The scene-stealers (and killer clowns) of the year show off the fashion steals (and killer trends) of the year.
Breakout roles: As an unseasoned spy in Atomic Blonde; as a mummy who happens to be the only lifelike entity in otherwise lifeless blockbuster The Mummy.
How’d Boutella get so tough? Growing up in Algeria during its civil war. “You would have a bomb exploding every once in a while,” she says. “There would be water once a week. There was no butter, no bread, no bananas, no candy at the shops.”
What did she do when she got to America? Boutella was a professional dancer for Nike, Michael Jackson, and Madonna before quitting to pursue acting full-time.
How does Madonna react when an employee gives notice? “She said, ‘Do you have jobs? A movie?’ ‘No, I have nothing.’ ‘What if you don’t work the next eight months?’—which is the length of the tour. I said, ‘Even if it takes two years, I know I have to do it.’ It took two years to get Kingsman.“
What’s next: Teaming up with Mike and Mike (B. Jordan and Shannon) in Fahrenheit 451; starring with Jeff Goldblum and Jodie Foster in sci-fi movie Hotel Artemis.
Where you’ve seen him before: On HBO’s Looking; as dopey King George in the original Broadway cast of Hamilton.
Breakout role: As a serial-killer-hunting FBI agent on David Fincher’s Netflix series Mindhunter.
What’s it like working with Fincher? “David does lots of dark stuff—men talking about cutting off women’s heads. But at the same time, he has this black sense of humor that makes it palatable.”
What Fincher has to say about all that hilarious serial killing: “At a certain point, talking about dismemberment gets too serious, and things get silly—the actors would be trapped in a car, tears streaming down their faces, bright red, howling with laughter. It was like, ‘The crew may now leave the stage while we wait for Silly Time to end.’ “
What would Groff want his serial-killer name to be? “The Mennonite Murderer.” (His dad was in the church.) “Seemingly pure but totally diabolical.”
What’s next: Hopefully more Mindhunter.
Breakout role: As a man meeting his girlfriend’s parents in Jordan Peele’s “woke white people might actually be scarier than murderous clowns” horror movie Get Out.
How did Peele know he’d found his leading man? “It was very important in this movie that the protagonist feels like the smartest guy in the room. Otherwise you would just be annoyed.”
Was Kaluuya ever worried about making a funny horror movie about race? “Racial relations are still kind of taboo. So you’re just kind of like, ‘Get Out is going to do something.‘ “
When he knew Get Out was a big deal: “Nas Instagrammed it. That made my head explode. Nas Escobar? Nasty Nas? Nas?! That’s crazy.”
What’s it like to be a meme? “I hear the term ‘sunken place’ when I’m just casually living my life.”
What’s next? Starring opposite Lupita Nyong’o in Ryan Coogler’s Marvel movie Black Panther, and Viola Davis and Liam Neeson in Steve McQueen’s heist film Widows.
Damn. Yup! “It was in the space of, like, a week when I got calls from Ryan and Steve. It was a cool fucking week.”
Breakout roles: As the teenage seducer of Armie Hammer in Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age romance Call Me by Your Name; as the worst person to lose one’s virginity to in Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
How you’ll know him soon: The peach scene.
What peach scene? The one in Call Me by Your Name, in which Chalamet turns a peach into his, uh, objet d’affection.
Huh! “It feels not like a marketing gimmick,” he says about the man-on-fruit sex scene, “but in service to the story. And something that people are genuinely curious to see—if they have not already partaken in that wonderfully sensual experience.”
What’s next? Kissing Selena Gomez in Woody Allen’s next film; starring as Steve Carell’s son in addiction drama Beautiful Boy.
How Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig describes him: “Imagine a young Christian Bale crossed with a young Daniel Day-Lewis, with a sprinkle of young Leonardo DiCaprio. Then raise them speaking French in Manhattan and give them a Mensa-level IQ and a love of hip-hop.”
