ByMichael Patterson, writer at
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Michael Patterson

The summer wouldn't be complete without a heart-wrenching young adult tale about two star-crossed lovers who must overcome the odds to be together. In the past, we have bawled our eyes out at the likes of If I Stay, The Fault In Our Stars and Me Before You, championing the leading couple with all our heart. And this year, we did the exact same thing with Everything, Everything.

The YA adaptation focused on Maddy Whittier, a young girl confined to her house due to her immuno-deficiency disease. But when she meets Olly, the handsome new neighbor, she begins to realize all the things she has been missing out on in life.

The film was originally released in the US back in May, but its release to home media this month, as well as its theatrical release in the UK, will undoubtedly introduce it to a whole new audience. And while that's great for the film, it's even greater for stars Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson.

Both of the young stars delivered strong performances in their first Hollywood film as lead actors, and never failed to impress us with their acting chops. With that in mind, let's take a look at how made future headliners out of its two stars.

A Chance To Shine In Leading Roles

Despite their young ages, both Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson have been regular presences on our screens for over half a decade. And while they have given us some incredibly memorable performances, the vast majority of their well-known roles have actually been in ensemble pieces, where they played supporting roles.

Stenberg is undoubtedly best known for playing Rue in , starring opposite Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. While it was a supporting role, the young actress really delivered and made us all feel for the character. After this, she went on to have recurring roles on and in film. But she finally got the chance to prove just how capable she was of leading a film when in Everything, Everything.

'Hunger Games' to 'Jurassic World': Stenberg and Robinson's most famous roles were supporting ones. [Credit: Lionsgate/Universal]
'Hunger Games' to 'Jurassic World': Stenberg and Robinson's most famous roles were supporting ones. [Credit: Lionsgate/Universal]

Similarly, Robinson got his start on sitcom , portraying Melissa Joan Hart's nephew Ryder, before being cast in independent film . But he was introduced to a whole new audience when he played Zach, the moody older brother in . After that, he appeared in YA thriller . Although these were ensemble pieces, that didn't stop him from shining. His comedic timing in Melissa and Joey was exceptional, while his powerful dramatic performance in The 5th Wave was one of the film's standouts.

But while they had major success in supporting roles, both Stenberg and Robinson were finally given the chance to lead a Hollywood film together in Everything, Everything. And in doing so they highlighted their ability to command the screen as headliners. As Maddy, Stenberg delivered a relatable, grounded performance that was so powerful, we couldn't help but root for her. In fact, she performed the role with so much heart, that it was impossible not to get attached to the character.

Meanwhile, Everything, Everything may not have been Robinson's first headlining role (he led Indie gems The Kings Of Summer and Being Charlie), but it is the first mainstream film in which he plays the primary love interest and the only significant male character. And through his compelling performance, he proved that he was definitely leading man material. As Olly, he was alluring, mysterious and compassionate — exactly what the character should have been.

This isn't the first time that a adaptation has afforded an actor the opportunity to shine. If I Stay highlighted Chloë Grace Moretz's ability to steal the show, while Game Of Thrones star Emilia Clarke showed a whole new side of herself in Me Before You. These talented actresses were most famous for their roles in ensemble pieces, but their strong leading performances in YA films allowed them show how they can lead a major project. Thus, it's great to see the trend continuing with Stenberg and Robinson.

The Future Is Bright

After proving to us that they can indeed be compelling leads in Everything, Everything, it's safe to say that we should expect to see Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson headlining more Hollywood films in the future. In fact, we don't have to wait long to see it, as they are both portraying the lead character in each of their next projects.

Stenberg is set to lead another YA adaptation when she stars in The Darkest Minds — a sci-fi thriller based on the book of the same name, which is due to be released next year. Robinson is also set to headline a YA film when he stars in Greg Bertlanti's adaptation of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Amandla Stenberg & Nick Robinson were convincing leads [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
Amandla Stenberg & Nick Robinson were convincing leads [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

As they're both incredibly talented and popular, it's no surprise that Stenberg and Robinson are being sought out by major studios to lead their films. Now that they will both be respectively headlining their next projects, it seems like Hollywood may have finally realised their true potential as leading lady/leading man material.

Everything, Everything highlighted just how convincing both actors could be in the leading roles of a major film. This time, there weren't any science fiction elements, overcrowded casts or A-List threats — just Stenberg and Robinson, giving us some of their finest dramatic work yet. And that's something we should expect to see a lot more of in the future.

Were you a fan of Everything, Everything? Let us know in the comments below!


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