The 2019 Z-List: 29 Rising Stars To Keep An Eye On Right Now

This Is Our Youth:

From YouTube

To Netflix, Gen-Z Is

Remaking Celebrity.

The Z-List Is Here

By Morgan Baila & Lauren Le Vine
When you think of “the youth,” images of Juul pods, fidget spinners, and finstagrams may come to mind. But the teens of 2019 are so much more than that. As members of “generation Z,” these 12- to 21-year-olds are bringing more to the table than any cohort before them: activism, political awareness, and a keen sense of self. To celebrate this era of young trailblazers, Refinery29 created a list of the 29 most inspiring, talented, and buzzed about Gen-Zers in the form of the “Z-List.”
From actors to musicians to influencers, this eclectic mix of future notables all have two things common: They’re cooler than their parents, and they want to change the world. As tech wizards and post-millennial vanguards, there’s no medium that these actors, singers, performers, YouTubers, and industry tastemakers can’t influence. Lucky for us, they’re using their powers for good.
Meet the Z-List.
Emma Chamberlain
One of the most popular and highly viewed YouTube stars of 2018 with over 5.1 million subscribers, Chamberlain is part of a new type of celebrity, notable for allowing viewers an unfiltered and hilarious glimpse into her daily life.
What’s your biggest fear about becoming famous at such a young age?
“In this industry, kids have to grow up quickly, and a lot of us miss out on normal kid experiences. I graduated high school early, so I never got the chance to graduate with my senior class. I never got to go to prom, and I didn’t go to very many football games. I used to be really afraid of missing out on my childhood, but I’ve learned to appreciate the memories I did have and focus on moving forward. Living in fear makes life a lot less fun.”
What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
“Older generations think my generation is lazy, but I don’t think this is true. Although we have social media as a distraction, many kids in this generation are extremely focused and motivated. When I was in high school, my friends and I would sleep four hours per night because our schedules were so packed with extracurriculars and homework. So many kids are managing to be in school while pursuing their passions all at such a young age. Sure, our generation enjoys a good nap here and there, but I wouldn’t say we are lazy.”
Where do you see yourself at 29?
“When I’m 29 I will hopefully have my shit together. Married, pregnant, stable job, cute house, hot husband, etc. I feel like when you’re 29 life becomes a lot more ‘adultish,’ which can be stressful, but also exciting. I’ll also probably be drinking lots of wine.”
Sophia Lillis
Known for her breakout roles as Beverly Marsh in It and young Camille Preaker in Sharp Objects, Lillis is next set to star as Nancy Drew in Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase, and in the fall will appear in the Brothers Grimms’ fairy tale Gretel and Hansel.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“The actors I work with and the crew that work on these films — how hard they work [and] how much effort they put into creating something. That’s not always easy. They have to sacrifice a lot. They don’t see their families as much as they want. But they love it and believe in the projects they’re working on.”
What’s your biggest fear about becoming famous at such a young age?
“I do worry about not getting better at acting, not doing a good job and letting people down. I remind myself that this is still more of my hobby — not necessarily my career. There’s lots of other things I’m interested in, like drawing and philosophy and literature. I’d like to go to college someday. I think anything I could learn would also help me be a better actor. But you never know, maybe I’ll also find out I want to do something completely different.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I am very bad at social media. I hardly ever post. Plus, there are all these rules. A while ago I asked my brother to help me, and now when I get a request to post something I send it to him. He also knows me really well, so he’ll say, ‘How about this?’ I usually always say yes."
Sophia Wylie
Wylie stars in Disney’s LGBTQ+ friendly show Andi Mack and recently made her film debut in Australian soccer movie Back Of The Net.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“Oprah, Denzel, and Zendaya all inspire me to do more than just what I can do in the entertainment industry. They inspire me to give back to my community. They inspire me by what they do off-camera. I want to start an animal adoption center and possibly a way to help the homeless.”
What is the biggest misconception about Gen-Z?
“That we don’t know much, and that we don’t know what’s going on in the world. The truth is, our generation knows a lot. We have the power to communicate easily with our peers and capture current events topics a lot more effectively thanks to social media and the internet. We are the generation that has the power to evoke change.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“Yes! I’m still too young to vote, but I’m already starting to learn about what political views align with mine. I can’t wait to turn 18 so i can share my voice!!”
