What does it take to be a Breakout Star? In one way or another, you have had a really great year that threw you into public consciousness like never before. Given that 2016 wasn’t exactly the best year for a lot of people out there (but a fantastic year in television!), it’s even more impressive that some of these people managed to emerge.
Breakout Star just so happens to be the category that we’re spotlighting today in the CarterMatt Awards, and if you look below, you can see some of the people who we feel best personify that. While many of them were working actors well before this year, this was when they started to really stand out thanks to some magnificent and super-memorable performances. Even some of them who didn’t necessarily have a ton of screen time still found a way to pop and make us wish for so much more of them moving into 2017.
As with every other category in the Awards this year, you can vote however often you’d like between now and December 24; to check out some of the other categories, be sure to head over to the link here.
Breakout Star – The Nominees
Alex Høgh Andersen, “Vikings“ (History) – This is the rare example of a role that encompasses almost all things — intellectual, physical, and emotional. Ivar is a challenging role to say the least, and one that requires Andersen to commit to the character’s disability while also trying to process his anger and rage. While only a few episodes have featured him in this role, every single time we’ve seen of him has been fantastic. We know that Ivar is someone responsible for many terrible things, but you can still see in the performance an essence of vulnerability. You can see his fear, and his desire to stop being pitied and to find the respect he feels he deserves.
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us” / “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story“ (FX) – This is the first time in the four-year history of doing this category that we’ve had someone worthy of a nomination for two separate shows, but here we go. After you watched Brown as Christopher Darden, and then watched him play the part of Randall on the NBC series, you may feel almost like these two characters are played by separate people. They are both so distinct and fantastic, and it shows perfectly Brown’s ability to morph into different characters, pull at your heartstrings, and make you enjoy every second that he’s onscreen.
Gabriel Luna, “Agents of SHIELD“ (ABC) – Ghost Rider never was a character we had a really great take on entering the fourth season of Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD.” After watching Luna play Robbie Reyes and the famous alter ego, we’re pretty darn sure that we love all things Ghost Rider now. Luna channeled the humanity of Robbie perfectly, especially when juxtaposed against the terror that the Spirit of Vengeance brought out. There was so much power, determination, and even fear in every episode we saw him in, which is why we started clamoring for a Ghost Rider spin-off a couple of months ago.
Issa Rae, “Insecure“ (HBO) – There are so many different kinds of humor these days, and there are also so many different ways to portray it. There’s the way where it comes across as though you’re desperate to get some laughs, and then there’s the other way where it all seems to come to you naturally — even if there’s secretly a lot of work put into it behind the scenes. Rae is the latter for “Insecure,” a show where she makes her character Issa comes across as so natural, and as a result of that so relatable and real. The comedy comes as a natural result of seeing the ups and downs of her life. It’s a very funny show, and one we’re incredibly grateful for during a time this year when we all needed a good laugh.
Bella Ramsey, “Game of Thrones“ (HBO) – Is there a character on TV in 2017 that made more of an impression in less time than Lyanna Mormont? Her speeches were incredible, her presence far beyond her years, and the memes to come out of her appearance equally spectacular. While we figure that the character was only cast for a specific number of scenes, watching her monologues and seeing her rule over Bear Island makes us wish that season 7 could have focused on her even more.
Now, we turn this over to you to vote! Remember, you can also head over here right now to see some other CarterMatt Award categories! We’ll be back tomorrow in order to chronicle Best New Show.