The French have the phrase “je ne sais quoi” or something that can’t quite be described. In Hollywood, people use the term “it factor.” While there’s no shortage of talent in the competitive acting world, a few lucky newcomers manage to stand out with their captivating on-screen performances. CELEB highlights 5 gifted actors who possess that extra something special and appear destined for superstardom.

Anya Taylor-Joy

The 24-year-old, wide-eyed actress is currently earning rave reviews for her portrayal of a tortured chess genius in Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit. But Taylor-Joy has several impressive roles under her belt and appeared in multiple television shows (Peaky Blinders, Atlantis, The Miniaturist) and movies (The Witch, Morgan, Split, Emma, Glass, Barry, Radioactive, Thoroughbreds). The youngest of six children, Taylor-Joy was born in Miami but soon after her birth the family moved to Buenos Aires. Six years later her family moved again, this time to England. After studying ballet and modeling for a few years, she decided to try acting. Taylor-Joy has said that growing up she often felt like she didn’t fit in anywhere, but acting gave her a sense of belonging. After a few small roles, Anya was cast as a young Puritan girl in the horror film The Witch (2015). The movie premiered at Sundance and was well received with critics and audiences. Taylor-Joy won several acting awards for her work in the film. Today, Anya has officially reached “it” girl status and has several projects lined up. While so much attention and praise could go to anyone’s head, Taylor-Joy told The Sun, “I don’t think I’m beautiful enough to be in films. It sounds pathetic and my boyfriend warns me people will think I’m an absolute d*** for saying these things, but I just think I’m weird-looking.” We are willing to bet most people would strongly beg to differ.

LaKeith Stanfield

Stanfield hails from California and like Taylor-Joy, tried his hand at modeling before acting. His agent suggested that the then 17-year-old audition for a short film, Short Term 12. He was cast, and the film won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize and drew much acclaim. It was later turned into a full-length feature (with Stanfield reprising his role). After a few years of odd jobs, Hollywood came calling again and LaKeith was cast in major films such as Selma, Straight Outta Compton, Snowden, Crown Heights, Sorry to Bother You, Get Out, and Knives Out to name a few. He was awarded the “Breakthrough Performer” award for his role as Snoop Dogg in Straight Outta Compton. LaKeith’s portrayal of the eccentrically wise, and often hilarious, Darius Epps in Donald Glover’s Atlanta made him the show’s breakout star. Much like the characters he plays, many have described Stanfield as a fascinating, unique, and complex individual. He certainly has that je ne sais quoi. Director Rian Johnson (Knives Out) said of the actor, “I would cast that guy in anything. He’s got that special quality that only a handful of people on the planet have.” Stanfield is also a musician who raps/sings under the name Htiekal (his name spelled backwards). Earlier this year he released the album Self Control. Stanfield told GQ that the album was “about struggling and striving and getting through the harder time – and coming out on the other side with some hope.” Certainly a theme we can all relate to, especially after 2020. And while many actors and musicians in Hollywood often act as shameless self-promoters, Stanfield prefers to maintain his privacy and focus on his craft.

Hero Fiennes Tiffin

A name like Hero Beauregard Faulkner Fiennes Tiffin probably comes with great expectations. And Hero doesn’t disappoint. The 23-year-old model and actor was born in London and grew up in the film industry. Hero’s mother is a writer/director and his father works as a cinematographer. And yes, his uncles are the famous actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. Hero actually played a younger version of his Uncle Ralph (Lord Voldemort) in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Despite the familial connection, Fiennes Tiffin had to audition for the role and beat out hundreds of other children. The director, David Yates, chose Hero for his ability to get into “the corner and the dark moods and odd spirit of the character.” After Harry Potter, Hero had a few minor roles in a couple movies and appeared on the TV shows Safe and Cleaning Up. In 2019, Fiennes Tiffin was cast as handsome rebel Hardin Scott in the movies After and After We Collided. The movies are based on the wildly popular young-adult novels by Anna Todd. Like Twilight did for Robert Pattinson, the After movies have thrust the young actor into the Hollywood spotlight. And while many fans are anxious to know as much as they can about the brooding heartthrob, Hero has said he likes to keeps a low profile and only maintains an Instagram account at his agent’s request.


Writer, producer, rapper, comedian, actress – this sassy New Yorker can do it all. Nora Lum was born on Long Island and raised in Queens. Tragically, she lost her mother at the age of 4 and was raised by her father and grandparents. Awkwafina often credits her grandmother for fostering her confidence and her role models growing up included Margaret Cho and Lucy Liu. She graduated from college with a degree in journalism and began uploading her original, and hilarious, songs onto YouTube. And while Awkwafina’s raunchy, parody rap song “My Vag” actually got her fired from her first job in 2012, bigger and better things soon came her way. In 2014 Lum released her first rap album, Yellow Ranger. Her idol Margaret Cho collaborated on the album’s song “Green Tea.” In 2018 she released the EP In Fina We Trust. Around the time that her first album was released, Awkwafina began her acting career in television and movies. She had significant roles in the films Ocean’s Eight and Crazy Rich Asians. This year Awkwafina debuted a show on Comedy Central that she created, executive produces, writes for, and stars in: Nora from Queens. The multitalented Ms. Lum also proved she was more than just a comedic actress when she starred in the drama Farewell last year. Awkwafina’s performance earned her a Golden Globe – she is “the first performer of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe Award in a lead actress film category.” During her acceptance speech she hilariously joked with her father: “I told you I’d get a job, dad.”

Noah Jupe

Similar to Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Noah Jupe was also born in London to parents who work in the film industry. His father, Chris, is a filmmaker and his mother is actress Katy Cavanagh. Now 15, Jupe began his career at age 10 and appeared briefly in the shows Penny Dreadful and Downton Abbey. In 2016 he landed more significant roles on the series The Night Manager and Houdini and Doyle. Jupe appeared in several movies from 2017 – 2020, most notably Wonder, A Quiet Place, Honey Boy, and A Quiet Place Part II. And while Jupe is able to transform effortlessly into all of his characters, critics and audiences were blown away by his acting in Honey Boy. He was nominated for several awards for his performance in the film and won three. Jupe most recently appeared in HBO’s new miniseries The Undoing as the son of Nicole Kidman’s character. And while Noah Jupe is still only a teenager, in interviews he appears to be wise beyond his years while also possessing a youthful exuberance and excitement. He told the Los Angeles Times, “The thing that scares me in my life is that I will never have enough time to be all the different versions of myself and do all the different things in the world . . . Someone asked me earlier how I choose which movie to do and I will always only choose jobs that excite me. If they didn’t, what would be the point of doing them? I’m not in it for the money, or whatever. I want to do what I’m passionate about and keep doing it for the rest of my life.”