These 7 Fresh Faces Are a Bright Spot in Fall's TV Lineup

So you finished all six seasons of Schitt’s Creek, rewatched Succession, and binged Love Island. Now what? Cue fall TV season! It’s quite possibly my favorite time of year. Just when you thought you had watched everything the networks and streaming giants had to offer, poof—a bevy of new and returning shows are available for your viewing pleasure. And along with it, a crop of fresh faces to have on your radar. 

For our annual ones-to-watch-in-television portfolio, we selected seven massively talented ladies who are standouts in this season’s lineup. From a 17-year-old making her screen debut in HBO’s latest vie for Emmy domination to an achingly relatable portrayal of teenage angst, the star power amongst this group is palpable. And since we’ll likely be hearing about these actresses for years to come, we thought it was time to get to know them a little better. Bonus: We asked each actress to share the items on their fall shopping lists. Apologies in advance to your wallet.

Photo:

Lili Peper

WHO: Otmara Marrero

WHAT: Life in quarantine certainly has its challenges. We are faced with juggling work and family life like never before, relationships are being tested, video chats are the new norm, and banana bread is having its best year ever. It’s the stuff of a Hollywood script, so naturally, NBC created a show about it called Connecting, a Coronavirus-era comedy that everyone can relate to premiering October 8. The show is a testament to its incredible cast who filmed everything at their homes using iPhone 11s. Be on the lookout for series lead Otmara (OT) Marrero, who blew me away earlier this spring with her beautiful performance in the indie film Clementine.  

The way I would describe Connecting to my friends is… Imagine the CDC announces a deadly virus, the U.S. goes into lockdown, and the only way you and your friends can remain sane without human contact is through technology, and by “technology,” I mean the ever-evolving Zoom. Jokes aside, it’s a comedy about leaning on those you love in hard times. 

One of my favorite moments filming this series was… The entire process has been quite hysterical, but my favorite moment was when my castmate Shakina said, “Hold for sound. My neighbors are fighting.” The whole Zoom [chat] went quiet. The argument was so loud you couldn’t help but get invested.

However, one of the more challenging parts of filming this project was… Being alone during the process. You’re basically setting up the shot, lighting, and blotting your own nose. You wear many hats, which is scary, especially when you have an insanely talented crew that’s trusting you to get the job done. Our creators, Martin [Gero] and Brendan [Gall], did a fantastic job creating this virtual set that really just works. It’s kind of like film school, and we have teachers like Kira Kelly, Jessica Ramos, and Linda Mendoza. All that to say, film school is not easy, and I never even went!

I can relate to my Connecting character Annie in that… She’s a romantic. She likes to be courted in a classic way. She’s also a little bit of an overthinker, which I know all too well. 

I feel particularly lucky to have been a part of the film Clementine because… Shooting a movie in the gorgeous backdrop of Florence, Oregon, with a partner like Sydney [Sweeney] is all the reason to feel extremely lucky.

A role I would love to tackle next in my career is… An athlete, specifically a ballerina. Ballet was my first love, and I’d love to marry what I do now with my dance background.

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow are… If I had a fashion baby, this is the gene pool it would consist of: @palomija, @franknesbitt, @gabriellak_j, @renellaice, and @annahstasia. I think what I love most about all these accounts is how well their style teeters the line of chic and comfortable.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Gold! Gold jewelry and gold hardware on accessories. It always compliments any look.

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

“Fall is never complete without a good orange in your wardrobe, and in this case, the pop of color is in the bag. Medea has proven to be a great to-go bag with an adjustable shoulder strap to go from day to night.”

“Bottega has a chic shoe for every season! I love that this sandal has a heel short enough for brunch and high enough for a night out. The square toe is my favorite! I’d wear it with a pair of vintage orange tab Levi’s that have a bit of sag to them and a white razor tank.”

“Top it off with a classic investment piece. The Burberry trench is a piece that can live in your closet forever. Throw this over a tank and jeans, and you’ve got ‘working girl about town!’”

Photo:

Shane McCauley; Styling: Enrique Menendez; Hairstylist: Gui Schoedler for Exclusive Artists using GHD Tools and L’Oréal Professionnel; Makeup: Elie Maalouf

WHO: Amalia Yoo

WHAT: You want an authentic and raw portrayal of high school? Grand Army is it. Based on Katie Cappielo’s groundbreaking play, Slut, the Netflix series centers on five teens navigating the countless pressures of adolescence. Think Euphoria but more grounded in reality. It’s sure to be a major breakout moment for the young cast, which includes Amalia Yoo, who starred in the original stage production. The NYC native is achingly relatable as Leila Zimmer, a freshman so concerned with fitting in that she loses sight of who she is and the things that truly matter to her.  