Marsai Martin
Marsai Martin is known for her role as the wise-beyond-her-years Diane Johnson on Black-ish. Next up, she will appear in the film Little with Issa Rae. She's the youngest executive producer ever on a film that's entirely her own concept.
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I try to keep the balance between work and my personal life on my social media. I love giving insight into things like being on set [and] different projects I’m working on, as well as engaging with my followers from time to time. I mix that in with the things I’m interested in and passionate about outside of work, because I want my social media to be something girls my age can relate to.”
Are there any contractual stipulations you’re considering putting into place, as someone who’s seen the industry change in such a public way?
“Since I have my own production company, I want to make sure that we create projects that are diverse and inclusive. There’s no real need for a[n inclusion] rider when you have a hand in creating the projects. You can just do it. It’s a blessing to be able to have that type of input and creative control.”
Who are you definitely stanning?
“Besides Beyoncé, it changes often... right now it's between Tyler the Creator and Emma Chamberlain. It’s not like a crush crush, per se, but I listen to all of Tyler’s songs, watch all of his interviews — basically everything. With Emma Chamberlain, I watch all of her YouTube videos and try to get my parents and friends to watch!”
Jenna Ortega
She starred in Disney’s Stuck In The Middle and is the voice of the network’s first Latina princess in Elena of Avalor. Ortega also plays young Jane on Jane the Virgin.
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
“Much of my life is consumed by the industry, so when I hang out with my friends, we usually just catch up on life outside of work. My family on the other hand, likes to know what I’m working on or how my meetings went — but they’re quick to remind me that there’s a sink full of dishes waiting for me.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for my supporters, so one of my main priorities on social media is interacting with them. They seem to enjoy random selfies more than work posts, but I also realize that a lot of people from the industry are watching my page as well. I use my accounts to speak up for what I believe in and share photos from work while still making it light and fun.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“The internet! We all are given the same opportunity on social media and can talk about anything we want. If we want to learn more about something or pull up fact receipts, we can check online for the answers. That’s something people didn’t have 80 years ago. We have the world at our fingertips and can educate ourselves on anything we want, and that can be a beautiful thing.”
Luna Blaise
Blaise started acting at the age of 6, and after a recurring role on Fresh Off the Boat, she released two singles and booked a job on NBC’s Manifest.
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“In our day and age, social media participation and interaction is very essential and can be a powerful and positive tool in many ways. Unfortunately, there is also online bullying. It’s important to remember that bullies and/or haters are only trying to bring you down because of their own insecurities.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“My generation is the generation that will make a difference. We are the future. We are smart, we are fearless, and we know nothing can tear us down. We have a voice, and we aren’t afraid to use it. Our youth and respect for each other is what will hold us all together. We must continue to open up conversations and speak out on the issues that are happening around us time and time again. Our biggest advantage is our hunger for knowledge and having technology to feed that hunger. With one click in the palm of our hand, we are able to tap into endless information and have access to global resources. This is a powerful tool. We must get involved and stay involved. Stand up for what we believe in and be fearless in our quest for change.”
Where do you see yourself at 29?
“Doing exactly what i’m doing today: being happy and confident with my work and enjoying life. I love every aspect being an artist has to offer. I want to work behind the camera as a director one day. If I’m going to be perfectly honest, my real goal is to 100% have that EGOT on my shelf. I know I’ll get there. When you believe in yourself, set goals, and work hard, anything and everything is achievable.”
Lennon Stella
Lennon and her sister Maisy comprise the musical duo Lennon & Maisy, whose cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” went viral overnight. The duo played sisters on Nashville, which ended its run on CMT in 2018. Lennon Stella released her debut EP, Love Me, in November.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“Stevie Nicks. She always remains so true to herself and is such an honest musician. I look up to her in every way.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I think just being genuine and honest on social media is the best way I know how to navigate it. That way I don’t feel pressured to always be happy or look a certain way, I can just be myself and connect with strangers as friends.”
Which TV show or movie do you think best represents young people right now?
Perks of Being a Wallflower. It isn’t afraid of showing the struggles of growing up and finding yourself and feeling like an outcast, which I believe most young people experience.”
