Blockbuster Video stores may be gone, but Netflix is here to stay. The rise of this entertainment superpower has brought about a new generation of actors that are capitalizing on Netflix’s original series to make a name for themselves. It’s also giving older actors a chance to come back into the limelight. Let’s take a look at some of these Netflix stars who were once nobodys but now show a promising future in the entertainment business.
Look Out for the Red Hot Deborah Ann Woll!
Deborah Ann Woll is an American actress from Brooklyn, New York.She honed her acting skills at the University of Southern California School of Theater and earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in acting. She spent a grueling ten years perfecting her craft as she performed on stage before landing the role of Jessica Hamby on HBO’s True Blood.
Since her takeoff, she has acted in shows such as Life, My Name is Earl and ER. Currently, she is known for playing the role of Jessica Page on the Netflix series Daredevil, earning her the title of an up-and-coming Netflix star.
Krysten Ritter Transitions to Netflix
Krysten Ritter is an American actress as well as a former model. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Jane Margolis on the ABC series Breaking Bad. She has also appeared in the films She’s Out of My League, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and What Happens in Vegas.
In 2014, she was cast to play Jessica Jones in the Netflix original, Marvel Comics-based series Jessica Jones. The series is about a former superhero turned private detective. Melissa Rosenberg is the executive producer says that Krysten “brings both the hard edge and the vulnerability the role demands”, which in turn makes this Netflix series as good as it is.
Veteran Actress Linda Cardellini is Still Going Strong
Linda Edna Cardellini is an American actress known for her roles in films and television shows such as Freaks and Geeks, the live action version of Scooby-Doo as Velma Dinkley, and the television show Mad Men. She came to prominence when she played in ABC’s Bone Chillers.
Although she hasn’t been in the limelight for a while, she can now be seen on the Netflix original series Bloodline playing the role of Meg Rayburn. The show and her performance have helped to step back in front of the camera and show us the star she really is.
Jim Jefferies Goes From Zero to Hero
Jim Jefferies is best known as being a foul-mouthed Australian comedian that has always had a hard time reaching American audiences. That’s until Netflix stepped in. Now available on Netflix are his stand-up comedy shows Bare and Freedumb, and for once, Americans understood his humor and laughed at his jokes.
Jefferies went from not being able to sell tickets at nightclubs to selling out concert halls. In recent interviews, Jefferies has praised Netflix for his newfound fame and is now consistently working on Netflix original standups and headlining comedy festivals around the world.
Taylor Schilling is One of the Most Recognizable Netflix Stars
Prior to the debut of Orange is the New Black, Taylor Schilling had a small role in the film Argo, a role in the film in The Lucky One, and a short-lived character on the show Mercy. However, after she was cast as the star Piper Chapman of the female prison show Orange is the New Black, she had easily become one of the most recognized Netflix stars to date.
Now she has found herself more famous than ever and has moved onto films, as she just finished the big-budget sci-fi The Titan, and will next play the opposite of Alec Baldwin in the film The Public. Taylor Schilling truly is the definition of a Netflix star.
Claire Foy’s Career is Taking Off
Netflix original The Crown explores the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II of England and is one of Netflixes newest shows. The show quickly became a fan favorite and won Golden Globes for Best Television Series, Drama and Best Actress, Drama for British actress Clair Foy, in which the show helped to launch her career.
This was a big step for Foy, as her last role was in Season of the Witch, which didn’t help her forward in her career much at all. But now, the success of the show and her performance in The Crown has helped her land a role in the upcoming film Breathe co-starring Andrew Garfield.
Bae Doona Takes Her Skills and Beauty to Netflix
Bae Doona is an actress from South Korea known for her role as the political activist in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. She also has had English speaking roles in such films as Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending.
Currently, Bae Doona can be seen in the Netflix series Sense8. In the show, Donna plays the role of a lady by the name of Sun Bak. Sun Bak is a businesswoman from Korea who is having a problem finding the balance her family and business. Donna couldn’t be a better fit for the role and her performance says it all.
Ben Mendelsohn is Going to New Heights
Recently, Ben Mendelsohn reached a new level of fame when he starred as the main villain Orson Krennic in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. However, this sort of fame and recognition doesn’t come overnight, and he owes much of his success to Netflix.
Netflix hired him to star in the original program Bloodline about a dysfunctional family living in the Florida Keys. The show, and Mendelsohn himself, has been nominated for many awards and he even won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the Netflix Series. Since Bloodline, he has graduated to A-List Hollywood films and can next be seen as the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Newest Robin Hood adaptation.
Introducing the Beautiful Stephanie Sigman
Stephanie Sigman came into her own when she appeared in the Mexican crime drama named Miss Bala. Due to her performance in Miss Bala, she was nominated in 2011 for the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle Award. In addition to this film, she has also appeared in Pioneer, Spectre and Going Under.
But her accomplishments don’t stop there. She also earned a role as the attractive reporter Valeria Velez on the hit Netflix original show Narcos. If you are a fan of Sigman’s past works, or crime, violence, and drama in general, then this show is a must-see.
Ellie Kemper Has Her Breakthrough
Prior to starring in a Netflix series, actress Ellie Kemper managed to make a pretty big name for herself. She is most recognized for her role as Erin the receptionist in the series The Office, and also had a supporting role in the film Bridesmaids. However, she achieved household name status when she scored her own Netflix television series as the star in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
The show focuses on a young woman recently rescued from a cult, who starts over in New York City with newfound optimism. The show was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards including one for Best Actress for Kemper. Produced by Tina Fey, it has helped Ellie Kemper’s career reach new heights.