I would describe Grand Army to my friends as… A show that depicts the high-school experience in the most authentic way I have ever seen. It is a true reflection of our generation rising and raging as we come into our own. 

I think it’s important to see more stories like these on-screen because… Representation is everything! These stories make people feel seen and heard. They also create conversations that help create change. 

The surprising trait my character Leila and I share is… A love of oat milk. 

Grand Army features a great young ensemble cast and one of my favorite moments on set was... When Lola, who plays my best friend on the show and is one of my best friends in real life, had to cover me in shaving cream because my skin got stained with red food coloring and cranberry juice and that was the only way to get it out. It was hilarious and I’m very grateful for her help.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Period pieces that have POC in lead roles like the new David Copperfield film. It’s really exciting to see people who look like me in those fantastical costumes and settings that until now have been reserved for non-POC. 

The women in this business I look up to most are… Katie Cappiello, Indya Moore, and Saoirse Ronan. Katie is a genius. Everything she does is groundbreaking and I am so inspired by how hard she works and her passion for storytelling. Indya Moore always stands up for what is right. Their work on Pose leaves me speechless. I love them. Saoirse is just so freaking talented! So many of my favorite movies have her in them. 

The people and/or fashion accounts I love to follow are… I’ve been following @devonleecarlson for such a long time now. Her ’fits are always on point and her vibes are always super positive. I also have been following @dronme for a hot minute. Her style is super cute and she has these amazing videos where she speaks super bluntly about different issues/topics. 

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… These perfect vintage Levis that I found for like $7 and a baby tee or one of my dad’s old shirts from the ’90s. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Vintage jackets. 

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

“The dresses from this brand are so flattering and cute. I think this green is so gorgeous.” 

“This cardigan is so beautiful and the brand is sustainable!”

“I love these shoes. I wear them almost every day.” 

Photo:

Christian Cody; Styling: Abs Petit.

WHO: Jordan Kristine Seamón 

WHAT: Everyone is buzzing about Luca Guadagnino’s We Are Who We Are, and rightfully so. It’s a beautifully filmed coming-of-age story (a Guadagnino specialty, having also written and directed Call Me By Your Name) about a young teen (Jack Dylan Grazer) who is uprooted from his life in New York City to Italy, where his mother (played by Chloë Sevigny) is assigned to take over an American military base. On the base, he meets Caitlin, another American teen played by Jordan Kristin Seamón. It’s the 17-year-old’s debut role, but you wouldn’t know it based on her exquisite performance as the confident, and at times, rebellious army brat. We’re seeing just the beginning of Seamón’s incredible talent with this project, and that is something to be excited about.  

My first reaction to reading the We Are Who We Are script was… “Wow.” I couldn’t believe that I was actually cast for a role that was not only this complex but also this interesting and compelling. I was fascinated with the characters and the way they each interacted with one another. I was so intrigued and so excited to play the role. 

I feel particularly proud to be a part of this project because… I think it’s going to really change how people perceive others. I think people will watch the show and be really heavily impacted, and those are the kind of projects I like to be a part of. 

This being my first-ever TV series, I was most nervous about… Seeming out of place, so much so that people wouldn’t think that I was a good pick or that I belong. 

One of the most valuable lessons I learned on set was… It’s okay to take your time to figure out who you are. It’s okay to not know everything about everything all at once. You have to take time to understand people and yourself. And sometimes it takes six seconds or six months. 

Working alongside Jack Dylan Grazer was… An experience I will never forget. Jack is such a funny guy and he was always a super-big ball of energy. I learned a lot from him. Not just from conversation, but also from his actions. 

A role I would love to tackle next in my career is… I’m really open to potentially playing any character. I want to try at least everything once, from a serious role (like Caitlin in We Are Who We Are) to a role in a kid’s movie. I think it’s really important to have an open mind when it comes to acting roles. I try to have an open mind in everything that I do, whether that be music or acting. I like to dip my hand in everything, and it’s worked pretty well for me so far!

The actors or creators on my radar right now are… Besides my co-stars, I’ve been looking at a lot of young black actors and actresses Yara Shahidi, Amandla Stenberg, Jurnee Smollett, John Boyega, Indya Moore, Jahi Di'Allo Winston, and Storm Reid. People that are not only talented but are also using their platforms to create change and impact the world.  

