AP NEWS

These actors are poised to light up new year

December 27, 2016 GMT

In 2017, Hollywood will, as always, anoint newcomers who strike box-office gold as “overnight” sensations. But it’s the following men and women whose year begins with high hopes.

These six rising stars are past their debut roles, and primed to shine as long as luck — and timing and smart choices — are on their side.

London-born former model Suki Waterhouse, 24, definitely is a go-getter with several films on the way. ‘The Bad Batch,’ a cannibal love story with Keanu Reeves, screened in Toronto last fall. Next comes the murderous ‘Billionaire Boys Club,’ with Kevin Spacey, and a Starz miniseries, ‘The White Princess.’

Lucas Hedges, just 20 this month, seemingly came out of nowhere to make an indelible impression in ‘Manchester by the Sea.’

Hedges plays a 17-year-old struggling with his father’s death who juggles a rich dating pool while negotiating with his distant uncle (Casey Affleck) about his future.

Brooklyn-born and from an artistic family (dad is Oscar-nominated screenwriter/director Peter Hedges, mom is actress and poet Susan Bruce), Hedges next stars in ‘Lady Bird’ — Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut — opposite Ireland’s Saoirse Ronan.

With only one name, rapper and comedian Awkwafina (born Nora Lum), 28, should have no trouble being remembered. Especially now that she’s among the starry female-centric ‘Ocean’s Eight,’ with Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Rihanna.

Singer Janelle Monae, 31, struck lightning with her film debut in the Oscar-seeking ‘Moonlight.’ Monae, as a drug dealer’s girlfriend, takes a maternal interest in young Chiron, who has a crack-addicted mother and no father.

In January, Monae co-stars in ‘Hidden Figures’ as Mary Jackson, one of three black women who were math and computer wizards for NASA in the early 1960s.

Since Lakeith Stanfield, 25, scored as Snoop Dogg in ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ he’s been winning fans as Darius, the offbeat sidekick in Donald Glover’s FX hit ‘Atlanta.’ On the big screen, he co-stars with Brad Pitt in the comedic ‘War Machine’ and stars in the thriller ‘Get Out’ opposite Allison Williams (‘Girls’).

Britain’s Olivia Cooke, 22, has already scored in TV’s ‘Bates Motel,’ the ‘Ouija’ horror outing and as terminally ill Rachel in ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.’

Her biggest break comes in 2018, starring in Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi epic ‘Ready Player One.’ By then she’ll have been seen opposite the late Anton Yelchin in the thriller ‘Thoroughbred.’

cinesteve@hotmail.com