Hailey Kilgore
The talented Texan was nominated for Tony Award for her breakout role as Ti Moune in Once on This Island — her Broadway debut. She just landed a role in NBC’s upcoming drama The Village.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“I look up to a lot of people! The top two that come to mind are Viola Davis and Zendaya. The beautiful thing about Ms. Davis and her art is how raw, how unapologetic, and strong [it is]. Every choice she makes along with every word spoken is so intricate yet SO human. Masterclass.
“Zendaya Coleman is everything to me. She is a strong, beautiful, and incredibly talented. I have looked up to her in all ways (especially fashion!!): life, being a young black woman in the entertainment industry. She is so humble and so grounded. No one can get in her way.”
Which TV show or movie do you think actually best represents young people right now?
“I am obsessed with Dear White People. It's giving a voice to many young people of color without putting us all in one box.”
Do your parents/older mentors give you any advice that you think is universal to every generation?
“Love and welcome EVERYONE. Genuinely. We are in a world where appearance, image, and following is this HUGE priority...However, one of the main things I picked up on almost immediately was the fact that we are so quick to reach up to for a hand, but hardly ever do we look back and reach out to someone else. Especially if they are not immediately deemed ‘worthy’ or they haven't ‘paid their dues"’ EVERYONE has a story and a place that they came from.”
Klondike Blonde
Her single “No Smoke” was hailed by Galore as “a new pop anthem for girls who DGAF.”
Which TV show or movie do you think best represents young people right now?
Grown-ish (which happens to be my favorite show) is a great representation of young people today. It has great, almost spot-on modern day examples of the young generation.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“There is a great responsibly to be political, especially with everything going on currently. We as young people truly have the opportunity to make choices that can potentially better future generations.”
Do your parents/older mentors give you any advice that you think is universal to every generation?
“I tell family and friends that just like everyone else I made a choice to make this a career. Everyone, no matter what it is, should find your passion and make it your career.”
Kodie Shane
The Atlanta rapper and singer calls herself a “lover” (you can hear it in her lyrics), and says that she’s “queer as fuck, by the way, and happy about it.” She’s embarking on a world tour in February.
What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
“People think we are a very shallow generation; that there’s not a lot of depth to us. However, I really think we are the exact opposite of that.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“It’s hard to always do everything right on social media. I definitely try to put most of my effort into interacting with my fans and supporters and keep it positive. It’s definitely a big part of the job now, and it’s hard, but it’s important.”
Who are you definitely stanning?
“I absolutely stan Frank Ocean until the end of time, until I die. I love you, Frank.”
Dinah Jane
After Fifth Harmony announced an indefinite hiatus in March, Jane was signed to L.A. Reid’s record label. She's currently working on her first solo album.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“I look up to Sam Smith. I love how real he is. Also, Ashanti. I love her music, and I always felt she doesn’t get the credit she deserves.”
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“I just wish everyone would unite more on a genuine level. I don’t like how there’s always such a harsh competition with every artist when we are all in a lane of our own, making art to bring into the world. Every artist is here for a purpose, and we shouldn’t see each other as competition because everyone brings something different to the table. There’s room for so many of us.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“There’s so much talent out there, and through social media, we have an advantage of showcasing all our talents and personalities.”
Lilimar
The mononymous actress is best known for her role in Nickelodeon’s Bella and the Bulldogs.
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“I wish to see the industry give more credit and job opportunities to those who really work hard and have love/passion for the entertainment business rather than just someone who has high numbers on Instagram. We need more passion projects and mature idols for our children.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I do now have to go about my social media as if it is a job. I want my page to express fun and positivity. On #FreshFacedFriday, I post a selfie with no makeup or face editing and challenge my 'stargazers' to do the same. I wanted to help them shut down their inner fears and insecurities little by little, and it’s always so heartwarming to see everyone posting up a cute picture of them smiling and living their best life! On #StargazerSaturday, I talk about a heavy topic that’s been on my mind, or a subject that I think should be talked about more often and openly. I always encourage everyone to leave their thoughts and feelings on it in the comments, so that we can keep the conversation going and also make each other feel supported. ”
Do your parents/older mentors give you any advice that you think is universal to every generation?
