We Previewed TV's Fall Lineup, and These Are the 6 Fresh Faces to Watch

The summer season may be (sadly) winding down, but there is a silver lining: Fall entertainment season is revving up. The glamorous film festivals are in full swing, the Emmys are right around the corner, and the networks and streamers are rolling out their biggest lineups—it’s our favorite time of year! To kick things off in style, we’re bringing you our annual Ones to Watch in Television portfolio, a curated who’s who list of Hollywood newcomers to keep your eye on. 

This year, we’ve selected six talented ladies poised to make a big splash on your screens. From a heartwarming portrayal of an aspiring dancer looking for her big break to a star soccer player who survives a plane crash only to find herself fighting for her life in the northern wilderness, the performances spotlighted here are nothing short of fantastic. In an effort to get to know the women behind the characters, we asked each of them about the stories they love to tell, the biggest lessons they’ve learned, and their off-duty passions. Oh, they also shared the fashion items they can’t live without this fall, and it’s one heck of a shopping list. 


Daniel Matallana

WHO: Simone Recasner

WHAT: What makes reality shows like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance so compelling? It’s the contestants, the everyday people vying for their big break. As an audience member, you can’t help but become invested in their personal stories and weeks-long journey through the competition. Fox—once the home network to both aforementioned series—knows this so well that it applied the narrative to its newest scripted series The Big Leap. A show-within-a-show, the musical comedy-drama follows a group of underdogs battling it out to be part of a competition series that is putting on a remake of Swan Lake. It’s a feel-good story about second chances and reclaiming your dreams—who doesn’t need that? The stellar ensemble includes Piper Perabo, Scott Foley, and Jon Rudnitsky, but be on the lookout for fresh face Simone Recasner, who is making her own major leap from stage to screen and is the show’s clear standout. 

I think audiences will resonate with The Big Leap because… It is a show that doubles down on hope, community, and bravery in the face of inner demons. It’s a show that’s perfectly timed for the world we live in. It follows everyday working American people doing the wildest thing on their bucket list, and that happens to be an amateur dance reality show. We tell the story through language and through dance. I mean come on. It’s a show with big feeling, big personality, and big possibilities.

I am most similar to my character Gabby Lewis in that… I am also leaping into something new and big in taking on this role. I relate to Gabby because her dreams of being a dancer are reawakened as she is thrust into the literal spotlight being cast as the “underdog to watch.” And in that process, she learns to lean on the community around her as I have learned to lean on the amazing talent that surrounds me.

My favorite dance number in the show is… Oh, I can’t! One that stands out is the first dance number in the first episode. It is a big, verbose hip-hop number that Gabby choreographed with Justin (played by the unfathomably talented Raymond Cham) for her high school dance team. It’s at a point in Gabby’s journey where her future is bright and hopeful; she’s unafraid. Life hasn’t taught her to be otherwise. Embodying teenagers on the precipice of their wildest dreams, we were so hype, so the choreography is really raw and unedited and just high school, which was as fun to dance as it looks.

A big leap I’ve taken in my own life has been… Dancing! I’ve always loved to dance, but embodying a former dancer has certainly been an exercise in “fake it till you make it.” Regarding the opening dance number, to lead that dance—the one that introduces our audience to the show—could have been incredibly intimidating. But our choreography team and the dancers that populated the dance team were so incredibly supportive, and that summarizes the entire experience of making the show, community supporting each other.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Honest ones rooted in truth where truth is allowed to get as surreal and weird and funny and wacky as life can be. When reality is able to coexist with absurdity… To me, that is more honest to life. Stories like Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You or Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen.

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Brooks running shoes. I live in New York and walk most places. Frankly, when it comes to shoes, if they’re not comfortable, I’m not wearing them. I love Brooks for running and for walking. Am I a Brooks representative now?

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Scarves! Scarves are the throw pillows of fashion. They’re an easy way to infuse any outfit with a lot of fun. I also find they add a level of ease to any outfit. I love the juxtaposition of something well-tailored with a gorgeous bright scarf messily thrown over it.

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

“Love a classic denim. Though, it’s hard for me to ignore denim’s impact on our environment. This jacket was made by a company manufacturing denim in a more responsibly sustainable way. It was also manufactured in Los Angeles, my home city. Lots of pluses in my book to an already cute jacket!”

“This handmade backpack speaks for itself. I personally always struggle with finding a good bag that is both cute and functional, but this handcrafted backpack made in London is the bag I’ve been dreaming of. And it supports local artisans!”

