Top 10 Breakout Stars of 2018

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 07 Dec 2018

It's time to count down the stars who enjoyed dramatic success in the past year. Among the select group of stars who charted on IMDb's annual Top 100 list for the first time in their careers in 2018, these 10 stars consistently ranked the highest on the IMDbPro's weekly STARmeter chart throughout the year. STARmeter rankings are based on the actual pageviews of IMDb's more than 250 million unique monthly visitors.

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Jacob Elordi

10. Jacob Elordi

If you're of a certain age, Jacob Elordi might give you Jake from Sixteen Candles flashbacks, but if you're all about the latest Netflix sensations, then you probably know him as the frequently shirtless star of "The Kissing Booth." Either way, the attention-getting project on his horizon is the TV series "Euphoria." Why? It's from Assassination Nation writer/director Sam Levinson and stars Zendaya.

John Krasinski at an event for Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan (2018)

9. John Krasinski

Fans may still associate John Krasinski with sardonic paper salesman Jim Halpert, but it was his turn as CIA analyst Jack Ryan, and dual roles as both star and director of horror hit A Quiet Place that catapulted him into our Top 100 STARmeter list for the first time. In 2019 he'll reprise his role in "Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan," so you don't have to wait too long to see John back on the small screen.

Kiernan Shipka at an event for The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards (2017)

8. Kiernan Shipka

Sally Draper is all grown up ... and worshiping Satan. Kiernan Shipka has come a long way from her breakout role in "Mad Men," starring in this year's Netflix hit series "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina." We couldn't get enough of her much darker interpretation of the teenage witch, and while we wait for Season 2 to premiere in April, we'll be binging Kiernan in the "Sabrina" holiday special, "A Midwinter's Tale," airing Friday, Dec. 14 on Netflix.

Noah Centineo

7. Noah Centineo

A true breakout star in every sense, 22-year-old Noah Centineo burst onto the scene in 2018 thanks to his roles in a pair of Netflix hits ("To All the Boys I've Loved Before" and "Sierra Burgess Is a Loser"), then parlayed that buzz into a full 2019 slate, including the Charlie's Angels reboot. Sure, he primarily played heartthrobs, but as anyone who saw To All the Boys will surely attest, Centineo turned them into heartthrobs with hearts of gold ... which is a lot harder to do than you'd think.

Olivia Cooke at an event for IMDb at Toronto International Film Festival: IMDb at Toronto 2018 (2018)

6. Olivia Cooke

It was game on for Olivia Cooke in 2018, as Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One took the British actress to another level. Having previously starred in indie movies such as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and the TV drama "Bates Motel," her role as the virtual-reality rebel Art3mis took her over the top. Cooke will be back on TV in 2019 in romantic comedy series "Modern Love."

Michael B. Jordan

5. Michael B. Jordan

Maybe you've heard of him? Michael B. Jordan’s stand-out role as the charismatic antagonist Killmonger in Black Panther, his starring role in the HBO adaptation of "Fahrenheit 451," and his reprisal of Adonis Johnson in Creed II all but assured he'd locked up his first-ever Top 100 finish on STARmeter. And with word of a Rainbow Six adaptation in development, another collaboration with Ryan Coogler on the horizon, and a producing role in the upcoming Netflix superhero family drama "Raising Dion," 2019 looks to be yet another stellar year.

Martha Higareda at an event for Altered Carbon (2018)

4. Martha Higareda

Though she's been steadily working for well over a decade and has made a name for herself in movies such as No Manches Frida and its upcoming sequel, a genre-bending Netflix series thrust Martha Higareda into the wider spotlight. Obsessive fans of "Altered Carbon" most likely agree that Higareda's character, police officer Kristen Ortega, has the most emotional story arc of the show's first season — and she participates in one of the fiercest battles seen on any show in recent memory.

Tessa Thompson

3. Tessa Thompson

Tessa Thompson has starred in critically acclaimed movies, TV series, and music videos in the past 12 months, securing her position near the top of the STARmeter chart. From the sci-fi landscapes of "Westworld" and Annihilation to the knockout sequel Creed II, it has been a banner year for the LA-born actress. She'll next reunite with her Thor: Ragnarok co-star Chris Hemsworth in the upcoming Men in Black International.

Hannah John-Kamen at an event for Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

2. Hannah John-Kamen

Hannah John-Kamen made her mark in 2018 by landing a series of "women who kick-ass" roles (in Ready Player One and Ant-Man and the Wasp) that resonated with IMDb users and took her to the No. 1 spot on STARmeter in July. If you’re looking for more Hannah, she can also be found tearing up the small screen as the intergalactic bounty hunter Dutch on the SYFY series "Killjoys."

Jessica Barden at an event for The New Romantic (2018)

1. Jessica Barden

Moviegoers may recognize Jessica Barden from small roles in The Lobster and Hanna, but it was her role in "The End of the F***ing World" that propelled her up the STARmeter chart in 2018 ... and kept her there long enough to make her our top breakout star of the year. As foul-mouthed Alyssa, she basically stole every scene she was in, and fans clearly wanted to know who she was. If the recent The New Romantic is any indication, we suspect she'll be a household name by the end of 2019.