5 Breakout Actresses To Have On Your Radar—Plus Their Fall Fashion Picks

Sure, the moviegoing experience looks a little different these days, and yes, it is disheartening to see so many highly anticipated titles be pushed to next year (shed a tear for Dune and No Time to Die), but I’d argue there’s still plenty of reason to pop some corn and snuggle up on the couch this season. Thanks to video on demand and your favorite streaming providers serving up some fantastic flicks across every genre, movie night is far from canceled. And because I can’t talk about movies without mentioning the new class of talent to have on your radar right now, it’s time to dive into our annual Ones to Watch in Film portfolio. 

I have to say that I’m particularly excited about this bunch, which includes a newcomer (Kiera Allen) going toe-to-toe with Sarah Paulson; a rising star (Lovie Simone) embracing the supernatural in The Craft: Legacy; an indie darling entangled in a nightmarish love triangle; and two kick-ass ladies battling monsters on-screen (Jessica Henwick and Tamara Smart). With performances this good, I had to get to know each actress a little better, and since you can learn a lot about a person from their fashion choices, I asked them to share their fall must-haves too. So let’s get better acquainted, shall we?


(Image credit: Eli Joshua)

WHO: Lovie Simone

WHAT: Beloved horror film and ’90s fashion treasure trove The Craft is getting a sequel, and with writer and director Zoe-Lister Jones at the helm, we are treated to a modern-day reimagining that puts supportive female relationships center stage. (Yes, please.) The project features a stellar new female ensemble, which includes the exceptional Lovie Simone. The 21-year-old is having a major moment in 2020, which started with a great performance in the indie film Selah and the Spades (now streaming on Prime Video) and is coming to a crescendo this month with roles in both The Craft: Legacy (available on-demand October 28) and the Netflix quarantine series, Social Distance.

Zoe Lister-Jones’s re-imagining of The Craft is… A progressive film for the youth. 

What I loved about the original film that is present in this version is… Girls coming together in their power. 

If I could take home one of my character’s looks, it would be… The outfit I wore when we did "light as a feather, stiff as a board.” I loved the color scheme.

Another project I have out this fall is Social Distance, which I would describe as... Relevant. I say that because it involves a revolution in the midst of a pandemic. 

One of the more rewarding parts of filming Social Distance was… Filming in my bedroom.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Those that deal with complex characters. 

The actors or creators on my radar right now are… Denzel Washington, Jurnee Smollett, Sarah Paulson, and Tayarisha Poe.

If you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Sweats, a sweatshirt, and sneakers. 

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow are… Cartoon/anime characters. 

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces...


(Image credit: Photographer: Eric Hobbs; Hairstylist: Rebekah Forecast; Makeup Artist: Gita Bass; Styling: Emily Sanchez.)

WHO: Kiera Allen

WHAT: While "Sarah Paulson” and "psychological thriller” are two things that always pair well together, I’d like to present you with another good reason to watch Run, Hulu’s buzzy new original film out November 20: Kiera Allen. The newcomer holds her own opposite of Paulson in this twisted mother-daughter story in which she plays Chloe, a wheelchair-using 17-year-old who, after being isolated from the outside world for most of her life, begins to uncover her mother’s darkest secrets. The film is a captivating two-woman show that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. After this performance, I can’t wait to see what’s next for the budding star.

When I read the script for Run, my first thought was… "Whoa.” Closely followed by "I need to do this.”

 I’m particularly proud to be a part of this project because… Of our incredible team: Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian, Natalie Qasabian, Sarah Paulson, and our entire crew up in Winnipeg. It was truly an honor joining forces with such brilliant, passionate people to make this film.

To work alongside Sarah Paulson was… Just as extraordinary as you’d imagine. More.

One invaluable lesson I learned about acting/the business working on Run was… If you feel embarrassed and intensely vulnerable, you’re probably going in the right direction.

The role I would love to tackle next is… Something I write myself!

 The women in this business I look up to most are… My dear friends Sarah Paulson and Natalie Qasabian, and all of the other amazing women I worked with on Run. And beyond that, oh my god, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Audra McDonald, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lulu Wang, Olivia Colman, Céline Sciamma, Ali Stroker, Ava DuVernay, Marielle Heller, Zendaya, the late, great Madeline Kahn… This might be the hardest question I’ve ever gotten!

If you catch me off-duty, chances are I'm wearing… Sweats, if I’m being honest.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Nerdy T-shirts. Seriously. Show me a top with an obscure Back to the Future reference on it and I am sold.

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces...


(Image credit: Photographer: Matt Berberi; Styling: Olga Timofejeva; Hairstylist: Saskia Kruase @ Basics Berlin; Makeup Artist: Jazz Mang @ Basics Berlin)

WHO: Jessica Henwick

WHAT: Jessica Henwick’s project slate contains so many notable titles that it’s hard to know where to even begin. At this moment, you can catch the actress on Apple+ in Sofia Coppola’s comedy-drama On the Rocks opposite Rashida Jones and Bill Murray and on-demand battling post-apocalyptic creatures with Dylan O’Brien in Love and Monsters. Then there’s the animated series Blood of Zeus (premiering on Netflix October 27) followed by next year’s Godzilla vs. Kong. And after that, the fourth installment of The Matrix. Yes, I feel quite confident in saying Henwick is a name we will be hearing quite a bit of for years to come. 