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… An old T-shirt and baggy sweatpants. Most likely. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… A dress with pockets or a suit. You can never go wrong with some dress pants and a blazer.

“This sweater is so cool. I just love the pattern. It’s very unique. I like experimenting with fashion, and I feel like this top is definitely something that I might struggle for a while to find something to go with it but in the end would look amazing with whatever piece I chose.”

“I love these track pants because they look like they would be super comfortable. I would definitely style them with an oversize hoodie or a jacket."

“I love Dr. Martens because the clunkiness of them gives a sort of powerful cool-girl look. And boots always make me feel 10 times cooler than I actually am. I would definitely style them with the track pants above or with some loose-fitting jeans and an oversize T-shirt.” 

Photo:

Jacq Harriet

WHO: Colby Minifie

WHAT: When Colby Minifie isn’t busy running PR for a group of corrupt superheroes (trust—it’s no easy feat) in Amazon’s hit series The Boys, she’s fighting off zombies and leading a group of hostile post-apocalyptic survivors in AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead. Two very different roles, but a perfect example of Minifie’s range as a performer and her brilliance on screen. In addition to starring in two major fall TV shows this year, the 28-year-old also checked off an item on her career bucket list, appearing in Charlie Kauffman’s latest mind-bender, I’m Thinking of Ending of Things, streaming now on Netflix.  

I knew The Boys was something special when… I read it. I wasn’t over the moon about the prospect of another superhero show at first, but it’s so well written—even the stage directions are hilarious—that by the middle of the first episode, I wanted to be a part of it. 

My The Boys character Ashley Barrett is such a joy to play, because… I get to strut around in some fancy pantsuits and suck up to superheroes. What could be more fun?! Really, the joy is getting to play with the rest of that cast. Eric Kripke put a team together who are seriously down to clown. 

I can really relate to Ashley in that… She is trying to do the best she can with the job she has. I feel like we are all trying our best in these wild times, and that’s what makes her loveable in her strange way.

One invaluable thing I did to prepare for my role in Fear the Walking Dead was… Learn my lines. Virginia is a talker. A great talker. And she doesn’t sound so good when her actress doesn’t know what she’s saying.  

In order to get into the headspace of Virginia on Fear the Walking Dead, I will usually… 

Make a joke and do a little dance. Virginia is really intense, the sun is really hot, and we are usually covered in dirt, so I gotta lighten the load. Luckily, the folks on set are up for it. 

One of the most memorable moments of my career thus far has been… The Charlie Kaufman movie [I’m Thinking of Ending Things] will be one of those things that I’ll put on my tombstone. “She was in a Kaufman movie once.” That has a nice ring to it. But also, my theater experiences are pretty memorable for me. Each play is months of your life, and you come out of it a tea bag steeped in language and laughs and night after night of holding on for dear life to the present.

Maybe when I was doing a play in New York and I forgot a major plot-defining prop off stage one night and spent the rest of the show trying to fill the now gaping plot holes while holding back tears. After the show, I got a knock on my dressing room door and Joan Rivers stepped in and said, “I have no idea what the play is about, but the acting was incredible!”

The actors or creators on my radar right now are… Michaela Coel! Chloé Zhao! Alice Birch! The women behind Pen15. And I can’t get enough of Jessie Buckley, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoë Chao, and always, always Jesse Plemons. 

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… I mean, the orange creamsicle pantsuit from The Boys is pretty epic. It’s the closest I’ll get to the Lloyd Christmas suit in Dumb and Dumber, and, honestly, it’s not close enough. 

However, if you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… A tee and my Patagonia baggies. No joke—they are the comfiest shorts I’ve ever owned and Patagonia is my favorite company. They make much of their apparel out of recycled plastic bottles, they have a trade-in/buy-back policy, and they will mend your clothing for free. Plus, they got all the outdoor gear I need. I’d argue it’s worth the money. (Nope, I’m not sponsored by them, but I’m awaiting my call.)

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

“If I’m going anywhere fancy—or anywhere, really—I’m wearing a matching set. That’s one of the reasons I love this suit by Chelsea Bravo. The color! The print! The cut! She also uses eco-friendly materials, like recycled wool, and manufactures everything locally, which reduces the company’s carbon footprint.” 

“I’m always excited about Veja’s sexy vegan sneakers. I love this company because they purchase wild rubber for the soles of their sneaks at twice the market price from co-ops of rubber harvesters in the Amazon rainforest. By investing in the communities who know how to sustainably source this material, they are helping to protect the forest and its people.”

