Anya Taylor-Joy, Jenna Ortega, and Mia Goth

Anya Taylor Joy, Jenna Ortega, and Mia Goth: The New Hollywood It Girls

From X to The Menu, taking a look at some of the hottest rising stars in Hollywood

8 min readOct 6, 2022


Every generation has their “It Girls” when it comes to cinema. Whether it be the early 2000’s featuring the likes of Cate Blanchett, Rosario Dawson, Scarlett Johansson, and Keira Knightley, or the 2010’s bringing about a new crop of stars in the form of Brie Larson, Emma Stone, Zoe Saldana, Margot Robbie, and Viola Davis, the fact remains that these trends happen. Now firmly two years into the new decade, audiences are already seeing a new crop of top female talent in Hollywood taking the world by storm. With youth on their side, incredible acting to boot, and some sensational looks, young starlets like Anya Taylor-Joy, Jenna Ortega, and Mia Goth have begun to dominate as the new It Girls of Hollywood in the 2020’s.

Mia Goth, Age 28, Known For X, Pearl, High Life

Gif of Mia Goth in Ti West’s X (2022)

Having a great 2022 so far, Mia Goth not only got a chance to shine in Ti West and A24’s porno-slasher film, X, but in September 2022, she would take part as a writer, executive producer, and star of the film’s prequel, Pearl. Delivering two dynamic, different performances across the two films, X saw Goth crank the sex appeal up to an 11 with a dazzling performance as Maxine, a wannabe pornstar who gets the chance to film her scenes on a secluded farm before everything goes to hell. Turning in a fun run as the Final Girl of the film, Mia knocks it out of the park as the glistening, horned up farm girl who fights for her life as her co-stars and crew slowly drop dead one, by one. In a shocking turn of events, Mia Goth also plays one of the film’s killers, an elderly old woman named Pearl (the titular star of the prequel). While Maxine bares it all for the camera in some heated scenes, Goth’s Pearl character frightens and leaves many, many unsettling feelings by the end of the film, with the creep factor somehow equaling the sex factor of her other portrayal.

Mia Goth in Ti West’s Pearl (2022)

Months removed from X, Goth would return to the big screen in Pearl, the prequel set during the Spanish Flu. Getting the chance to explore the character of the elderly killer in the first film, now around the same age as Maxine was in X, Mia Goth delivers an electric turn as the lead in this disturbing, off-the-wall horror story of a confined, crazed, sex-addicted farm girl with big, Hollywood dreams. While fans may be split on which is the better film overall, there is no debate when it comes to Goth’s performances across the different characters, with her late-film monologue in Pearl being worthy of major awards buzz in the coming months.

“It was like, if anyone has a problem, if a phone rings, if someone’s eyeline is going to get messed up, if the microphone’s in the shot, if the wardrobe’s messed up, you have to call it out before the monologue starts — and please, nothing get in the way of this,” said West. “Because it was ultimately clearing a path for Mia to do something that was entirely on her shoulders at that point.” — Ti West on Mia Goth’s 7 Minute Monologue in Pearl

Official Trailer for High Life (2018)

For those that have only just learned about Mia Goth this year, the 28-year old has been acting for years, with a wide variety of roles. Co-starring in Emma with fellow New Hollywood It Girl, Anya Taylor-Joy, Goth plays a character several thousand miles separated from her roles in Ti West’s XXXVerse. And those wanting to travel even further, should look towards the stars with Claris Denis’ High Life, a dark science-fiction picture starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André 3000, and Mia Goth set on a prison ship out in the far reaches of deep space.

Gif of Mia Goth in Claire Denis’ High Life (2018)

Jenna Ortega, Age 20, Known For Scream (2022), X, The Babysitter: Killer Queen

Gif of Jenna Ortega in the Upcoming Wednesday Series for Netflix (2022)

Arriving onto the acting scene as a child star, Jenna Ortega’s on-screen career began in 2014, nearly a decade ago at this point. While she has had a number of roles over the years, it has been only recently that the spotlight has began to shine in her favor. After reigning as a Disney Channel star for a number of years, 2020 would mark a breakout from that mold for the young star, with Netflix’s Babysitter: Killer Queen being a Hard-R Rated horror comedy for her to kick off her major film career alongside the likes of Bella Thorne and Samara Weaving.

