "Transformers."
Jonathan Majors made an impact with his critically acclaimed performance in "The Last Black Man in San Francisco" but has managed to maintain his mystique in a world that wants to know everything about the actors they admire. His roles in projects like "Lovecraft Country," "Da 5 Bloods," and "Loki" have already helped earn him a reputation for his "keen ability to lean in to character work and go deep."
"He's got this versatility and knows how to be different in every role," a talent manager told THR.
His upcoming roles are also sure to promise a huge career ahead. He can next be seen in the Jay-Z produced Western "The Harder They Fall," war drama "Devotion," "Creed III" and future Marvel projects as Kang the Conqueror.