“This local Chicago store Akira is full of really fun pieces. I kept complimenting members of The Big Leap’s hair and makeup team’s clothes until they finally said, “Simone, you should go shop at Akira.” I came across this sweater and can’t wait for it to get cold so I can wear it!”


Emma Thatcher

WHO: Sophie Thatcher 

WHAT: We first came across Sophie Thatcher last year. It was right around the time her Quibi short series When the Street Lights Go On debuted, and her cool-girl insouciance and razor-sharp features immediately caught our attention. We knew then that this is someone to watch. Fast-forward a year, the 20-year-old is starring alongside the likes of Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey in a new psychological thriller for Showtime called Yellowjackets. The premise alone will have you marking its November 14 premiere date on your calendar. When a champion soccer team survives a plane crash in the Ontario wilderness, the seemingly normal high school teens descend into Lord of the Flies-esque savage clans. Twenty-five years later, the survivors attempt to piece together what actually happened. 

The thing I loved most about the Yellowjackets script was… The script felt daring and raw and reminiscent of some of my favorite shows growing up, but with a far darker twist. Each role in Yellowjackets is so incredibly rich and multidimensional, accompanied by intricate backstories. I was immediately immersed into their world, and that feeling for me is rare reading most scripts. 

I can’t wait for audiences to see what we have created with this show because… It’s pushing boundaries and thematically covers so many areas. The premise of the show is large, which excites me personally because our story can go anywhere. We never know where the next script will take us or what to ever expect. Hopefully, people can find solace within all of the vastly different characters and their complications and backstories. Our story beautifully covers the motif of trauma and how it molds each person so significantly within the two storylines in a gritty, more naturalistic manner. The older generation will have rich characters to relate to in current times, while the younger wilderness storyline will bring out a nostalgia for the ’90s in them.

Getting to work with the likes of Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci, and Melanie Lynskey on this project was… Firstly, they’re all legends. I’ve looked up to all three of them since I was a child. Tawny Cypress is also among the older versions in the cast, and she’s a fantastic actor and all-around really grounded person who I really look up to. Christina Ricci’s performance in Prozac Nation was a really big milestone for me as a teen, and getting to know her in person has been such a lovely, humbling experience. I also grew up completely bewildered by Juliette’s performance in Natural Born Killers and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. She has this natural glow in her eyes on camera—this curiosity, rawness, and openness. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her behind the camera in a couple scenes, and I’ve never felt such electricity from an actor before. I was truly immediately brought into her inner world. She has the spontaneity too that is so wild and rare within actors that cannot be matched, and it’s been beyond an honor to watch and learn from her and share such a beautifully complicated character with her.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Something I’ve never seen before. Something that will bring others comfort. I want to help others feel less alone in my work somehow. I hope I can do that in this and any future projects, no matter the character. I want to dig deeper into the human experience at its core and our inner desires and find a way to bring that to the screen and make others feel less alone in the way that Cassavetes has done with his films. There are certain directors with visions I admire (I would also love to one day be working on my own projects, too) like Kelly Reichardt, Gus Van Sant, Todd Solondz, and Derek Cianfrance. If you haven’t seen I Know This Much Is True on HBO, please watch. Juliette is also in it, and it’s my favorite show of all time. On a less serious note, a big goal of mine is to voice a badass character in a video game. I dream about that a lot!

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… I make music, too. I play my synth and record and produce all my vocals by myself and put my songs on Bandcamp. It’s very low-key at the moment, but music is my first love, and it’s always been therapeutic. I would love to score films one day soon. I paint and draw too and make collages and mixed-media art. I would love to work on an animation with my twin, who’s a very talented animator, sometime really soon. Poetry has also been a really nice, therapeutic outlet for me always in a similar way that music is. When I’m not working, I’m probably playing a video game on my PS4 (soon to be PS5 maybe… if I want to treat myself) and my virtual-reality headset.

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Anything slightly Victorian with big, puffy sleeves. I love playing dress-up, and roles I see in movies or different video game characters definitely inspire my taste at the time. I love some good shoulder pads. I went through a funny phase where I would stuff some socks into my shirt on my shoulders and tape them to give the dramatic illusion that I had bigger shoulders. I’ve always been one to experiment with different looks and make it my own way, no matter how goofy the steps are to get there. I always alter most of my own clothes, cut them up whatever way I want to create a more rugged look. I would love to learn to sew one day to take these looks to the next level! I also own many leather jackets, and that’s become one of the biggest parts of my wardrobe. I will wear one no matter how hot it is outside. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Usually anything Japanese, anything late ‘90s or early 2000s, something you would see in an older Japanese video game. Some designers/brands I’ve been really into are Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Christian Lacroix, Aya Takano, Hysteric Glamor, Junya Watanabe, and Batsheva. 

