Looking back at 2020, the sudden shift from the non-stop hustle of filming to the temporary shutdown of production in the entertainment industry came as somewhat of a challenge for many young and aspiring actors.
But now that we are entering the new year that is 2021, film and TV projects have resumed their production shoots with health protocols in place. And with the new year comes a new batch of young performers who are now ready to take the industry by storm. Some of them you might not have heard of or seen before, but surely, these up-and-coming stars are to become the talk of the town in no time! (LIST: Movies Set for International Release in 2021)
My Pope Philippines lists four of the most exciting young actors to watch out for this year.
Rising Stars of 2021: Elijah Canlas
At the young age of 20, Elijah Canlas — known to his family and close friends as Jelo — is considered one of the most promising young actors in the Philippines. With his award-winning work in movies and series, Elijah has surely cemented his place in the industry. (WATCH: Elijah Canlas Shares His Lessons Learned on Film and Acting)
In 2020, while the country battles the threat of COVID-19, Elijah has won three best actor awards in different film festivals (68th FAMAS Awards, Gawad URIAN, and 17th Asian Film Festival in Rome, Italy) for his 2019 movie, Kalel,15, directed by Jun R. Lana. Currently, Elijah is part of TV5’s primetime drama Paano Ang Pangako— and it looks like more projects are in store for him this year!
Rising Stars of 2021: Charlie Dizon
The past year has introduced us to many fresh faces in the local entertainment industry, and one of those who made a significant mark on us was Charlie Dizon. The 24-year-old actress recently proved her place in the industry when she won the Best Actress award for the 2020 MMFF film, Fan Girl. She also captured peoples’ hearts with her outstanding performance as the young Teddie Salazar in Four Sisters Before the Wedding— a prequel to the blockbuster hit film, Four Sisters and a Wedding.
For this year, we will be seeing more of Charlie as she stars in her first-ever horror series, iWantTFC’s Horrorscope, which began streaming worldwide on January 13. In an episode in the series, Charlie will play the role of Ronalyn—a rookie police officer who is forced by her superiors to join a group of corrupt cops in exchange for a promotion.
Rising Stars of 2021: Gillian Vicencio
Gillian Vicencio might be the new girl on the block, but she is equally promising as the others. Gillian’s cinematic debut was through Mikhail Red’s film, Eerie, where she starred alongside big names in the industry like Bea Alonzo, Charo Santos-Concio, and Jake Cuenca. (Read: Bea Alonzo Meets ‘Mama’s Favorite’ Vico Sotto in Pasig Relief Effort)
Last year, Gillian had her big break as she starred alongside Charlie Dizon in Four Sisters Before the Wedding, wherein she played the role of young Alex Salazar— whose adult counterpart was played by Angel Locsin. She also starred in the hit online series, Hello, Stranger, where she played the role of Crystal Santos — the girlfriend of Tony Labrusca’s character, Xavier de Guzman.
Rising Stars of 2021: Kokoy De Santos
Kokoy de Santos started his acting career at a very young age. And with his impeccable talent and undeniable charisma, he is proving that he is one to watch out for this 2021.
Kokoy played his first lead role in Eduardo Roy Jr’s Cinemalaya 2019 film entry, F#*@BOIS, where he gained national recognition for his outstanding performance. The following year, he and Elijah starred in the first Filipino BL (Boys Love) series, Gameboys, in which they won the Best Couple award from the 2020 Pinoy Boys’ Love (PBL) Awards and earned the hearts of many Filipino fans.