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Director Rob Marshall said Halle Bailey was the one to play Ariel in the live-action reimagining of “The Little Mermaid.”
USA TODAY

Imagine becoming a top player in your field before you’re old enough to drink. Or having Beyoncé guide you through adolescence. Or pitching a feature film at age 10.

That’s what these teen stars have accomplished. Forbes released their “30 Under 30” list for 2020 Tuesday, which features dozens of trailblazers across 20 industries from the United States and Canada. This year, five teen entertainment stars made the cut, down from nine teen entertainers on last year’s list.

Forbes says on their website the “young, creative and bold minds” on this year’s list “are proof positive that the future will be new, exciting and profoundly different.”

Relish that quarter/mid-life crisis by getting to know the teen entertainers in the 2020 lineup:

Finn Wolfhard, 16

Wolfhard may have found his first acting gig on Craigslist, according to Forbes, but hey, everyone starts somewhere, right? And at 16, the breakout star seems to have quite a bright future in Hollywood.

In addition to starring in “Stranger Things” since 2016, Wolfhard played a part in 2017’s “It” and reprised his role for the 2019 sequel “It Chapter Two.”

He’s also appeared in “The Goldfinch” and “The Addams Family” this year, and he has a part in an upcoming “Ghostbusters” project due for 2020.

Halle Bailey, 19

Bailey made waves when Disney announced she would take on the iconic role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.”

Though the casting inspired backlash, the 19-year-old has swum past the haters to Forbes’ latest “30 Under 30” list, where she shares a spot for music with her 21-year-old sister, Chloe.

“I feel like I’m dreaming, and I’m just grateful, and I don’t pay attention to the negativity,” Bailey told Variety of her casting. “I just feel like this role was something bigger than me and greater, and it’s going to be beautiful. I’m just so excited to be a part of it.” 

Halle Bailey breaks her silence on ‘Little Mermaid’ casting backlash: ‘I don’t pay attention to the negativity’

The sisters make up the music act Chloe x Halle. They dropped their debut album, “The Kids are Alright,” last year. They also opened for Beyoncé on her Formation tour, and the music mogul has become a mentor to them.

“She’s always just motivating us and letting us know that we just need to trust our gut and our intuition,” Chloe told USA TODAY of Beyoncé ahead of their album’s release, adding that the “Single Ladies” songstress tells them to “never compromise yourself or your music for anybody.”

Chloe x Halle on their debut album, ‘Grown-ish’ and Beyoncé’s advice

Marsai Martin, 15

“Black-ish” star Martin became one of the youngest executive producers in Hollywood with the 2019 film “Little,” in which she also starred.

But her involvement with the project didn’t start there – she originally pitched the idea for the film when she was just 10.

“I remember just being so cool and chillax, even though everyone else was nervous in the room,” she told USA TODAY on the red carpet at the film’s April premiere. “I was like ‘Nah, we got this.’ “

According to Forbes, “Little” grossed $50 million at the box office on a $20 million budget.

In addition to making “Little,” Universal has signed a deal with the young star’s new production company to develop scripted projects.

‘Little’ premiere: Teen Executive Producer Marsai Martin remembers how ‘cool and chillax’ her pitch was

Phillip Youmans, 19

Youmans’ directorial work is already earning heaps of praise.

When his film, “Burning Cane,” was accepted at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, Youmans became the youngest director ever to have an entry there.

When he won the Founders Award, he also became the first African American director to win the top prize for narrative film. 

For “Burning Cane,” Youmans also won best cinematography in a U.S. narrative feature film at the festival. The jury praised his work as “searingly original.” 

Asante Blackk, 18

Blackk had his breakout role in the 2019 Netflix miniseries “When They See Us,” about five teens falsely accused of a brutal Central Park attack.

Since then, Blackk has gone on to a recurring role in the hit NBC series “This Is Us,” where he plays Malik Hodges, a young single father.

Blackk described his “Us” character to People magazine as “someone that I’ve never really seen on screen and on TV before.” 

“I’m glad that we’re breaking that stereotype with this character,” he added. “He loves his daughter and will do anything for her. But also he has a very supportive family, and he’s not just in it alone. His parents are there for them. They let them know that this is his responsibility, and they have his back regardless.”

Contributing: Anika Reed, Carly Mallenbaum

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