Top 10 Stars of 2021

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 1 month ago

As the year comes to a close, we present the Top 10 Stars of 2021 on IMDb. Here's how we arrived at our list: We looked at the 10 stars who consistently ranked the highest on IMDbPro's weekly STARmeter chart throughout 2021. STARmeter rankings are based on the actual pageviews of IMDb's more than 200 million unique monthly visitors.

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Lily James

10. Lily James (Previous Year: 52)

Lily James is so popular on IMDb, she earned a spot on our Top Stars of 2021 list primarily due to a first-look at one her of projects that doesn't come out until next year! Back in May, photos of the former "Downton Abbey" star that revealed her transformation into iconic "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson for the upcoming series "Pam & Tommy" overloaded our servers. Plus, her turns in Netflix's historical drama The Dig and a lead role in the irresistible Prime Video mini-series "The Pursuit of Love" continued her upward trajectory.

Ben Barnes at an event for Gold Digger (2019)

9. Ben Barnes (Previous Year: Unranked)

Ben Barnes — or Bin Bons, if you stan him online — is one of the few stars to make it into both the Top Stars and Breakout Stars of 2021. His turn as the enigmatic (and smoldering) General Kirigan in the Netflix fantasy drama "Shadow and Bone" landed him in the #1 spot on STARmeter. Barnes also branched out musically with the release of his EP "Songs for You" back in October. Barnes will be back in 2022 with the highly anticipated return of "Shadow and Bone" as well as tackling Lovecraftian horror in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming horror anthology series, "10 After Midnight."

Jodie Comer at an event for The Last Duel (2021)

8. Jodie Comer (Previous Year: 39)

Jodie Comer showed us again in 2021 that her talent has a life far beyond the assassin Villanelle from "Killing Eve." Comer anchored a summer blockbuster opposite Ryan Reynolds with the family comedy Free Guy before helping coax a British accent out of co-star Ben Affleck in Ridley Scott’s historical drama The Last Duel. We’ll say goodbye to Villanelle when "Eve" concludes with its final season in 2022, but we’ll continue to welcome Comer everywhere she shows up next.

Alexandra Daddario

7. Alexandra Daddario (Previous Year: 19)

As the drama ratcheted up at the Hawaiian resort "The White Lotus" this summer, Alexandra Daddario saw her STARmeter ranking peak at #1 as the season finale unfurled. While it's unclear if Daddario will return for Season 2 of the HBO satire, she's making post-vacation moves: She'll next appear in the dark comedy Wildflower, alongside Jean Smart and Kiernan Shipka.

Anya Taylor-Joy at an event for Last Night in Soho (2021)

6. Anya Taylor-Joy (Previous Year: 2)

"The Queen’s Gambit" reached its endgame in 2021 with an impressive showing at the Emmys, including a win for Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series and a nomination for our #6 top star, Anya Taylor-Joy. Her award-winning turn as chess prodigy Beth Harmon was still making moves in 2021 when Taylor-Joy took on another period piece in Edgar Wright’s horror-thriller Last Night in Soho. Her chilling performance in the film will linger with us while we await any details on her upcoming collaboration with David O. Russell and the recently announced "Super Mario" film adaptation where Taylor-Joy will be voicing Princess Peach.

Yvonne Strahovski

5. Yvonne Strahovski (Previous Year: Unranked)

For years now, we've bitten our fingernails to the quick watching Yvonne Strahovski as Serena Joy Waterford in "The Handmaid's Tale." But her role in Prime Video's action-drama The Tomorrow War, where she literally led Chris Pratt into a battle against the White Spikes, catapulted her to the top of the STARmeter charts. We can look forward to Strahovski's return for the fifth season of "The Handmaid's Tale," and — just maybe — she can return in the planned Tomorrow War sequel?

Ana de Armas

4. Ana de Armas (Previous Year: 1)

Ana de Armas has been an IMDb fan favorite since her breakout role in 2019's Knives Out. In 2021, her popularity remained steady thanks in part to a small but scene-stealing role in No Time to Die. 2022 looks to be another banner year for the Cuban actress: She's set to star alongside former BF Ben Affleck in the thriller Deep Water before reuniting with former co-stars Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049) and Chris Evans (Knives Out) in The Gray Man. Plus there's a ton of early buzz for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in Blonde.

Florence Pugh at an event for Black Widow (2021)

3. Florence Pugh (Previous Year: 20)

Marvel fans waited a long time to see Black Widow in her own feature film, but they may not have expected to be won over by Natasha Romanoff's adoptive sister. Florence Pugh shot to #1 on STARmeter when she took on the role of Yelena Belova with plenty of cynical humor and sarcasm, rounding out the perfectly dysfunctional family of Red Room operatives (David Harbour and Rachel Weisz included). Pugh's character is the connecting thread between the MCU and new Disney Plus series, "Hawkeye," in which she hunts down Clint Barton, but outside of the superhero sphere, the Midsommar star will soon step back into the horror genre for Olivia Wilde 's highly anticipated film, Don't Worry Darling, set to premiere in September 2022.

Regé-Jean Page at an event for The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards (2021)

2. Regé-Jean Page (Previous Year: Unranked)

Dearest Readers, it should come as no surprise to "Bridgerton" fans that Regé-Jean Page almost took the top spots on IMDb's Breakout Stars and Top 10 Stars lists this year. Page jumped to the top of the STARmeter (and everyone's hearts) in his breakout performance as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, and camped out in the top 10 for an impressive six weeks. The role also garnered Page an Emmy nomination, and a hosting gig on "SNL" which landed him back in the STARmeter top 10. Page looks to be leaving TV behind for the near future with a slate of upcoming films, including the Russo Brothers' upcoming assassin thriller The Gray Man (with Chris Evans and Ana de Armas) and Dungeons & Dragons (with Chris Pine and Sophia Lillis).

Elizabeth Olsen

1. Elizabeth Olsen (Previous Year: Unranked)

We knew that this was the year of Elizabeth Olsen. It's because of IMDb fans' white-hot and sustained interest in "WandaVision," which premiered right at the start of 2020. Alongside her MCU husband Paul Bettany, the offbeat sitcom-mystery hybrid allowed Olsen to demonstrate her acting range, and she didn't just hit it out of the park with fans—the performance also earned her an Emmy nomination. What's next for our new favorite sitcom witch? Olsen returns to the MCU in next year's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and stars in the HBO Max series "Love and Death," playing real-life Texas housewife and axe murderer, Candy Montgomery.

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