Does Laura Have You Seeing Orange?
Laura Prepon is a name you may be familiar with. She was once a star in a television sitcom based on the 1970s which aired back in the 1990s. Ring a bell? That’s right, she was Donna Pinciotti in the sitcom That ’70s Show which ran from 1998–2006.
If you are a fan of the beautiful Laura Prepon, then you can catch her in the Netflix series everyone is raving about called Orange is the New Black. She first made an appearance on the series back in 2012 and then appeared regularly in season 3. She plays the role of Alex Vause in the series.
Get Ready to See More of Mike Coulter
Before being the star character of the Netflix original show Luke Cage, American actor Mike Coulter was unknown for the most part with small roles in the films Zero Dark Thirty, Million Dollar Baby and a few appearances on television. However, being the star of the new Netflix series Luke Cage, he is on his way to becoming a household name, and we are for sure going to be seeing him more than we ever used to.
Not only is he the star of Luke Cage, but he’s also in other Netflix shows such as Jessia Jones and The Defenders. Recently, he was nominated for an Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series for Luke Cage.
Tina Desai Goes From India to Netflix
Hailing from India, Tina Desai first made her acting debut in a Hindi film called Yeh Faasley back in the year 2011. She made her debut internationally back in 2012 in the comedy-drama known as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Tina Desai appears in the popular Netflix series Sense8 where she plays the role of Kala Dandekar. Her character on the show is a very intelligent woman that runs into a bit of a problem when she finds out that she has the hots for the wrong man. If you like juicy dramas like this, then check out Sense8!
Olivia Cheng is All Over the Place
Olivia Cheng was born in Edmond, Alberta to Cantonese-speaking immigrant parents. At 19, she booked her first commercial and began to attend the University of Alberta on a scholarship. She enrolled in the school’s radio and Television and Arts Program. Since then, she’s been in series such as Broken Trail, Supernatural, Eureka, 4400, and Arrow.
As if that isn’t enough, she also plays an assassin as well as concubine named Lin Mei on the incredibly successful Netflix drama Marco Polo. She is also a beautiful kung fu master in this television drama with stunning grace and beauty. Clearly, she has a lot going on! Expect more from her soon!
I Want My MTV and Ruby Rose
Ruby Rose Langenheim, better known professionally as Ruby Rose, is an actress, model, DJ, recording artist, and former MTV video jockey. She was also the host of the Australian version of Australia’s Top Model.
To add to her list of accomplishments, Ruby Rose plays on the third and fourth season of Orange Is the New Black. She has become very well known for her role in this series. She is also noted for her androgynous appearance which she uses to her advantage.
John Bernthal Proves Himself
Though John Bernthal had acquired a little bit of fame before his Netflix debut with roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Sicario, and The Walking Dead, he was always playing the role of a supporting actor of some kind. However, that all changed when he was cast as the character of Frank Castle or “The Punisher” on the Netflix original series Daredevil.
His performance was so memorable that his character was given his own original series called The Punisher, which shot Bernthal into another level of entertainment fame. Along with his own show, he is now more than likely to appear as the same character in other marvel produced Netflix shows.
The Kids From Stranger Things Have Promising Futures
Stranger Things was probably the biggest and most successful Netflix original release of 2016. This supernatural thriller was mostly a cast of largely unknown kids who became immediately recognizable once the series was available for streaming.
In particular, Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) are on their way to becoming full-blown stars. Wolfhard recently made his film debut in the new adaptation of Stephen King’s IT. The others are working on other movies as well such as The Blacklist and Blue Bloods. Also, this October, we can expect another season of Stranger Things.
Wagner Maniçoba de Moura Strikes Fear Into Our Hearts
Moura is best known for being a Brazilian film, television and stage actor. Aside from being a well-established and respected actor in Brazil, he also received international recognition for his portrayal of Captain Roberto Nascimento, the protagonist of the film Elite Squad, as well as its sequel. He was also in the sci-fi film Elysium with Matt Damon.
However, in the last few years, Moura has become a big star all because of Netflix. From 2015 to 2016, he played the lead role of Pablo Escobar in the Netflix series Narcos. If you hadn’t heard about him before his role as Escobar, you more than likely know who he is now. He even received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
Neil Patrick Harris Steps Out of His Comfort Zone
Neil Patrick Harris is already a relatively well-known American actor, comedian, magician, and singer. He is mostly known for his roles in Doogie Howser, M.D. and How I Met Your Mother, for which he was nominated for four Emmy Awards. However, recently, he was cast to play the role of the villain Count Olaf in the latest adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
This was a daunting task, considering that there was already a re-make in 2004 which failed miserably. Yet, the show was relatively well received mostly due to Harris’ performance, which has audiences begging for more. he is the star of the show although he may be basically unrecognizable.
Freema Agyeman, Another Sense8 Star
London-born Freema Agyeman is another actress on this list who is a star of the Netflix science fiction drama Sense8. Prior to Sense8, she was known for her roles in Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood.
Sense8 follows eight “specially skilled “sensates” around the world. Agyman portrays character Amanita, the girlfriend of Nomi Marks, on the series. In a The Verge interview about the show, Agyeman said “It is about getting people from the furthest corners of the globe and identifying these similarities between us. It’s so important in this time we live in now. With what’s going on in the news, everywhere you look, there’s reasons for us to pick a side and take a stand.” She’s certainly gained some new fans with this unusual Netflix series.