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

Charlotte Knowles London F/W 20 Top

“I love anything with earth tones, as I said before. I would put this with a long, flowy skirt, some black sheer tights, and some flats. Something about this piece is otherworldly and very Lord of the Rings (the origin of all my inspiration for fashion).



Aliyah Genesis Look

“One of my friends from back in Chicago named Aliyah is an independent designer with great visions and has a Depop page. I love the way it’s styled here. In the fall, I could wear it with tights and some warm knee-high boots. Stick to an earth-tone palette.”

“These boots are one of my favorites. I can pair [them] with anything, and they dress up the outfit perfectly. I like to pair them with a Victoria-like dress (maybe something Batsheva), pull my hair up in a messy bun, and winged eyeliner.”


Jake Chessum

WHO: Ella Rubin

WHAT: Technically, Ella Rubin’s new show The Chair came out last month, but it’s such a fantastic project, and Rubin is an utter delight to watch. We would be remiss if we didn’t include her in this year’s TV portfolio. Written by Amanda Peet, the six-episode Netflix series stars Sandra Oh as professor Ji-Yoon Kim, who is the newly appointed chair of the English department at Pembroke University. The first woman and person of color chosen for the position, she attempts to overcome the trials and tribulations of running a failing department set in its old-school ways. Rubin plays Dafna, an eager English major and aspiring writer dead set on getting her professor to read her novel. In addition to Oh’s brilliant performance, the will-they-won’t-they dynamic between Rubin and Jay Duplass, as professor Bill Dobson, is not to be missed. 

The Chair is a project that stood out to me initially because… Of everyone involved! Sandra and Jay are two actors I couldn’t look up to or respect more, and Amanda Peet is one of the warmest, funniest people ever, which obviously translates to her writing, too. I immediately loved the script. It was so comical and engaging but still grounded, which is exactly the kind of thing I want to do as an actor.

Getting to work alongside Sandra Oh and Jay Duplass on this series taught me… How to be a professional who takes my work seriously without sacrificing kindness, fun, or respect on set. They also taught me how to act.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Ones where women are at the forefront and where something different and complex is being explored thoughtfully. I want to be a part of projects and play characters that scare me a little!

The people in this business I look up to most are… Everyone who worked on The Chair (I mean it—I promise), Michaela Coel, Mike White, Alma Har’el… The list goes on. I just love people who are as smart and good at what they do as they are kind.

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Filmmaking, writing, and advocating for a more equitable food system. (Read up on Karen Washington!)

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Jeans and a T-shirt. I just got this great vintage Back Alley children’s tee.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Suits, fun jackets, and vintage boots.

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

“I love Paloma Wool and this shirt in particular. I can pair it with pretty much anything, and I like knowing I’m wearing something ethically made."

“I’m realizing I might be a little boring, but honestly, I wear these most days too. I love the slouchy low-rise fit, and the color is perfect.”

“Because I’m an 80-year-old woman in a 19-year-old’s body, I need good support from my shoes, and Converse are famously not that. The Chuck 70s, however, are so much more comfortable and cuter and (obviously) go with everything. I wear them almost every day.”


Simon Fitzpatrick

WHO: Shalom Brune-Franklin 

WHAT: There’s a lot of hype surrounding Shalom Brune-Franklin’s (Line of Duty and Cursed) upcoming project, The Tourist. Set to premiere on the BBC and HBO Max (date to be announced), the mystery thriller from the Emmy-winning production company behind Fleabag and The Missing promises to leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Shot in the expansive Australian outback, the series follows “The Man,” played by Jamie Dornan, who is in search of his true identity and ends up in an epic cat-and-mouse chase accompanied by a series of offbeat characters. While details about Brune-Franklin’s character Luci remain under wraps for now, we have a hunch the English actress will be the show’s breakout star.   

I can’t wait for audiences to see The Tourist because… It’s a great show. Harry and Jack Williams have created a mind-bending and exhilarating story with such interesting characters. I’m excited to see what people think of it. 

What I love most about playing a character like Luci is… How seemingly at ease she is with every situation she’s in. Sounds like an odd thing to enjoy, but it was fun to play someone who treats everything so flippantly whilst slowly imploding inside. 

My favorite part of working on this project was… The people behind the show. My favourite part of any job are the friends you make. 

The stories or characters that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Projects that have a great team of creatives behind it, with stories or characters that provoke something in me and make me feel like I can add something to the telling of it. 

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Music, fitness, reading, cooking, eating. Is eating a passion? I’m passionate about eating. 