Two years later and 2022 is the year of Ortega with her dominating the scene pretty handedly thanks to leading and supporting roles in a number of big films;

  • The Fallout, January 27, 2022
  • Scream, January 14, 2022
  • X, March 18, 2022
  • American Carnage, July 15, 2022
  • Studio 666, February 25, 2022
Jenna Ortega’s character in X (2022) getting ready to shoot a sex scene

Going further than just these film roles however, Jenna Ortega, now age 20, is set for a massive leading role in Tim Burton’s new Netflix project. Leading the newest iteration of the Addams Family, Ortega will be portraying Wednesday Addams in her own series, Wednesday, for the streaming giant. Set to release on November 23, 2022, reactions to the actual series are not yet available, though there is a lot of hype behind the project thanks to Burton helming it and due to the massive hype train behind Jenna Ortega as a hot commodity in Hollywood right now. She certainly has the look and charisma to pull the role off, and to bring Wednesday to life for modern audiences.

Official Trailer for Wednesday Addams (2022) Netflix Show from Tim Burton, Starring Jenna Ortega

Anya Taylor-Joy, Age 26 , Known For The Witch, Emma, Split

Gif of Anya Taylor-Joy in Peaky Blinders (Netflix)

Arguably the most well-known and famous of the three ladies mentioned in this piece, Anya Taylor-Joy has been rising the ranks of Hollywood for the past several years. With a breakout role in M. Night Shyamalan's Split and a lead role in Robert Eggers’ The Witch, this new cinematic sensation offers a unique look that makes her standout from any crowd. Dazzling with electrical performances in nearly every film role she has gotten, Anya Taylor-Joy has arrived and placed her flag at the top of the mountain as one of the 2020’s newest, hottest, and most fierce female movie stars around.

Boasting an impressive filmography at only age 26, Taylor-Joy has a roster of roles under her belt that would make many actresses her senior jealous. Leading one of Netflix’s biggest shows to date, The Queen’s Gambit, Anya is not just limited to the big-screen either, as she has also had a recurring role on the hit show, Peaky Blinders, alongside Cillian Murphy.

Dancing Scene featuring Anya Taylor-Joy in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho (2021)

With a steamy and killer turn in last year’s Last Night in Soho, Anya Taylor-Joy got to play a unique role that teased her being a sort-of “final girl” before revealing that she in fact was the killer all along. With a bit of sex built into the role as well, it was one of the first times audiences had seen that sense of maturity from ATJ, who despite her darker roles in The Witch and Split, has mainly been seen in a much more bright, fairytale-like presentation. Through her goddess-like looks, such on display in nearly every interview conducted with her and the elegant, gorgeously-shot Emma, Anya Taylor-Joy’s look is nearly impossible to recreate. With such a unique face, body, voice, and presence, it is no wonder why she has begun to dominate the film industry.

GIF of Anya Taylor-Joy Smirking in Emma (2020)

With leading-lady charisma and loads of spunk, Anya Taylor-Joy is already a movie star, though within the next 5 years, it is possible that she is one of the biggest actresses in the entire world. Should the young starlet attach herself to a mega franchise like Star Wars, DC, or the Marvel Cinematic Universe (ignoring her turn as Magik in Fox’s New Mutants), things could get even bigger for her in the coming years. Looking to her future, audiences should expect to see Anya at the movies more often than not as she is one of the fastest rising, hottest starlets in Hollywood, with major future roles on the horizon including;

  • Amsterdam, releasing in 2022
  • The Menu, releasing in 2022
  • George Miller’s Furiosa, releasing in 2023
  • The Animated Super Mario Bros Movie, releasing in 2023
  • Laughter in the Dark, entering pre-production
Anya Taylor-Joy Posing for a Seductive Photoshoot

Regardless of prior knowledge on the new It Girls of Hollywood, the fact remains that they have staked their claim and audiences will now be treated to their work for years to come. With Jenna Ortega, Mia Goth, and Anya Taylor-Joy all delivering massively in 2022, the decade is still young, and all three could become bonafide moviestars in the coming years. Through franchises, indie hits, and non-franchise blockbusters, these lovely ladies will be here to stay on the big-screen for decades to come.

For those that enjoyed this piece and want a bit more from me… please consider following me for more in the future! On top of covering a ton of Halloween/Horror content so far this Fall, there are going to be lots to talk about with a number of major releases including The Fabelmans, Halloween Ends, Black Adam, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Avatar: The Way Of Water, and so, so much more, so be sure to subscribe for more!

If you want to stay connected to me outside of Medium, you can follow me on Twitter where I talk about Movies, Comics, Wrestling, and Pop Culture as a whole! My Letterboxd is also linked below, for those that want to see what else I am watching when not reviewing movies on here.

Colt Cabana, Peter Avalon, and Leva Bates on AEW Dark

If you made it to the end and want to check out another one of my articles, check out my profile and consider following me on Medium, or check out my review of the LGBTQ+ romantic-comedy, Bros:




Entertainment Writer, Sometimes a Film Critic, Avid Disney Villain Song Connoisseur || Follow me on Twitter @NVProfoundFilm