“There’s one phrase my grandma and parents have told me since I was very little to teach me to never feel inferior to others and let insecurities take over me. It says, ‘Mejor que yo, la Tierra, y la piso todos los días.’ It’s Spanish for 'Greater than I, the Earth, and I step on it every day.' They always told me to never confuse it with feeling superior to others of course, but to never feel inferior to the rest of the world and have confidence in myself and my skills. Never doubt how beautiful you are, how talented you are, how worthy you are.”
Chandler Kinney
Kinney got her big break as Riana Murtaugh in the television adaptation of Lethal Weapon, and is now looking to her next challenge: college. She also started a foundation for disadvantaged youth with her mother called Chandler’s Friends.
Are there any contractual stipulations you’re considering putting into place, as someone who’s seen the industry change in such a public way?
“I think one of the best ways to turn talk into action is for the people in positions of power to implement inclusion riders into their contracts. It’s the most effective way to actually start seeing a real change in the statistics. I know what it feels like to have less opportunity than my peers, and now that I have some capacity to make even a small difference, at least on my set, I speak up! As the lovely Mrs. Michelle Obama put it, ‘When you walk through that doorway of opportunity, you don’t slam it shut behind you. You reach back.’ One day when I’m in a position in my career to do so, I intend to make diversity a priority when assembling my cast and crew for my project.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“Gen-Z is the most diverse and accepting generation to date. This creates a strong sense of unity, and there’s major strength in that, especially in such a sociopolitically divided country. Technology has always played an important role in our lives; navigating digital spaces/software is a skill we acquire very young. We stay connected, informed, and motivated. We’re aware of what’s going on in our country, and we’re more than prepared to take action.”
Do you think you you have a responsibility to be political?
“We all have a responsibility to be politically engaged. Of course, what that looks like exactly will vary greatly from person to person. But there are some minimum requirements for any citizen to fulfill their civic duty: stay educated on the issues that affect your family and community, and be an active, informed voter.”
Ariela Barer
Barer plays fan-favorite Gert on Marvel’s Runaways, a character who openly struggles with anxiety in a way we haven’t seen on screen before.
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
“It’s very funny because sometimes I think of it as another day at the office, especially when I’m on set everyday doing the same thing for a while. It’s only when I talk to my friends about it that I realize how very special and not normal any of what I do is. My roommate works in a law firm, so our work stories are extremely different.”
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“I hope to see a lot more diversity, and not just for diversity’s sake. I want people to be interested in telling diverse stories. I don’t want to see anymore tokenism or just pigeonholing people of color into stories that aren’t theirs in order to avoid controversy. People keep saying that we’re out of original stories, but we aren’t really. There are whole worlds that haven’t been explored! And we don’t need to leave our planet or invent fantasy worlds to make a movie about a different culture of people.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“Luckily I’ve been blessed with really nice fans, so it hasn’t been too difficult for me. It’s something I can pick up throughout the day without too much stress and also put away when I need to. I feel very honored to have a fanbase that seems to have created a community with each other. I think that’s definitely a plus side of being vocal about my beliefs. A lot of like-minded people have come together in their support of me and found that they are not alone in their ideas and therefore found each other. I, in return, feel less alone.”
Josie Totah
Coming off a breakout role as a queer high schooler on the Mindy Kaling co-created Champions (and already having sold a show to NBC at 15), Totah wrote an essay for Time announcing that her pronouns are she, her, and hers, and she identifies as a transgender female. She's now a freshman in college studying film and television and continues to pursue her career as an actress, writer, and producer.
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“Our biggest asset is our voice. Unfortunately, it took horrific events in schools for the government [to start] listening to our generation. Students of Parkland represented us in a way older generations haven’t seen. We are not naive. We’re not all on our Instagram pages incessantly. We know what is happening because it is happening to us. We have power in our voices (and our Instagram pages) to invoke change in policy.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“Social media is a unique place. We are generally asked to post about our upcoming projects for promotion. However, as a young person in this industry, my Instagram page expands far beyond PR, which is something I don’t have control over. I’ve definitely had to build thick skin, but it’s the intimacy of the platform that’s been instilled in me. I have to keep myself from asking questions regarding when I should post, or if anyone will even like the photo. Sometimes I just have to throw my phone down and take a break. I’ve found that to be the healthiest solution.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“I believe everyone has a responsibility to be involved politically. Whether or not everyone should uphold that responsibility is not a judgement I can make. However, in this currently charged political climate, it is more important than ever for everyone to speak up and rally for what we believe in. People died for us to have that input in our government, and I absolutely think we should all be expressing ours.”