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… Comfy clothes. 

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… A great blazer. 

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

“I love this jacket. It’s super warm and flexible with how you can wear it. I’d usually wear it with some loose-fitting jeans, an oversize T-shirt, simple trainers, and a good cap.”

“I’ve been living in these, so come fall… I don’t see that changing.”

“I usually get my blazers from vintage stores. You can get such great finds for decent prices. I look for an oversize fit.” 


George Papadakis

WHO: Zyra Gorecki 

WHAT: While the events of NBC’s new series La Brea feel a little too real for comfort (essentially, a massive sinkhole opens up in the middle of Los Angeles, trapping people between two worlds), it’s nonetheless an intriguing premise. A family torn apart must figure out the secrets behind the disastrous event in order to get back to each other. We’ve got our eyes on Zyra Gorecki, who plays Izzy Harris, a daughter who will stop at nothing to be reunited with her mother and brother. But it’s not just her performance in La Brea that has us excited. The Michigan native is a powerhouse off screen, too, as an activist, athlete, and model advocating for more representation of differently abled people in Hollywood. 

I think audiences are really going to love La Brea because… It has something for everyone. It has the emotion, the mission, and the action. Not to mention, the amazing cast.

I am most similar to my character Izzy Harris in that… I will do whatever it takes to save/protect my family. Also, we are both very determined and have a special bond with a parent.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about myself during filming is… That I'm not a morning person, and lots of coffee is consumed.

The stories or projects that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… Any that are inclusive of differently abled actors.

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Modeling, swing dancing, and advocating for and supporting other amputees. Another passion of mine is the Youth Drama club of Stage Door Players.

If you catch me off duty, chances are I'm wearing… Either thrift-store sweatpants and a comfortable sweatshirt from a place I've visited or a leather jacket and jeans.

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


Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood F/W 21 Collection

Anything from this collection! OMG… I’m obsessed!”

“A ‘go with everything’ boot with an edge… my go-tos!”


Jenna Berman

WHO: Jennifer Ens

WHAT: If you are looking for a series to get you into the spooky fall mood, may we suggest Chapelwaite on Epix? Based on the Stephen King short story “Jerusalem’s Lot,” Chapelwaite takes place in 1800s rural Maine and centers on a grief-stricken fisherman and his three young daughters, who are haunted by a family curse. The hair-raising events that unfold over the 10-part series will have you keeping the lights on at night. The show features some familiar faces, such as Adrien Brody and Schitt’s Creek’s Emily Hampshire, as well as some great newcomers, including Jennifer Ens in her debut role. After watching Ens’s fantastic performance, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the young actress. 

Chapelwaite is the perfect end-of-summer watch because… It immerses you into a beautifully haunting and gothic atmosphere, right in time for fall. I wouldn’t recommend watching it by yourself, so it is the perfect excuse to snuggle up next to someone special or a group of friends along with a steaming cup of tea and comfort food.

This being my first-ever television series, an invaluable lesson I learned on set was… Confidence. Before I booked Chapelwaite, I was full of self-doubt. I’ve really learned to be kind to myself and just ride the crazy life of acting. It’s okay if you don’t know everything. Adrien Brody and Emily Hampshire really helped me with that.

A moment when I was truly scared during filming was… I can’t say the exact moment because it is a spoiler, but it is when someone terrifying comes to Chapelwaite and puts my family and I in danger.

The stories or characters that make me feel excited to work in this industry are… I gravitate toward socially relevant stories with flawed, human characters. We live in a world filled with people struggling to overcome hardships like mental health issues, substance or domestic abuse, homelessness. I want to represent the sea of humanity all around us.

Outside of acting, some of my other passions include… Film photography. I love the intimacy of film. Abstract painting. I like to allow my feelings to explode on a canvas and not have to think about it too much. Writing. It’s very therapeutic, and I’m actually in the process of writing a script right now. Reading. I love getting lost in stories and learning new things. Dancing. I have danced since I was 3 years old, so dancing is cathartic and great exercise. Hiking. My favourite thing in the world is being surrounded by nature.

If you catch me off duty, chances are I’m wearing… A baby crop top and sweatshorts.

When it comes to fashion, I’m a total sucker for… Anything oversize (I love good oversize denim or a leather jacket) or gold statement jewellery.

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

“It is the perfect fall coat. You can just toss it on, and it immediately elevates your look.”

“It took me forever to find the perfect pair of jeans to flatter my body, as I’m petite. They have been my go-to ever since I found them.”

"I love a platform boot for fall. They make me feel powerful.”

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