And Woody Allen’s assessment? “He’s more Jesse Eisenberg than Jim Belushi.”
The Breakout Stars of 2017 Give Us Their Best Impressions
Wait…Skarsgård? Yes, he’s related to Swedish acting royalty Alexander (his brother) and Stellan (his father).
Breakout roles: As an East German activist in Atomic Blonde; as a balloon-wielding, child-stealing clown in It.
What you wear to a killer-clown audition: “It’s such a metaphor for what it is to be an actor in L.A., driving in clown face down Hollywood Boulevard.”
The question he’s sick of answering: “How long did the makeup take?”
Well? “Two and a half hours.”
What scares you, Bill? “In Stockholm in December, the night just swallows the day whole, and you’re just left in darkness for a month straight. And obviously it stimulates the imagination for what’s hiding in the dark.”
What’s next: Starring on J. J. Abrams’s Hulu series inspired by Stephen Kingsian town Castle Rock.
Where you’ve seen her before: In David Simon’s Treme; giving a hard sell for the “Pussy-Eater Special” ($14.95) at Chick Planet Massage in the P. T. Anderson stoner mystery Inherent Vice.
Breakout role: As Matt Damon’s cohort in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, in which folks get shrunk to save money and the environment. (But really: themselves.)
Her feelings on taking the role: “If someone’s gonna fuck it up, let it be me.”
Is Matt Damon as handsome in person as he is on-screen? “He looked like a White Walker from Game of Thrones—they put pasty makeup on him to make him look a little doughier, and his eyes are so blue.”
What does Damon think of Chau? “She’s going to be a star.”
And what does Alexander Payne think? “She already is—people just don’t know it yet.”
Breakout roles: As a stoner who dispenses the show’s sharpest insights on Donald Glover’s FX series Atlanta; as a body-snatched guy in Get Out; as a wrongly convicted man in Crown Heights; as Chandler in the Jay-Z video for “Moonlight.”
How’d that last one happen? When Hov asks you to be in a Friends remake with Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, and Jerrod Carmichael, you say yes.
But…Chandler? “I was unfamiliar with Friends prior to this. But once I started watching, I was like, ‘Oh. They’re going to make me Chandler because he’s the weirdo.’ “
Are any other famous people blowing up Stanfield’s phone? Spike Jonze, who surprise-FaceTimed Stanfield to ask if he’d dance in a two-person experimental art piece called Changers: A Dance Story after seeing—what else!—a viral clip of Stanfield getting down with himself onstage at the Golden Globes.
How Atlanta creator Donald Glover describes him: “Keith isn’t afraid to embarrass people. He’s the wild card we need to remind us that it’s all chaos.”
What’s next: The absurdist comedy Sorry to Bother You, in which he plays a telemarketer whose career takes off when he figures out how to use his “white voice” to pitch strangers.
The Dunkirk Guys
Jack Lowden & Barry Keoghan
Breakout roles: As an RAF pilot (Lowden) and a be-cardiganed volunteer mariner (Keoghan) in Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk.
About that cardigan… It was very hot on the boat, necessitating what Keoghan describes as “long chats about the sweater” with Nolan.
What would Keoghan wear to war? “I wouldn’t wear anything. I’d paint myself green.”
Would Lowden go to war naked, too? “Yeah, just to make Barry feel less awkward.”
Why did Nolan cast two guys you’ve never heard of opposite one of the biggest pop stars in the world? “Barry’s seeming naïveté was perfect, and Jack’s self-assured charisma made him give as good as he got.”
What’s next: Lowden will appear opposite The Rock in the WWE comedy Fighting with My Family and (presumably) in pantaloons with Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots. You can see Keoghan ruining Colin Farrell’s and Nicole Kidman’s lives in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, or in the boxing ring.
Wait, what? “I’ve given up acting full-time,” Keoghan says by way of (sorta) explanation. “I’m fighting now. Look at my hand!”
This story originally appeared in the December 2017 issue with the title “The Breakouts 2017.”