The Names You Need To Know In 2022

Discover the actors, artists and authors whose incredible work we’ll be watching out for this year

Madelyn Cline


Madelyn Cline’s Instagram bio reads, “I do not know when season 3 is coming out”, so great is the anticipation for the next instalment of the record-breaking show Outer Banks in which she stars, due later this year. To Cline’s nearly 12 million followers, she may be best known as the show’s beach-dwelling, crime-solving Sarah Cameron but, this spring, she’ll be seen in a whole new light – playing a lead role in Knives Out 2, the sequel to Rian Johnson’s quirky 2019 movie. Following in the footsteps of Ana de Armas before her, this is sure to be Madelyn’s breakout moment. Knives Out 2 will be in cinemas in the fall


The work of Taiwan-born, California-raised writer Jean Chen Ho has been widely published, but 2022 will welcome the release of her vivid first book, Fiona and Jane. The intimate, hotly awaited debut is topping must-read lists left, right and center – with its resonant story about the complexities of female friendship, as it follows the relationship between two Taiwanese-American women over two decades of their lives. Fiona and Jane is out from January 4

Jean Chen Ho
Alison Oliver


Nothing stirred the hearts and souls of a world in lockdown quite like Normal People did when it burst on to TV screens in April 2020. Understandably, fans have been counting down the days until their next Sally Rooney fix and, finally, the small-screen adaptation of her debut novel Conversations with Friends is nigh. As with Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, this production is sure to make superstars of all its leads; Joe Alwyn, Jemima Kirke, Sasha Lane and, in particular, newcomer Alison Oliver, who plays the book’s narrator, Frances. The show will catapult Oliver to stardom overnight, so keep an eye on this future leading lady. Conversations with Friends will air on BBC in the spring


The technicolor dreamworld Raveena has created through her music is a nod to her wide-ranging influences, from her Indian roots to her musical heroes, Billie Holiday and Sade. Since the release of her debut album, Lucid, in 2019 – a playful blend of soul and psychedelic jazz, with lyrics covering everything from toxic relationships to meditation – critics can’t get enough. Rapper Tyler, the Creator recently asked her to take the stage at his Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, and, this year, she will release her highly anticipated follow-up album – which, if new single Tweety is anything to go by, promises more of her signature ethereal vocals washed over booming R ’n’ B beats.

Weruche Opia


Holding your own next to Michaela Coel on screen is no easy feat but Weruche Opia did just that playing Coel’s best friend in I May Destroy You. Following the stratospheric success of the show, Hollywood has been queuing up to hire Opia. You can catch her next in Netflix’s Slumberland, a sci-fi smash starring Jason Momoa and Chris O’Dowd, by Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence; as well as ITV thriller Our House, based on the bestselling novel by Louise Candlish, and also starring Downton Abbey’s Tuppence Middleton and Line of Duty’s Martin Compston. Later this year, Opia plays a lead in newly announced show High Desert, about a private investigator untangling a series of unsolved crimes in a sleepy desert town. Our House is on ITV in the spring


Hulu has already picked up Charmaine Wilkerson’s first novel, Black Cake, for an original series – even though it hasn’t even landed on bookshelves yet. The poignant, evocative story details the journey of two estranged siblings who must grapple with their late mother’s secret past, taking them between the Caribbean, London and California – while traversing themes of betrayal, memory, and relationships. Black Cake is out from February 3

Charmaine Wilkerson
Lydia West


Any actor on the list of favorites to play the next Doctor Who is on course to becoming a British national treasure. Indeed, following her breakout performance as Jill in the award-winning It’s A Sin, 2022 is truly going to be West’s year. Not only has she landed a role in the new BBC thriller Inside Man, alongside David Tennant and Stanley Tucci, but she has two major Hollywood productions in the pipeline: Mike Myers’ comedy The Pentaverate, as well as Suspicion, alongside silver-screen icon Uma Thurman, about a kidnapping with sinister repercussions. Inside Man is on BBC in the spring


Showbusiness runs in the family for Rainey Qualley, whose mom is rom-com queen Andie MacDowell and sister, Margaret Qualley, the star of Netflix’s chart-topping show Maid. Rainey herself has had cameos in Mad Men and Oceans 8 – but it is behind the microphone, as Rainsford, that she breaks hearts with her soulful ballads and quirky pop beats. She is currently writing her debut album with indie legend Albert Hammond Jr. of The Strokes and has just dropped the synth-soaked track Crying in the Mirror with a video directed by Cara Delevingne and starring Kaia Gerber. Watch out for her next single, Brutal, and quirky duet with Anna of the North, influenced by Björk and Sinéad O’Connor. Brutal is released on January 11

Rainey Qualley


In the short time since Tems released her debut EP in September 2020, Drake personally picked her to duet with him on his album Certified Lover Boy, Justin Bieber remixed one of her tracks and Adele covered her anthem Try Me. Not bad for 18 months spent mainly in lockdown. With a fresh nomination for BBC’s Sound of 2022 award, a new album and a sell-out tour on the horizon, this year is on track to be a colossal one for the megastar. Tems’ UK tour starts on May 12


Nikki May ran an advertising agency before she turned her creative hand to writing and 2022 will see her dark-comedy debut novel Wahala released to much anticipation. Subverting themes of love, race, friendship and family, it’s already being adapted into a major BBC drama by Theresa Ikoko, the writer of Rocks – who described the story as “Big Little Lies meets Girlfriends meets Peckham!” Wahala is out from January 6

Nikki May
Emma Appleton


Newcomer Emma Appleton will transform into one half of rock and roll’s most notorious couples, Sid and Nancy, in Pistol, the upcoming Danny Boyle-directed Sex Pistols biopic – set to be one of the most talked-about TV moments of the year. And, from one major project to another, catch Appleton appear alongside Bel Powley, as the best friends at the heart of writer Dolly Alderton’s best-selling memoir Everything I Know About Love – newly adapted for TV this fall. Pistol is released later this year

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