H.E.R
H.E.R., which stands for Having Everything Revealed, still likes to remain cryptic as to her identity, but that might be a little harder now that she’s nominated for two Grammys (Best New Artist and Album of the Year).
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“I️ hope to see a change in the musicality and instrumentation in new music. I think there’s a wave of new artists making real music and experimenting in different chord changes and more live sounds. I hope the trend continues.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“I think the biggest advantage is social media because it’s easier to build your own fan base without the support of a record label. It helps the grind.”
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
“I try to explain the reality of the entertainment industry and the things that go on behind the scenes. There are a lot of illusions and fantasies that people believe in when it comes to the lifestyles of artists and entertainers. The music is just as important as the business. And it is a job even though it is a passion.”
Dounia
An outspoken advocate for body positivity (and not afraid to take on well-known brands for their messaging), the Moroccan-born, Queens-raised Dounia Tazi is a curve model and rising star in the music industry.
What’s one thing you hope to see changed in the industry?
“The more truly inclusive we get toward all walks of life — the more we internally strengthen our unconventional communities — the closer we are to shifting the paradigm. I also want to see and hope to contribute to more diverse dialogue, especially revolving around emotional health and environmental impact.”
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I don’t know if there’s a way to use social media professionally. I’m just myself. I truly feel it’ll exhaust you to try and maximize its marketing potential as a sensitive creative, especially when your ‘brand’ is you. I have come to discover that it’s one of our strongest tools as unconventional identities, as women in this space. We live in an age where we run our own media.. no third party has control over our narratives. I find that to be extremely powerful.”
What do you see as your generation's biggest asset or advantage?
“I’m not sure if our introspection necessarily acts as a practical asset, or if it prompts cynical procrastination and sadness, but I think it’s a creative and emotional asset for sure. We’re breaking down on what it means to be human, we’re challenging everything, we’re fulfilling our souls in the most untraditional of ways. I truly believe we have some of the most powerful young souls of all time.”
Mahalia
U.K. born artist Mahalia didn’t want to get put into a box — so she made a genre entirely for herself. Signed at just 13 years old, she now refers to her creative output as “psycho-acoustic soul.”
Who are you definitely stanning?
“I think the person that I’ve kind of always been a stan of is Amandla Stenberg — just as an actress, a social influencer, and an online influencer. I think she’s really powerful, and she has a lot to say. I think she’s a really important figure in my generation.”
Who do you look up to in your industry?
Solange’s artistic role and creativity in the industry is unmatched. As an artist, I look at her and I think, ‘You’re everything that I want to be.’ Everything that she stands for is so natural and home-grown and real...Everything she says, I find, always has intention and meaning.”
What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
“That we don’t want to speak about things...I think we are at an age where voicing our opinion is easier now. You can say post a photo and say how you feel on Instagram. Everything is so easy to do, and I feel like people are a lot more confident to say how they feel. I really love that.”
Holly Taylor
She just concluded her run on one of the most critically acclaimed TV shows of all time, The Americans, holding her own opposite acting powerhouses Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. Taylor is now working on a mysterious new show called The Unsettling.
What's your biggest fear about becoming famous at such a young age?
“I would think becoming famous at a young age is scary because the world thinks they know everything about you, when you don't even know about yourself. It's scary trying to figure out who you are with the world watching and judging. Also: Leaving the house without makeup or fancy clothes and being criticized... because I wear my pajamas everywhere.”
What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
“That we're lazy. So many adults have said this to me, and I get it — every generation has some lazy people! But I've never seen such motivation towards goals, success, politics, and bettering oneself than I have from my peers.”
Where do you see yourself at 29?
“Running an animal rescue and hopefully learning to eat vegetables instead of cookies.”
Priah Ferguson
Priah Ferguson was the best part of Stranger Things season 2 as the younger sister of Caleb McLaughlin, and her hopes for the future of Hollywood show that she is ready for forge her own path.
