Magazine article Variety

Up Next

Magazine article Variety

Up Next

Article excerpt

ASHER ANGEL

Actor

The 14-year-old stars as Jonah Beck on Disney's No. 1 hit "Andi Mack." Angel also has a robust social media profile. "I'm just excited to be working," Asher says, adding that he's "inspired by the careers of Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, but mostly my parents."

GABRIEL BATEMAN & TALITHA BATEMAN

Actors

Talitha, 15, can be seen in "Annabelle: Creation," and also stars in "Geostorm," from Dean Devlin. She's very earth conscious, saying, "I have been plant-based for three and half years and it's something I'd really like to speak up about." Her brother Gabriel, 11, stars in the reboot of "Benji" and in "Dangerous Book for Boys." He says that he's looking to "find ways to connect with the characters better and truly embody them, because good actors don't pretend, they momentarily become." He also credits his parents, calling them "the most selfless people I've ever met."

NOAH CYRUS

Singer

Being the younger sibling of a superstar is never easy for one trying to follow a similar path. But despite some similarities in Noah and Miley Cyrus' singing voices, 17-year-old Noah's first musical moves have set her apart from her sister, ranging from anthemic pop ("Stay Together") to electronic ("Make Me Cry," with producer Labrinth) and acoustic ("Almost Famous," with Adele collaborator Dan Wilson). While Noah says she has "literally no clue" when her debut album will be finished, it already promises to be musically versatile and lyrically opinionated: She cites her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Lady Gaga as her biggest influences.

KAITLYN DEVER

Actress

After getting laughs for six seasons on "Last Man Standing" as Tim Allen's daughter, Dever, 20, is ready for some heavy drama. She's found that in "Detroit," directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The film focuses on the atrocities committed by the police in the Algiers hotel to which Dever's character was witness, against the backdrop of the city's 1967 riot. "Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be lucky enough to work with her," says Dever. Next, the angst continues with "Beautiful Boy," the tale of a father (Steve reboot of ABC's "Once Upon a Time." A movie lover all of her young life, the 11-year-old hopes to "have the opportunity to work alongside some of the people I grew up watching like Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp, Dwayne Johnson, Jennifer Lopez, Rosario Dawson, Michelle Rodriguez and Penelope Cruz." She gathers inspiration from "teachers, coaches, friends, and family," and says that she "loves school and learning about new things."

ELLIOT FLETCHER

Actor

One of the stars of Freeform hit "The Fosters," the 20-yearold actor gained traction in hit series "Faking It" (MTV) and "Shameless" (Showtime). One of the few trans actors on TV, Fletcher sees himself in a unique position to serve as an advocate for trans rights across the board. "I'm open to a lot of options," he says, when asked about his career ideas, adding that he'd "love to further my music career and I'd love to start playing cis-gender characters." Fletcher finds inspiration in his mother, saying she's "a phenomenal performer and an amazing person."

DAMON J. GILLESPIE

Actor

Gillespie's star is on the rise - literally. He's set for the NBC drama "Rise" by Jason Katims and Jeffrey Seller. The series tells the story of a self-doubting teacher who takes over a school's lackluster theater department. Gillespie says the dream role of Robbie, a student who doesn't come from a lot of money, came to him at the end of a six-month dry spell, following Broadway gigs in "Newsies" and "Aladdin." Despondent over not landing another show, Gillespie, 23, quit social media, taught school and worked at a Dunkin' Donuts in New York to pass the time. "When I learned I got the pilot I screamed a lot and picked up a few co-workers and hugged them," he recalls. "I honestly couldn't believe it."

JORGE LENDEBORG JR. …

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