I’m excited for audiences to see Love and Monsters because… It’s funny, sweet, and you will 100% fall in love with the doggo.

Some of my favorite moments filming with Dylan O’Brien were… His improvisations. We were constantly corpsing in the middle of takes. But my favorite memories were after we wrapped. We were filming on the Gold Coast and every day Dylan and I would walk right down to the water and swim until the sun set. It was such a dream.

Getting to work with Sofia Coppola on the Apple+ film On the Rocks was… Inspiring. If I become a director, I want to be like her. She has this quiet confidence—she never raises her voice—but she totally owns that set. And her relationship with her actors is obviously amazing. She and Bill have a great shorthand together. They could finish each other’s sentences.

While I can’t reveal much about my role in The Matrix 4, I can say… That we’re almost wrapped! One more month to go. It’s crazy. With the lockdown we had in the spring, I’ve been on this project for almost a year. I can also confirm I have very short, very blue hair for at least 50% of the film.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Different. I think most women are tired of seeing the same tropes on screen, especially when it comes to minorities. That’s what fueled my interest in writing—I wanted to be part of the change.

The actors or creators on my radar right now are… Lulu Wang. I loved The Farewell. And I think everyone is in desperate need of more Phoebe Waller-Bridge in their lives.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… My leather armor in Game of Thrones! I felt like such a badass stepping out in that. And I fell hard for the Japanese souvenir jacket I wore in "Iron Fist,” season one. I love embroidered pieces. I have a denim jacket that I’ve stitched koi fish onto. I love customizing clothing.

If you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Something for comfort! It’s 2020. Those Zoom meetings where they can only see the top half of your body? We all know everyone is wearing sweats under the table.

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces….


(Image credit: Emily Soto)

WHO: Sarah Gadon

WHAT: I’ve been privy to Sarah Gadon’s excellent on-screen work for a few years now, but her performance in Black Bear really struck a nerve in all the right ways. Set in the Adirondack Mountains, the indie film (opening December 4) follows a young couple (Gadon and Christopher Abbot) whose relationship quickly unravels when they play host to a struggling writer and director (Aubrey Plaza) at their remote lake house. Seamlessly toggling between moments of quick, sharp-tongued dialogue and jealous rage, Gadon shines in the role of Blair, a young woman coming to terms with her imperfect relationship and unexpected pregnancy. It’s a performance so good you’ll be questioning her intentions at every turn. 

Black Bear is unlike any other film I’ve been a part of in that… I’ve never isolated in the Adirondack Mountains with a cast before.

When I watched the finished film for the first time, my thoughts were… "I hope no one thinks I’m really like that.”

Filming alongside Aubrey Plaza was… Funny, then serious, then funny.

A moment I will never forget filming Black Bear is… Driving home with Chris and Aubrey every morning—because we were shooting nights—and watching the steam from the lake evaporate into the sunrise.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Ones that scare me a little. 

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… My vampire costume from Vampires vs. The Bronx. It was so badass. 

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Levi’s and a chunky knit sweater.

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow are… @oldceline, @diet_prada, @shoponeofafew

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…


(Image credit: Stephanie Diani)

WHO: Tamara Smart

WHAT: Tamara Smart is a scene stealer, and I mean that in the best way possible. The English actress was my hands down favorite in Disney’s Artemis Fowl as the badass martial arts expert Julia Butler, and this month, she takes the lead in A Babysitter's Guide to Monster Hunting (now streaming on Netflix). A perfect Halloween family adventure, the film follows Kelly Ferguson (Smart) who is recruited to a secret society of babysitters-turned-monster-hunters when the child she is looking after is abducted by the Boogeyman. The project also stars Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Pose’s Indya Moore. 

What I love about working on a film like A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting is… The amazing drive and focus of the cast and crew and working on a big set. I wouldn’t be here without them.

It’s such a joy to play a character like Kelly, because… I get to portray a young woman who empowers other young adults and proves that we have a voice, which is so important today.

Having worked on a few sci-fi fantasy films now, I can tell you… That it is much harder to pretend there is a monster chasing you when there is, in fact, no one there.

Something most people might not know about me is… That I am terrified of ducks.

The women in this business I look up to most are… Zendaya and Emma Watson because they are truly inspirational women who both use their platforms to make change.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… For A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting. It is by far the most creative and out-there costume I’ve ever worn.

However, if you catch me off-duty, chances are I'm wearing… Nike sweats and Vans socks.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Plaid and pleated skirts and oversize jumpers.

My fall wardrobe would not be complete without these three pieces…

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Executive Director, Entertainment

Jessica Baker is Who What Wear’s Executive Director, Entertainment, where she ideates, books, writes, and edits celebrity and entertainment features.