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
“Well, I don't really talk to my friends about the entertainment industry. Most of my friends aren't in the industry, so when we get together it's just regular conversation. What's funny [is that] they'll low-key Google my name or visit my IG and say, ‘Wow Priah, I didn't know you did xyz,’ and I'm like, ‘Oh yeah. That's why I wasn't at school, girl.
“I'll talk to my parents about my thoughts on a role, my schedule, understanding important details, or just to vent. We really don't talk about the entertainment industry every day. Some days, we're just talking about our favorite songs, shows, or someone's style.”
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“I just hope more young girls of color get opportunities to lead in different roles with very, very smart writing. I hope one day it's not a big surprise or shock when we're cast for unique roles...It's changing now, but we have to use our own creativity and help others once we get to a certain place in our career.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“Technology. We can get information on anything very quickly. That can be good, or it can be bad. Back in the day, people only had newspapers or radios to get information, or they visited libraries every day. With our generation, we don't really have to wait to learn something new. You may have to get your mom's permission to try it out though, just in case it causes a big mess.”
Ella Hunt
Hunt currently stars in Anna and the Apocalypse, the Christmas zombie movie you didn’t know you needed, and is set to appear in a coming-of-age rom-com in 2019 alongside Lana Condor and Victoria Justice.
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I recognize social media is a fantastic tool, especially working in the entertainment industry. But I do feel pretty addicted to my phone, and I worry about how it’s impacting me and the people around me. I’d like to see more film and TV exploring connectivity as a serious discussion for our generation.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“Sharing knowledge is the easiest it has ever been. Every young person with a phone or computer has the opportunity to learn, share, and collaborate at their fingertips.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“I think as a young actress there is definitely a level of responsibility put on you to share your political opinions and to be a role model for other young people. As fantastic as it is to be given an opportunity to share my voice and talk about all the things I believe in, also, I am 20, and I am still working it out. I never want to appear as if I’m preaching or know it all. That said, I really care and want to develop and become more eloquent in speaking about how young people are represented on screen.”
Malina Weissman
Malina Weissman may be used to unfortunate events thanks to her starring role in the Netflix remake of the book series, but this young actress actually has nothing but good days (and roles) ahead of her.
Which TV show or movie do you think actually best represents young people right now?
Grown-ish and Transparent. They are such good shows that I feel like my generation could relate to.”
Where do you see yourself at 29?
“Hopefully by 29, I will have traveled all over the world and be doing something creative. I’ll also probably have a lot of pets.”
Do you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“I believe that we all have the responsibility to be political. My generation will be the ones living with the elected official’s decisions. We have an obligation to get involved in order to help shape our future.”
Sadie Stanley
Grab your beeper, because Sadie Stanley is about to reprise one of the greatest and most inspiring roles of all time: Kim Possible.
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“I go through phases when it comes to social media. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it. Social media can be used in such a positive, impactful way, but it can also be so toxic. I try to have fun with mine and not take it too seriously, while also trying to use my platform to spread positivity and love.”
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“I think one of the biggest things that sets my generation apart is the access we have to people and information all over the world. As a result, we are so much more aware of the cultures, beliefs, and experiences of different groups. It makes us more understanding and open-minded.”
Do your parents/ older mentors give you any advice that you think is universal to every generation?
“There is a piece of advice that has stuck with me that I think pertains to all generations. Adam Stein (the director of Kim Possible) has always told me that I need to try to be content with where I’m at in the moment. I have a tendency to always be thinking about what’s next. I’m constantly waiting to know what the next step will be in my career, and I need to remember to appreciate how far I’ve come and enjoy life in the present.”
Devenity Perkins
As the younger half of the Perkins sisters (singers, actresses, and YouTube stars), Devenity is a modern-day triple threat.
Who do you look up to in the music industry?
“I have to say Madison Beer. She’s an amazing independent artist, and her music is so relatable right now.”
Biggest fear about becoming famous at a young age?
“That no one will take me seriously. I wouldn’t want anyone to think fame came easy to me. It’s also scary because when you do have an audience so young, you feel this pressure to keep it up. We’re all growing up and figuring out who we are at the same time.”
Where do you see yourself in the future?
