Breaking into this industry requires a lot of grit, talent, and strategy. Here are the top 9 actresses you should know. If you haven’t heard of them by now, then you’ve been sleeping under a rock.
You may know Lashana Lynch from her roles as Nomi in No Time to Die, and Maria in Captain Marvel. Lynch is a British actress born in Hammersmith, London. Lashana graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from ArtEd Drama School in 2010. Before graduating, Lashana made her television debut in 2007 as Precious Miller on the show The Bill.
It was not until 2012 that she made her film debut as Bell Newman in Fast Girls. It was during this time that Lashana crossed over to the American Film and Television industry. She starred in a TV series entitled Still Star-Crossed. Lashana’s recent role as Izogie in the Woman centered film of the Dahomey tribe entitled The Woman King. Whenever she participates in a fight scene, she demonstrates a remarkable level of mastery of combat skills.
In my opinion, Lynch’s performance was nothing short of overwhelming. It was clear that he had put a lot of time and effort into creating her character from scratch before filming. Lashana’s work does not stop there. You can watch Lashana in her latest film Miss Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical. Lynch was awarded the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTA Awards in 2022. She is dynamic and full of character. Her performances illustrate her range. Lynch has the ability to captivate her audiences with deep emotional connections. I believe this is only the beginning of her career.
I am sure you’re glued to Dominique Fisckback’s new show Swarm, created by Donald Glover and Janine Nabers. Fischback’s character, Dre, is a perfect example of how looks are truly deceiving, and how they can lead to mischief. Dominique is a force to be reckoned with whose career began before her new Prime Original. Her previous roles included Project Power, Judas, and The Black Messiah, Random Acts of Flyness, The Duece, and more.
In 2013, Dominique graduated with a BA in theatre from Pace University. In 2014, she premiered her one-woman show entitled “Subverted” where she performed 22 characters in total. If that does not show diversity, I don’t know what to tell you. Some may not understand the complexities of creating and embodying 22 characters in one setting.
As an actor, it takes a lot of mental processes, character development, emotional dumping, and detailing the character’s intricacies. Some actors train up to a year prior to their one-woman show. I am completely amazed by Dominique’s performances, including her role as Robin in the series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. If you haven’t explored her previous work, I suggest you do. It might shock you. In a few years, I can predict Dominique to dominate Hollywood. I predict a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress or Supporting Actress. Her ability to present and develop complex and intricate characters demonstrates her range as an actor.
Actress extraordinaire Storm Reid is a force to be reckoned with. Storm debuted in the film 12 Years a Slave in 2013. Since then her career has developed into the powerhouse and well-known actress we know her to be. From roles such as Meg in A Wrinkle in Time and Gia Bennett in Euphoria, Storm has continuously shown us how dynamic she truly is. How many can say their first film debut was alongside Oprah Winfrey? … I’ll wait
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Reid and her family migrated to Los Angeles, California to support Storm’s journey as an actor. Reid began her acting career at just the tender age of 3 years old starting in a commercial. Thereafter, Storm starred in several television movies such as A Cross to Bear, Twang, and NCIS: Los Angeles, and more. Currently, Storm is a student at the University of Southern California studying Film and African American Studies. Though we are used to seeing Storm on the big screen, she is enjoying her college experience.
While enjoying her academic studies, Storm manages to film amid midterms playing alongside Zendaya in Euphoria and guest appearances on the animated show The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. Storm stars alongside Nia Long in her newest film Missing which was released on January 20, 2023. The film follows June as she tirelessly unravels clues to find her missing mother using online resources to bring her home. In addition, Storm plays Riley Abel in her newest role in the television series The Last of Us.
Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu, a.k.a Thuso Mbedu, is a South African actress. She began her career as Winnie in the South African series Is’Thunzi. Mbedu was nominated for an International Emmy for her role two years running for Best Actress. Prior to her successful career, Mbedu was a student in New York at the Stellar Adler Studio. She graduated in 2013 from the University of the Witwatersrand.
In 2018, Mbedu starred in multiple television series such as Rosie on Liberty, as Ipeleng on the TV series Shug, and won the South African Film and TV Awards for Best Actress- TV Drama. As part of Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 lists, Thuso was highlighted as one of the leaders of the next generation. This shined a light on the leaders of the future.
Her role as Nawi in the film The Woman King was a huge success for her. It has garnered her impressive popularity in the American film industry. It is impossible not to be touched by Thuso’s character. This bond between the actress and her mother Viola Davis, who plays Nanisca in the film, exemplifies healing in its purest form. Thuso is subtle, yet captivating on and off the screen. A level of authenticity in her performance produced genuine admiration for any character she steps into.
I am a firm believer that any artist who can dominate the stage and literary text of Shakespeare should be in a league of their own. Moses Ingram’s riveting performance as Lady MacDuff in the 2021 edition of The Tragedy of Macbeth placed her on my radar. Though this is one of my favorite pieces of work from Moses, this is surely just a mere spec into her career as an actress.
West Baltimore native, raised by her mother and stepfather in a family of 6. Moses Ingram began her acting career at the young age of 10 when her mother enrolled her in an afterschool theatre program. From there, Moses attended the Baltimore School of the Arts. Moses always imagined attending Howard University but attended Baltimore Community College due to financial reasons. Little did she know that would be a blessing in disguise.
Moses credits her advisor, Nana Gyesie, at Baltimore Community College for encouraging her to continue her passion for acting. After graduating with an associate’s degree, with the help of Gyesie, Moses entered the National Society of Arts and Letters contest. With inspiration from a fellow contestant, Ingram applied to Yale. Having attained only an associate’s degree, she was not only accepted into Yale but awarded several scholarships.