“Overalls with rainbow trim? Yes, please! The problem I often find with shopping only at sustainable companies is the price. Yes, these labels are charging for the living wage they are paying their workers and the ‘green’ fabric technologies they are investing in. The customer is paying for an item that lasts, but it’s not wallet-friendly for everyone. That’s why shopping secondhand is hugely rewarding. There are some great vintage shops that are selling online right now, like Hot Cocoa Vintage.”

Photo:

Osy Ikhile

WHO: Tahirah Sharif

WHAT: I was such a fan of the scare-inducing thrill ride that was The Haunting of Hill House. I was ecstatic when I heard a sophomore season was in the works at Netflix. Fortunately, the second installment, The Haunting of Bly Manor, does not disappoint. While I wouldn’t dare spoil any plotlines (other than the fact that it’s set in the ’80s and there are some spectacularly-cringy mom-jean looks), I can tell you that Tahirah Sharif is a must-watch in the role of Rebecca Jessel. Bly Manor doesn’t premiere until October 9, but if you are looking to get better acquainted with Tahirah before then, might I suggest a binge session of the Netflix film franchise The Christmas Prince?  

I’m most excited for audiences to see The Haunting of Bly Manor because… Mike Flanagan and his team have done a brilliant job bringing together such a strong cast to tell this very character-forward gothic romance ghost story, which I think everybody will be able to relate to in some way. The horror in the show doesn’t solely come from the supernatural element but from those you least expect. 

 I can’t reveal too much about my character Rebecca Jessel, but I can tell you… That she is a very kind and trusting person. So much more will be revealed throughout the series about her ambitions and the relationships she forms with others at Bly Manor.

Bly Manor is set in the ’80s and the costumes on the show are… Not what you might stereotypically expect when somebody mentions the ’80s. 

One of my favorite moments from filming A Christmas Prince is… Whenever we would film any scene where all of the cast were involved. For example, the baby shower in the latest film. We all got on so well that it was always so much fun when we got to be on set together. 

A role I would love to tackle next in my career is… An action role where I get to be a total badass!

The actors or creators on my radar right now are… Directors Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling. They directed two episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor. They’re absolutely incredible at what they do and all-around lovely people. I’m so excited to see what they do next. Lucky Daye is a New Orleans raised singer-songwriter whose music I was introduced to around this time last year by a friend, and I am so grateful. As well as being gorgeous, his voice and style of music are incredible. I’ve had his debut album, Painted, on repeat ever since. 

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… One of the outfits I wore on The Haunting of Bly Manor. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal exactly what it is, but our amazing costume designer, Lynn Falconer, sourced it from vintage stores. It was simple but tailored perfectly to my shape. I really loved wearing it.

However, if you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… A pair of high-waisted mom jeans, a tied-up shirt, and a pair of trainers or ankle boots. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Bags! I absolutely love a well-made leather or vegan leather handbag big enough to put my essentials into but small enough not to swamp me. 

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

“I love this brand and anything in this shade of yellow. The color makes me feel happy and uplifted, especially when the London skies turn grey and overcast, which can pretty much be any time of year!”

“[This bag] is so cool. It’s understated and will go with everything from a tracksuit to a dress, as the strap is detachable and can be worn as a clutch bag. It’s also made from leather, which has been responsibly sourced. What’s not to love?”

“I love these boots, as you can wear them with absolutely anything and they give you a bit of extra height whilst remaining comfortable.”

Photo:

Payton Ruddock

WHO: Alexa Mansour

WHAT: The Walking Dead universe—with its heart-pounding narratives and massive fanbase—is growing this fall with a third series titled World Beyond, premiering on AMC October 4. Much like its beloved counterparts, the show is set in post-apocalyptic America, but World Beyond is offering a fresh spin on the franchise by taking the perspective of a younger generation of zombie assassins who grew up only knowing this world. While the cast is a treasure trove of exciting fresh faces, we’ve got our eye on Alexa Mansour. The 23-year-old plays Hope, one of the show’s badass spear-wielding female protagonists, who leads a group of teens on a dangerous cross-country journey in search of a better future.  

The Walking Dead: World Beyond is a fresh take on the TWD franchise in that… It tells the story from a whole new perspective: the youth. We get to see firsthand how this group of kids takes on the apocalypse. They grew up in this world, saw the destruction and terror, but they still decide to leave their safety net to go and face it. 

I would describe my character Hope as… A rebellious girl who doesn’t care about tomorrow. She lives for today. She puts on this tough exterior but is really a giant softy inside who cares about the people she loves more than she does herself.