“I see myself in my late 20s having done a couple movies in between touring with my music and exploring the world.”
Daniella Perkins
As both an actress (Knight Squad) and a YouTube personality, Daniella is showing what it’s really like to be both young and in the spotlight.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
“I would say Jennifer Lawrence. She’s an amazing actress, and her current roles have been on the more dramatic side, but her personality is still so unique and goofy. I feel like she stays ‘human’ even with all her success.”
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
My family is all super close, and everyone knows how hard we all work and everything that goes into getting one part. It's a little different for friends and the outside world because people build up Hollywood to be this glamorous business. A lot of people don’t realize it takes a lot just to get to one place and to reach each goal. You have to keep going. You can’t just expect to be holding an Oscar overnight.”
What’s one thing you hope you see changed about the industry?
“As a mixed-race actress, I would just say I hope for more nontraditional casting.”
Tessa Brooks
With 6.9 million Instagram followers, Brooks leveraged her talents — dancing and being an online personality — into a solid career in the entertainment industry.
Who are you definitely stanning?
“I’m always stanning Dwayne Johnson. He's such a great example of someone in the industry who's always doing things to improve the lives of people, not only around him, but all over the world.”
What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
“I think my generation has a reputation of being lazy or entitled, but I believe that we are really just learning ways to work smarter, not harder.”
Do you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“I think political activism is extremely important, and everyone has a responsibility to educate themselves on what’s going on in the world. But, I don't usually go to social media to talk about politics.”
Sabrina Carpenter
If it feels like Sabrina Carpenter is everywhere — it’s because she is, in the best way. As a Disney alum and singer-songwriter, Carpenter also has a starring role in 2019’s The Short History of the Long Road. She hopes to star in a comedy with Joey King next.
What do you see as your generation’s biggest asset or advantage?
“Our minds! I think we are very good at thinking outside the box and want to see change in a positive way. I love seeing our generation being there for one another and empathizing more with each other.”
Where do you see yourself at 29?
“Doing all the things I’m working towards right now — it’s a long journey.”
How do you talk to your friends and family about the entertainment industry?
“Brutally and honestly, which is exactly what this industry exudes. It can be good and bad in certain doses. It is so important to surround yourself with authentic people.”
Kaylee Bryant
Kaylee Bryant knows a thing or two about TV’s buzziest shows. Appearing in Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet and CW’s Legacies (a Vampire Diaries spin-off), Bryant also made some time to pick up cello last year.
How do you navigate social media professionally?
“This is something I’m still really new at and learning. I think it’s a constant balance of not taking yourself too seriously, but understanding that your voice is now a lot louder than it was previously. To me, this means not caring as much if I post with a photo with no makeup on or one where I’m making a stupid face. Instead, I care about speaking in an educated way about the things that I am passionate about and want to share with my followers.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“I do feel a responsibility. People who want to learn more about what’s going on and want to share their opinions should feel confident in using their platform. That being said, I don’t think that everybody should feel that same pressure. If an actor just wants to be an actor I think that’s totally okay, too. Sometimes people with a platform speak simply because they feel pressure to speak, which can be more detrimental than saying nothing at all.”
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“I look up to a lot of people on opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end, I look up to actors like Carey Mulligan and Tatiana Maslany because their talent and work ethic are things that I study and strive to emulate. On the other end, I have so much respect for people like Chrissy Teigen for unashamedly being themselves and sharing their ups and downs in front of millions of people.”
Charlotte Lawrence
Since releasing her first EP in June, Lawrence has honed in on a new type of moody pop, born and bred on the internet.
Who do you look up to in your industry?
“Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Damien Rice, Coldplay, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks, Bowie...the list could go on forever. I think it’s so important as an artist to draw inspiration from people you admire and love. These artists are the reason why I ever started to play music.”
Who are you definitely stanning?
“I‘ve recently been in a Dua Lipa vibe. She’s f-ing sick and talented and so fire.”
Do you think you think you have a responsibility to be political?
“Yes. The world we live in right now is scary and sad, and I wasn’t put on this planet to be a bystander. Every voice makes a difference, and I will always be vocal about what I believe in, like gun control laws, civil, women’s, LGBTQ+, and immigrants’ rights, and more. VOTE VOTE VOTE!!.

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