Approximately 3 months after graduating from Yale, Moses would go on to play the role of Jolene in The Queen’sGambit. Ingram was nominated for an Emmy in 2021. In addition, Ingram starred alongside Yahya Abdul Manteen II as Amy in the film Ambulance, Inquisitor Reva in Obi-Wan-Kenobi, and Josie in All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt.
There is no denying that Dominique Thorne has put in the work. Thorne began her career when she was just a teen. She attended the Professional Performance Art School in New York. Additionally, Thorne graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor’s in Human Development and a minor in Inequality Studies.
Dominique Thorne is making a practical and strategic entrance into the film industry. According to IMDB.com, Thorne has only accumulated 3 films under her belt; If Beale Street Could Talk, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Judas and The Black Messiah. What I find fascinating is that regardless of her film credits, each film received positive reviews at the box office. Each storyline was more impactful than the next. Therefore, Dominique Thorne deserves to be considered the next top actress.
Dominique Thorne auditioned with Chadwick Boseman! #blackpanther #wakandaforever #mcu #marvelstudios #ririwilliams #dominiquethorne #ironheart #shuri #wakanda #chadwickboseman #disney #disneyplus #movie
There was a point prior to her role as Riri in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, where she originally auditioned for Shuri. It was a quiet, yet strategic move to place her in the right roles and the right positions at the right time in her career. Thorne is currently committed to three upcoming films, including Avengers: Secret Wars, Freaky Tales, and Iron Heart. Dominique Throne has cracked the code and is working her way to household fame.
Jenna Ortega garnered massive attention for her portrayal of Wednesday Adams in Tim Burton’s Netflix Original. While many people are familiar with Jenna’s work by now, she deserves recognition for the ongoing work she puts into creating characters that have become staples. As a child actress, Jenna Marie Ortega began her career in the Disney series Stuck in the Middle at nine. The actor took on the role of a child prodigy, Harley, who makes her way through life as she grows from being a middle child to turning seven.
Jenna’s career began way before her Disney fame with an accomplished career starring in several series such as CSI: NY, Rake, Richie Rich, Bizaardvark, and more. Following her Disney series, Jenna played young Jane in the television series Jane The Virgin from 2014-2019. During her television series filming, Jenna simultaneously starred in another animated series entitled Elena of Avalor as Princess Isabel from 2016-2020.
For most of her career, Jenna has been portrayed as a sweet, energetic kid with a colorful aesthetic. With Wednesday, viewers were able to expand their preconceived ideas about Jenna’s acting. As a result of her ability to channel a dark, stoic, and Gothic-like character, she demonstrates her ability to create complex and diverse characters.
Jenna is a talented actress and writer. In 2021, she released a book entitled “It’s All Love: Reflections on Your Heart and Soul.” The book contains several personal stories and quotes including Jenna’s journey. In addition to her personal struggles with depression, loss, love, and family, she also shares her experiences growing up Latina in Hollywood.
The California native began her acting career at 13 playing the younger Cataleya in the film Colombiana. (Which to this day is one of my favorite films.) It was not until her debut role as Rue in The Hunger Games did Amandla see true notoriety and fame.
By 2018, Amandla had starred in films such as Rio 2, Everything, Everything, and The Hate You Give; totaling 9 films under her belt at that time. There is no doubt that Amandla does an excellent job of channeling the needs and passions of her characters. This is one of her greatest strengths. It is the essence of the origin of her name meaning “Power(ful)” that she truly lives up to.
Amandla does not disappoint in bringing the audience to their feet or provoking a call to action. Some roles in her career reflect some aspects of her personal life. Amandla filmed the movie The Hate You Give and Where Hands Touch which focused on the racial biases of people of color. Amandla was named the most influential teen by Times Magazine.
At just 25, Amandla has her whole life and career ahead of her. This is only the beginning and I believe we’ll see more of her. Amandla’s current projects include ZIWE as Penny, Dear Even Hanson as Alana, and Bodies Bodies Bodies as Sophia. My Animal is a romantic horror film that premiered this year at the 2023 Sundance Festival. Amandla plays Jonny, a “beautiful troubled girl who needs saving.”
Born in Dakar, Senegal, Anna migrated to Houston, Texas with her mother to join her father in the United States. Diop was just six years old at the time when she began learning the English language with her mother. She did this by sitting in front of the television screen watching their favorite show, Three’s Company. Within two months Anna grasped the English language and eventually transitioned into the educational system.
Before becoming an actress, Diop envisioned herself as a journalist confessing her love of communication and interaction. Her love of acting did not develop until she found an abandoned script from a family member. After graduating high school Diop moved to Los Angeles, California. Diop began her career as a model and transitioned into acting.
In 2006, Diop appeared as Diedra on Everybody Hates Chris. In addition, Diop appeared in Lincoln Heights, Whitney, SouthLand, A Message From the King, and Greenleaf and worked her way up the ladder. Playing the role of Rayne Thomas, Diop’s performance in Jordan Peele’s film US set the tone for her ability to transform a character and make it her own. Diop plays Kory Anderson in the television series Titans. Anna Diop is multi-faceted and brings a distinctive twist to each character. Her sense of realness makes watching her even more amazing.
This is only the Beginning
It is imperative to note that I have only touched the surface of the talent that exists in this industry. So many powerful, talented, and talented actresses stand in the shoes of Diahann Caroll, Hattie Mchadniel, Dorothy Dandridge, Cicely Tyson, and Ethel Waters.
In my opinion, these actresses have provided me with an excellent example of a strong image of a woman who looks like me. These women provide an opportunity to depict powerful, present, and diverse women. In every way, they inspire and cultivate an innovative concept of leadership for women. When I turn on the television, I see a glimpse of what the future of film and television may look like. That vision involves inclusion and representation.