It has been a difficult year in which to not only flourish but prevail, in an entertainment industry that has been brought to its knees by a pandemic.
But these 10 stars show that with resilience, patience and, above all, talent, the seeds they planted in 2020 will yield even bigger results in the coming years …
Landing the very first role she auditioned for upon leaving the University of Cambridge in 2018 would have been exciting enough for the British actress. But to find out you’re playing one of the most famous women of the 20th century was the icing on the cake for Emma Corrin, 25.
Of her career-making role as Princess Diana in season four of Netflix hit The Crown, Corrin has said: "I feel a lot of responsibility, I try not to think much about it, otherwise it does get overwhelming."
The Egyptian artist has been touted as not only an emerging star of 2020's art scene, but one to watch in the coming years.
"I find that Islamic art and literature to be an endless source of inspiration, full of mystical concepts, metaphors, knowledge, collected poems, verses, of miraculous and sacred values," says the artist, who now lives in Paris. "My work [is] inspired by personal experience and cultural contexts that reference Egyptian-African myths, the sacred realm which evokes the spirituality of human beings and their relationship to their inner mystical depth."
If being six foot three doesn't make him intimidating enough, check out the Australian actor's portrayal of budding teenage sociopath Nate Jacobs in HBO's Emmy-winning show, Euphoria.
The actor, 23, who first popped on to Hollywood's radar playing Noah Flynn in Netflix's The Kissing Booth 1 and 2, says of his hopes for future roles: "I'd hate to play someone who's morally correct all the time."
Releasing her debut novel this year, Feeney's As You Were quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation. Playing out over the course of one week in a chaotic hospital ward, the writer took inspiration from her time in an NHS ward after she suffered complications following the birth of her second son.
Feeney, who also teaches at a secondary school as well as tutoring in creative writing at the university in Galway, says of the pandemic’s effect on literature: "People are reading books again – we worried it was all screens, but people have gone back to books."
The Palestinian-Jordanian actress made an impact on the small screen in Jordanian TV series Obour, which told the stories of refugees and workers at the UAE-supported Mrajeeb Al Fhood refugee camp. And it was Abboud's turn which garnered the attention of superstar Saba Mubarak, who recommended her to play the lead role in Egyptian director Mohamed Diab's upcoming film, Amira.
It was a tough year in which to make a debut, but Indian actress Sanjana Sanghi, 24, made it work for her. The Delhi native's attention-grabbing turn as Kizie Basu in Dil Bechara, a remake of Hollywood's The Fault in our Stars, won her accolades and fans alike. Although she has acted since she was a child, appearing in 2011's Rockstar and 2017's Hindi Medium, Dil Bechara was the role which launched her into the next stage of her career.
The singer-songwriter is being hailed a musical prodigy in the mould of Billie Eilish, with whom she has already collaborated. The first Canadian finalist on American reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance, the talented teen signed to RCA Records last year after her song One Day went viral on YouTube. Her debut EP, All the Things I Never Said, was released in January, leading to a collaboration with Finneas, and she's won millions of fans without having yet released a full-length project. Not bad for a 17-year-old.
The Irish actor, 24, found fame overnight as the shy yet charming Connell Waldron in BBC Three's adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel Normal People. Instantly propelled to the top of directors' wish-lists, he has even been touted as a potential James Bond. Nominated for an Emmy for his work in Normal People, he said of his new-found fame and love for the craft: "I love seeing people my age or my peers doing amazing work because it invigorates you."
Making history is a pretty spectacular thing to achieve in 2020, and the Egyptian director did just that. Scooping the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for his short, I Am Afraid to Forget your Face, he became the first Egyptian to win the accolade. His triumph also saw him chosen for the next session of Cannes Cinefondation's Residence du Festival programme in Paris, where he will be able to develop his first feature project I Can Hear Your Voice … Still.
“It was a big surprise, but a good surprise. It was totally unexpected because, for a long time, we didn’t know if the festival was going to happen, even after we got shortlisted,” he said of his record-breaking win.
It says a lot about your charisma and star power that even when your big global vehicle – James Bond film No Time To Die – doesn't get released as scheduled, you're still the most talked-about person in the trailer. Taking on the mantle of being the first woman to play 007, the British actress, 33, had already banked plenty of star power as Captain Marvel's best friend, Maria Rambeau, in the Hollywood hit of the same name. It looks like she'll be turning 2021 into her year, too.