Most actors dream of becoming the very best, working with iconic directors, appearing in movies that rock the box office and awards season, and mark careers (and movie history).
But being a great actor doesn’t always mean working on projects that help you get an Oscar nomination. What it means is that everyone wants you in their movies and that you have job offers of all kinds and everywhere, which also makes you have the best year of your career (and everyone talks about you).
The best actors are not necessarily the most popular (ask Willem Da Foe who still can’t win an Oscar), and the most popular are not necessarily the best (like Jennifer Lawrence at the time) or the ones with the best year. The best actors are also those who appeared in the blockbusters that smashed it at the box office and starred in the favorite movies that millions of fans made sure their names were heard all over the place.
Actors like Tessa Thompson, who appeared in some of the best series and movies of the year (and is already working on the Men In Black reboot ), Tom Hardy , who starred in one of the highest grossing movies, or Noah Centineo , the new “ leading man” of adolescent romantic comedies, are proof that 2018 was not for Oscar nominees, but for all those actors who knew how to choose their projects well, who did not say no to the commercial and ended up doing incredible things in the process, like Black Panther (and it is if it could win an Oscar).
The actors who had the best year are proof that an Oscar doesn’t make you a star (okay, sometimes it does and it gives you more prestige and the possibility of rejecting jobs you don’t like) and that the most important series and movies of the year don’t have to premiere at prestigious festivals or fit the traditional definition of art to be good. What makes you a star is your ability to do anything and turn any project into something amazing, and preferably viral.
Which actors had the best 2018? They are probably not what you think. Oh yeah, their names popped up all over the place after all and you saw them on a million different things. (and Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper don’t count because they only made one movie).
Tessa ThompsonWhat did you do this year? Thompson appeared in Westworld, Sorry to Bother You, Annihilation, the Janelle Moonáe videos, and Creed 2 . In addition, he announced that he is already working on the new version of Men in Black , along with Chris Hemsworth, and the live-action version of Lady and the Tramp.
Jessica BardenWhat did you do this year? Barden didn’t have many roles this year, but she took the world by storm with her role as Alyssa in Netflix’s hit The End of the F***ing World, which already has a confirmed second season.
Michael B. JordanWhat did you do this year? Jordan stole the show as the villain in Black Panther , but he also appeared in Fahrenheit 451, opposite Michael Shannon, and, more importantly, the Creed sequel that saw Sylvester Stallone say goodbye to Rocky.
Lily JamesWhat did you do this year? After the success of Baby Driver, James appeared on Netflix’s The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society . She lent her voice in Sorry to Bother You, starred in the indie drama Little Woods , the sequel to Mamma Mia as the younger version Meryl Streep, and has just confirmed that she will be the lead in the new musical from Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis.
What did you do this year? Hardy gave life to one of the best villains in the world of comics. And while Venom divided fans, it swept the box office and passed the $800 million mark, making it the second most successful movie after Black Panther.
Noah CentineoWhat did you do this year? Centineo became the quintessential teen heartthrob after dropping not one, but two of Netflix’s best rom-coms, To all the Boys I Loved Before and Sierra Burgess is a Loser.