The Next Generation of Black Stars Taking Over Hollywood

Hollywood's new wave of hot young actors is bringing fire to our screens and turning up the style heat. Meet 13 promising new stars to keep on your radar.

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Age: 31

Best known for: The Mighty Ducks

Now starring in: Fox’s Empire

Movies that always make me cry: "Steel Magnolias, all day. And I cry watching Eve’s Bayou at the same exact moments, every single time. At the end, when Mozelle comes and tells Eve that she had a dream and she saw her father in the dream. Then there’s this one tear that goes down Jurnee’s eye, it always makes me cry, no matter what."

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Age: 23
Best known for: Short Term 12
Now starring in: Selma, as Jimmie Lee Jackson
Up next: Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope (Sundance 2015’s breakout hit), Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead and F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton (as Snoop Dogg)
After a day on set: I isolate myself and listen to instrumental music. That really helps me get in a meditative state, to get away and feel myself again.

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Age: 30
Best known for: Precious
Now starring in: Fox’s The Mindy Project
My surprise talent: "I love to rap."

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Age: 31
Best known for: Sleepy Hollow, Nikita
My surprise talent: "I studied martial arts for a long time, but I also know a lot about wine. I was studying to be a sommelier."

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Age: 26
Best known for: Playing Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films
Now starring in: ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder
The moment I knew I wanted to be an actor: "When I was 7, I was a part of the celebrations for Shakespeare’s birthday at the Globe Theatre in London. They have a Sonnet Walk, which is a tour of places relevant to Shakespeare’s life in London. At each point, they’re surprised by an actor who reads a sonnet. I read a sonnet, and I thought, This is fun…. I want to do this."

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Age: Thirtysomething

Now starring in: Starz’s Survivor’s Remorse and BET’s Real Husbands of Hollywood.

My dream costar: "Idris Elba. I just think he’s very talented. I think he can play a variety of roles: My husband, boyfriend, lover, and I just love him…sexually."

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Age: 25

Best known for: Glee and I Will Follow (Ava DuVernay’s first narrative feature film)

Up next: Anthony Hemingway’s Bros, which has been picked up by HBO

My dream role: "I really want to play the son of Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington in a dramatic movie. Yeah…. I might have to write it myself, and I will. But definitely them, and then I want to do an action film with Will Smith."

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Age: 30

Best known for: ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder

Moment I knew I wanted to be an actor: "When I was in elementary school, this group of performers would come to our school. But months beforehand, we would write short stories about an event in our lives and they would select a couple of the stories. Then they would perform it in our auditorium. I always thought, That looks so amazing."

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Age: 30 

Best known for: "I get recognized the most for my McDonald’s commercials."

Now starring in: BET’s Being Mary Jane and ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

One of my favorite movies: "How Stella Got Her Groove Back. As soon as I saw it, I just wanted to go holler at nothing but older women. I was like, Yo!"

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Age: 21

Now starring in: MTV’s Eye Candy and Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope (Sundance 2015’s breakout hit)

My first Hollywood moment: "It happened when I was on set with Forest Whitaker [for Dope]. That’s probably the moment when I was like, Whoa… I’m doing something cool right now."

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Age: 26

Best known for: BET’s The Game

Now starring in: The CW’s The Flash 

Moment I knew I wanted to be an actress: "I grew up watching Lucille Ball. Every night, for two hours I Love Lucy would play and I would watch that before I went to bed. There was something so special about her. She was kind of the reason why I thought to myself, Man, I want to do what she does for a living."

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Age: Thirtysomething

Now starring in: BET’s The Book of Negroes 

My surprise talent: "I love to cook. I’m not saying I’m a good cook, I’m just saying I love the creative process. And people tend to eat it and not die, so I guess it’s proper."

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Age: 33

Now starring in: ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy

Although I’m an actress... "I’m extremely camera-shy! People are always trying to tell me to find the lens and be conscious of my angles. I prefer to act like the camera’s not there and try to trust that the camera will find me."