I’m most excited for audiences to see… How smart and tactical the younger generation is under these circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still kids, so we might not be the best at the whole “zombie apocalypse,” but we definitely do whatever it takes to survive.

If there were a real-life zombie apocalypse, you would likely find me… At home with my family and friends with the house all boarded up. With wine. Lots of wine.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… The ones about perseverance. Nothing lights my fire like watching a movie about the underdog thriving and proving everyone wrong. Movies and shows that prove you can do whatever you set your mind to (despite the obstacles thrown at you) are the ones that inspire me most. The Peanut Butter Falcon is my current fave.

The women in this business I look up to most are… Emma Watson because she is constantly doing something to better the world. Lili Reinhart because I love how open she is about her struggles. It really inspires me to speak up and be honest about everything. And Oprah because every time I felt like I couldn’t do something, or just wanted to quit, my mom would remind me about Oprah and everything she endured before getting to where she’s at now.

If you catch me off-duty, chances are I’m wearing… Brandy Melville biker shorts, my favorite Maje combat boots, and a vintage Johnny Cash T-shirt.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Leather jackets and combat boots.

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

“I love this coat because it’s easy to put on and looks so comfy. Convenience is key in my case, and the black belt is to die for.”

“Typically, you’ll see me in black, but this color is gorgeous. I’m obsessed with how you can wrap it around a few times or just leave the ends long. This dark red is so versatile and would go perfectly with the coat and boots I mentioned above.”

“I just got these and I’m in love. These boots are so easy to slip on and I love how the silver studs add a little flare to the typical black boots. I have endless black booties and didn’t think I needed any more until I saw these. They’re so comfortable and don’t leave you wishing you didn’t wear heels by the end of the day.”

Photo:

David Higgs; Styling: Sonia Young; Hairstylist: Christine Symondsl; Makeup: Merav Adler.

 

WHO: Melia Kreiling 

WHAT: It’s happening! Kim Catrall is returning to TV, but that’s not the only reason you should tune into Fox’s new series Filthy Rich. It’s outrageous, a little soap opera-esque, a Southern fashion delight, and also stars Melia Kreiling who quickly becomes the show’s standout. Kreiling plays Ginger Sweet, who, despite the connotations of her name, is anything but when she learns she stands to inherit a large portion of her estranged father’s empire. Kreiling serves up a deliciously vengeful performance and an equally superb wardrobe. Seriously, I would love to spend a day in Ginger’s closet.      

I think audiences are going to love Filthy Rich, because… It’s a totally wild, honest, entertaining story about a part of American culture we rarely see on mainstream TV.

Ginger Sweet is such a fun character to play, because… She is unapologetic, tough as nails, raw, and has about 10 layers of defense mechanisms.

One of my favorite moments working with Kim Catrall was… At 5 a.m., crawling into the hair-and-makeup trailer with our slippers and teacups saying gentle “good mornings,” and strutting out at 7 a.m. with glorious curls and fabulous lips, halfway into our fierce characters.

One thing people might be surprised to learn about me is… I don’t subscribe to instant cancel culture.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… The ones that are completely different from what I did prior. Changing it up is key.

The women in this business I look up to most are… The ones just starting, getting told no before they’ve had a chance, entirely lost but moving forward with integrity. That’s such a hard stage of the job, and anyone willing to give it a go is thrilling to me.

My favorite outfit I’ve ever worn for a project would have to be… Every single one from Filthy Rich. Ginger’s motto is “More is more.” So fun!

However, if you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Tattered sweats I can’t part with.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Feminine theatricality and a rock’n’roll edge.

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

“I love Ann Demeulemeester, always. There’s a beautiful mix of Victorian nostalgia with ’90s rock in her aesthetic, and a shirt like this can get me through an entire season. For busy days, I can wear it with flats and a loose braid for meetings, and transition to night by swapping in high-heeled boots and a sleek high ponytail—all while in my car. (Two words: L.A. traffic.)”

“To me, this is the perfect boot that will get me through the fall, winter, and spring. The length falls just under where the calf muscle usually dips, which will, in turn, elongate the legs. The design will adapt perfectly to leggings, jeans, and dresses while allowing me to run errands, go to meetings, and show up to a friend’s dinner—all while looking put together. (Did I mention L.A. traffic?)”

“This is my favorite brand to constantly go back to. Living in warm California, you can’t help but need a bit more flow, and I find this brand to have a good balance of femininity, simplicity, and functionality. They make everything in California from deadstock fabric, which is awesome, and there’s always a limited amount of each design or pattern, so blink and you’ll miss it. In fact, this piece could be sold out by the time this article goes up."

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