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The concept of It-boys might not be as well-known as It-girls, but the phenomenon is all the same. Like their female counterparts, there are about a dozen male celebrities, from actors to musicians to athletes, who have their breakout moments and transition from anonymous up-and-comers to bonafide stars. In 2006, there was Zac Efron. In 2009, there was Taylor Lautner. But who were the It-boys from 2018?
From the success of Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to the buzz around the 2018 Winter Olympics, there were a lot of It-boys who had major moments this year. To provide a rundown on who they are, we’ve collected the most exciting male celebrities who had their come-ups in 2018. Here is a definitive list to the It-boys who ruled the headlines in 2018 and are bound to the same for next year. Behold, the next class of It-boys.
If we had to pick one male breakout from 2018, it would have to be Centineo. After starring in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in August, the actor went from 800,000 Instagram followers to more than 16 million almost overnight. Centineo, who is often referred to as the Internet’s Boyfriend, also starred in Netflix’s other popular teen rom com, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. The actor, also known for his roles on the Disney Channel, as well as Freeform’s The Fosters and Camila Cabello’s “Havana” music video, will star opposite Kristen Stewart in Elizabeth Banks’s Charlie’s Angels reboot in 2019, solidifying his long-lasting It-boy status.
Once known for his YouTube videos with internet stars like Tyler Oakley and Connor Franta, Sivan has transitioned from the computer screen to the big screen, with a breakout role in 2018’s Boy Erased. Sivan, who also released his second album Bloom (which features a song by Ariana Grande and topped charts) in 2018, earned a Golden Globe nomination for his song “Revelation” in Boy Erased in December and predicted to earn an Oscar nod as well. Acting, singing and social media skills, Sivan is a true triple threat.
Though Chalamet’s Oscar-nominated film Call Me by Your Name debuted at the end of 2017, his breakout year came in 2018. Following the success of his Oscar nomination, as well as another best-picture-nominated film, Lady Bird, Chalamet is set to earn a second Oscar nod before the age of 23 for his role as Steve Carrell’s meth-addicted son in 2018’s Beautiful Boy. With roles in the reboot of Little Women, starring Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan, and The King, opposite Robert Pattinson and his rumored girlfriend Lily-Rose Depp, coming up, Chalamet’s It-boy success doesn’t look it’s slowing down any time soon.
The Cast of Queer Eye
After Netflix’s Queer Eye reboot premiered in February 2018, its Fab Five—Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness and Bobby Berk—became instant stars. The show, hailed for its chemistry between its five leads and its heart-tugging storylines, went on to win three awards at the 2018 Emmys, including one for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. With the fast success of two seasons, the show is scheduled for a third that will likely be equally as loved.
Though Malone has had success with his music in the past, with singles like “Rockstar” and “Deja Vu,” nothing compares to 2018. Following the chart-topping success of songs like “Better Now” and “Psycho,” Malone was one of the fastest growing artists of 2018, earning three Grammy nominations in December, including one for Album of the Year for his album, Beerbongs & Bentleys. The musician, who was nominated for 13 awards at the Billboard Music Awards this year (he won one), also took home Song of the Year for “Rockstar” at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Robinson first entered the scene in 2013 when he starred opposite Chris Pratt in Jurassic World, but it wasn’t until 2018 that he had his breakout moment. This year, Robinson played the lead in Love, Simon, a history-making teen rom com about a closeted gay teen who falls in love with anonymous male classmate on the internet while struggling with a blackmailer threatening to out him to his entire school. With two movies set for 2019 and a MTV Movie & TV Award and Teen Choice Award under his belt, it doesn’t look like Robinson’s success is going anywhere.
After starring in three Oscar-nominated movies in 2017, Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Manchester by the Sea (for which he earned an Oscar nomination for), Hedges entered leading-man status in 2018 with the lead role in Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased, opposite Nicole Kidman. The role earned him a Golden Globe nomination, as well as predictions for a second Oscar nod. He can also be seen in this Christmas’s Ben Is Back, alongside Julia Roberts. With A-listers surrounding him, it was only a matter of time until Hedges came into his own spotlight.
Golding went from little-known presenter on BBC’s The Travel Show to Hollywood leading man in less than a year. In August, the host-turned-actor starred in this summer’s blockbuster, Crazy Rich Asians, which he was cast in after an accountant for the film suggested him for the leading part, a Prince-Charming-like son of a wealthy Singaporean family. A couple weeks after Crazy Rich Asians, Golding starred opposite Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick in the thriller, A Simple Favor. Next up is a 2019 holiday rom com, Last Christmas, with Emilia Clarke and his Crazy Rich Asians mom, Michelle Yeoh. Golding, leave some leading-man roles for the rest of Hollywood, will ya?
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t watch Marvel’s Black Panther this year. You’ll also be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t fall in love with Boseman as T’Challa, the regal king of the fictional African nation Wakanda. After his breakout in Black Panther and continued success in its follow-up, Avengers: Infinity War, Boseman earned the coveted opportunity to perform on Saturday Night Live, with musical guest, the one and only Cardi B. He can next be seen as the lead in 2019’s 17 Bridges, alongside Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, as well as reprising his role as the Black Panther in next year’s much-anticipated Avengers: Endgame.
Rippon might’ve only taken home one medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but don’t underestimate his success. Following his team bronze medal in figure skating at this year’s Olympics, Rippon has leveraged his charming, GIF-able persona into a spot on season 26 of Dancing with the Stars, which he won and became the first openly gay celebrity to do so. Though he retired from figure skating in November, don’t expect Rippon to disappear. His career is only getting started.