Australia may be best known for its bounty of Vegemite and koalas, but take a look at any major awards show, and it’s clear that Oz produces major star power in equal measure to questionable breakfast spread. In Hollywood, you have Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Hemsworth, among others. On the music front, there’s Sia, Kylie Minogue, Nick Cave, Courtney Barnett, et al. And in fashion, well, basically all of your favorite former Victoria’s Secret girls, from Miranda Kerr to Elle MacPherson, come from the land down under. Now, with Katherine Langford shooting to stardom thanks to cult show Thirteen Reasons Why, and musical ingenue Alison Wonderland all but dominating the festival circuit, it’s worth taking a look at the next generation of talented Aussies slated to hit big in the States.
Born and raised in Melbourne, McMahon, 24, is a mix of Fiona Apple and Liz Phair by way of contemporaries like Barnett and Phoebe Bridgers, thanks to her cutting lyrics and impressive vocal range. Last year, McMahon won the country’s Josh Pyke Partnership, which offers funding and mentorship to an unsigned musician (Alex Lahey won the previous year). Though she has just two songs available to stream, the singer has already nabbed an opening spot for Angus & Julia Stone on their current world tour, which heads to London next week, and will play at Splendour in the Grass, the Coachella of Australia, alongside Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, and Vampire Weekend in July.
At 20, Young has already had several prestige films hit the festival circuit. Among them, 2015’s The Daughter, for which she took home Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2016 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, making her the youngest actress to ever receive the honor. Next up, she’ll have a starring role in this fall’s Assassination Nation, costarring alongside every other buzzy up-and-comer in Young Hollywood, including Bella Thorne, Suki Waterhouse, and Maude Apatow. Also upcoming is Richard Says Goodbye, alongside Johnny Depp and Zoey Deutch, and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of A Million Little Pieces.
With nearly 500,000 Instagram followers, 19-year-old YouTube sensation Mallan is already one of the most followed It-girls in Sydney. “I’m so f*cking lucky. I don’t get much hate and when I do it’s like, ‘Your eyebrows are really thick,'” Mallan said of her growing fanbase. “My mom always said, ‘When people are negative, send them love, because they don’t have enough love.’ I think about it in that way.” Next up, Mallan plans to launch her own series in which she travels the world interviewing up-and-coming musicians.
A native of the Gold Coast, Shark struck, well, gold two years ago when her track “Adore” became an overnight sensation, and she has been building on the momentum ever since. Her first EP, Night Thinker, took home two ARIA Music Awards in 2017, and she recently wrapped her U.S. tour, which included stops on both The Late Late Show with James Corden and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Also this year, she lent a new track, “Sink In,” to the critically adored soundtrack of the film Love, Simon. Up next, Shark’s first full-length album, which drops in July.
While the 19-year-old may be the least recognizable name on the list, that’s soon to change as she stars in this summer’s hotly anticipated HBO miniseries Sharp Objects. In the show, based on the book by Gillian Flynn, Scanlen plays an integral role as Amy Adams’s half-sister. Of course, Scanlen is already plenty famous in her homeland as a star on Australia’s super-popular soap opera, Home and Away.
There’s perhaps no greater indicator of mainstream success for a model than landing a coveted spot at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Lee did just that in November, walking alongside Bella Hadid, Taylor Hill, and Stella Maxwell at the lingerie giant’s Shanghai show. Indeed, she’s come a long way from her catwalk debut at Australian Fashion Week back in 2009. “I was blown away by the work and amount of people involved,” she recalled of her first runway season. “I didn’t have any concept of what actually goes into Fashion Week. The creativity of the designers, the talented hair and makeup artists, producers, set designers, the venues.”