Top 10 Breakout Stars of 2017

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 11 months ago

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 2017, 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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10. Zendaya

Zendaya didn't need a lot of screen time or dialogue to make a huge impression on fans in Spider-Man: Homecoming, where she played a totally underwhelmed but entirely sharp-tongued high schooler with an intriguing set of initials. If the movie's many fans get their wish (and have their hunches validated), we'll certainly see more of her in the 2019 sequel alongside co-star, fellow IMDb fan favorite, and Instagram sidekick Tom Holland. Aside from teasing the likes of Peter Parker on the big screen, Zendaya kept busy this past year on social media, to the delight of her more than 56 million combined followers on Instagram and Twitter, turned heads at every red carpet she set foot on, and, oh, graced the cover of Vogue this past summer. All this comes in addition to her continuing to star in the popular Disney Channel series "K.C. Undercover" and in The Greatest Showman as trapeze artist extraordinaire Anne Wheeler.

Alison Brie

9. Alison Brie

Casual and devoted TV viewers will recognize Alison Brie for her work on "Community" and "Mad Men," but it was the actress' memorable turn as a professional wrestler in Netflix's "GLOW" that catapulted her to the top echelon of IMDb's STARmeter. The comedy-drama series struck a nerve with IMDb fans, who enjoyed the '80s-era camp in addition to the larger-than-life characters memorably portrayed by an ensemble of talented actresses. And Brie, playing Ruth "Zoya the Destroya" Wilder, was the undoubted standout. The year was not all dropkicks and spandex, however. She donned a nun's habit in The Little Hours, took another trip back to the '80s with The Disaster Artist, and played Meryl Streep's daughter in The Post.

Jessica Henwick in The Defenders (2017)

8. Jessica Henwick

While Netflix's "Iron Fist" largely fell flat with viewers and Marvel diehards, IMDb fans couldn't get enough of Jessica Henwick, who played martial-arts expert Colleen Wing. Her character, with her no-nonsense, deadpan self-reliance, was just what genre fans wanted, and she became that series' most popular actor on IMDb for weeks after its release and enjoyed another surge of fan interest when "The Defenders" debuted in late summer. Aside from kicking ass with the Hand, Henwick appeared in the second season of British thriller "Fortitude" and in the seventh season of "Game of Thrones," starring yet again as Nymeria Sand.

Sophia Lillis at an event for It (2017)

7. Sophia Lillis

When It debuted earlier this fall, movie fans fully expected Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgård) to dominate the screen and haunt their dreams. But few expected Sophia Lillis to linger in their memories long after the nightmares receded. The young actress, playing tough-as-nails Beverly Marsh, frequently outshone her male counterparts in the Losers' Club and stared down the scariest that Pennywise had to offer, all the while tackling a character whose family life is similarly horrific. All to say, Sophia portrayed the year's most fierce and fearless horror hero. No small feat for an actress still not old enough to hold a driver's license.

Dylan Minnette

6. Dylan Minnette

This past year, IMDb fans saw a couple of notable child stars transition into more mature on-screen roles. And arguably most notable among them is Dylan Minnette, who found himself at the center of one of TV's most talked about series of the year. Having appeared in smaller roles on shows like "Lost" and "Scandal," Minnette played Clay Jensen in "13 Reasons Why." The character and his storyline drew strong reviews from fans and critics, in addition to marked criticism from educators and health officials over the show's dark and heavy content. Nevertheless, the Netflix series was a breakout hit among IMDb fans, who helped make Minnette No. 1 on STARmeter this past spring.

Katherine Langford at an event for 13 Reasons Why (2017)

5. Katherine Langford

If you'd never heard of Katherine Langford prior to this year, it'd be understandable: The young actress had not appeared in any feature film or TV series until Netflix's "13 Reasons Why." In this adaptation of Jay Asher's young adult novel, she plays Hannah Baker, who weighs heavy on the lives of a group of high schoolers. The character was one of the year's most provocative and mysterious. And Langford proved just as enigmatic to IMDb fans, who desired to learn more about the Australian-born actress. Traffic to her name page after the show's debut catapulted her to No. 1 on STARmeter for two weeks -- a quick rise to the top since her first IMDb credit in 2016. Fans won't have to wait long to get more of Langford, as she's set to star in Greg Berlanti's Love, Simon in 2018.

Dan Stevens

4. Dan Stevens

Having starred on "Downton Abbey" for three seasons, Dan Stevens is no stranger to being attached to projects popular with IMDb fans. In 2017, Stevens was the lead in two of the year's most popular titles, both of which debuted within a month of each other. On TV, Stevens anchored "Legion," FX's adaptation of the X-Men comic-book character David Haller. And on the big screen, he waltzed and wooed Emma Watson as the titular character in Beauty and the Beast, the year's top movie at the box office. Mutant and dancing furry beast? Now, that's range.

69th Cannes Film Festival 2016 Hands of Stone photocall

3. Ana de Armas

Despite strong reviews from critics and fans, Blade Runner 2049 was a mild disappointment at the box office. But on IMDb, Denis Villeneuve's visually impressive follow-up generated sustained user interest and high ratings. Cuban actress Ana de Armas and her mesmerizing performance as Joi, who serves as love interest to Ryan Gosling's character in the movie, were the biggest reasons for the movie's popularity on the site. In fact, after the movie's release, de Armas ranked No. 1 on STARmeter for four consecutive weeks.

Pom Klementieff

2. Pom Klementieff

The long-awaited Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gathered again for movie fans one of the big screen's most entertaining superhero teams. But as it turned out, it was a newcomer to the squad, played by French actress Pom Klementieff, who ended up stealing the movie's funniest scenes. Playing opposite Dave Bautista's Drax, Klementieff's Mantis embodied a range of irresistibly contradicting qualities -- tenderness and strength; aloofness and insightfulness; subservience and dominance -- all the while, serving up the movie's best zingers with a deadpan delivery. It's no wonder she leapt right to No. 1 on STARmeter for three weeks after the movie's release.

Bill Skarsgård

1. Bill Skarsgård

At least for 2017, Bill is the Skarsgård you loved the most. The Swedish actor, who is son of veteran actor Stellan and younger brother to IMDb fan favorites Alexander and Gustaf, was also your favorite horror character of the past year. As Pennywise in horror box-office dynamo It, he managed to terrify and charm viewers at the same time, helping to make the heavily made-up, grinning clown one of the year's most memorable cinematic faces. Horror fans will get more of the actor in 2017, as he's set to star in another Stephen King adaptation, "Castle Rock." And in 2019, he'll return in It: Chapter Two, set 27 years after the events of the original, to haunt the Losers' Club yet again. Fright cannot come soon enough.