Stars On The Rise: These 10 Young Actors Are The New Generation of Leading Men

Stars On The Rise: These 10 Young Actors Are The New Generation of Leading Men

Remember their names.

From Elijah Canlas to Harvey Bautista, these Gen Z actors are the next big thing, redefining what it means to be leading men in the new generation.

Related: 10 Gen Z Filipino Stars And Personalities We Want To See More Of In 2024

Heroes, heartthrobs, hotshots—they’re nothing new. Generations upon generations of actors have made names and legacies for themselves by doing what they do and looking great while doing it. But a promise that comes with time is change, and as stories, media, and roles diversify, these actors are moving to show the world Filipino acting excellence by bringing talent and fresh perspective to every room they’re in. They’re committed to tell meaningful stories, down to take on challenging roles, and showing range across genres, making everyone swoon, root for them, or even hate their guts—a testament to their talent.

From Grae Fernandez to Zaijan Jaranilla, these Gen Z rising stars may be newbies or may have already had a decade-long career, but one thing’s for sure: they’re stars we should all look out for as they embrace challenges, prioritize their craft, and make even bigger names for themselves as the newest, hottest generation of Filipino actors.


gen z rising actors kyle echarri


Actor and musician Kyle Echarri had his start long ago, and has stayed booked and busy since his The Voice Kids days. But as time passes and the 20-year old artist grows into a young adult, it’s clear that Kyle is leading man material. He’s had a busy couple of years, starring in 2022 youth-oriented series Beach Bros and Lyric and Beat, as well as in teleserye The Iron Heart (2022-2023). He recently skillfully portrayed the well-meaning, ill-fated Obet in teen drama Senior High (2023-2024) and is set to star in upcoming action-thriller Pamilya Sagrado across Piolo Pascual, Grae Fernandez, and Jeremiah Lisbo.


gen z rising actors elijah canlas

FB/Elijah Canlas

Indie king, film buff, and multi-awarded actor Elijah Canlas is certainly not a new figure in the industry. With multiple movie and television credits and FAMAS and Gawad Urian awards under his belt, the 23-year old has long established his skill as a versatile, bona fide actor. After starring in Kalel, 15 (2019), About Us But Not About Us (2022), and GomBurZa (2023), and fresh from his stint as Archie on Senior High, Elijah’s filmography is getting more stacked by the year, earning steady praise for portraying complex, barrier-breaking roles.


gen z rising actors harvey bautista


You may know Harvey Bautista as a former Goin’ Bulilit cast member, along with one Belle Mariano, but the 19-year old is inching towards revived young star status. Currently making waves on social media as he returns to screens, Harvey is turning heads as Jiggs on youth-oriented reality show Zoomers. After proving his merit during talent search Project Zoomers, he stars as Jiggs alongside Criza Taa’s Hope—and their chemistry is undeniable enough that we’d love to see more from them and from Harvey as an actor.


gen z rising actors anthony jennings


Play a lovable goofball so well and you’re set. Jokes aside, Anthony Jennings’ popularity has been on the rise since playing Snoop on DonBelle-starrer series Can’t Buy Me Love (2023-present). He’s previously held some supporting roles in movies and series, but the ever-viral Snoop is clearly his breakout role. The 23-year old came from some very humble beginnings, and it’s lovely to witness him get his flowers for his talent. His talent, comedic timing, and chemistry with co-star Maris Racal on screen keeps him on our radar.


gen z rising actors radson flores


The Voltes V: Legacy (2023) star was director Mark Reyes’ first and only choice to play Mark Gordon in the sci-fi series based on hit anime Voltes V, and he’s earned praise for his portrayal of the character. The young actor got his start on Starstruck Season 7 (2019), and while he only placed ninth, he got his break with Voltes V and gets to follow the footsteps of many actors before him like Mark Herras, Paulo Avelino, and Miguel Tanfelix.


gen z rising actors zaijan jaranilla


Santino’s all grown up and fine-tuning his craft. The award-winning Zaijan Jaranilla, best known for portraying Santino in May Bukas Pa (2009-2010), recently went viral for his role as Tim in Senior High (clearly a series that has catapulted some young actors into or back into the stratosphere), where he and fellow former child actor Xyriel Manabat acted their butts off in several scenes in the series. Zaijan continues to solidify his stature as a talented young actor, having booked roles all throughout his career, and we’re seated for what comes next.


gen z rising actors brent manalo


Brent Manalo is relatively the most “newbie” on this list, but the model-turned-actor is one to watch as he hones his screen talents, having bagged supporting roles in iWantTFC teen series Beach Bros (2022) and drama teleserye The Broken Marriage Vow (2022).


gen z rising actors jeremiah lisbo


Former second lead turned leading man in his own right, Jeremiah Lisbo put his name on the map as the second-lead love interest of Belle Mariano’s Max in He’s Into Her (2021-2022). After working on love stories, thrillers, and dramas, Jeremiah’s debuted a new look in preparation for a role in Pamilya Sagrado, which is no doubt something quite different from his previous work.


gen z rising actors tommy alejandrino


Theater-trained Tommy Alejandrino is also one who got his biggest break of his career so far in the past year. Just in 2023, the actor bagged supporting roles in Metro Manila Film Festival standouts Mallari and GomBurZa, as well as in Senior High, showing off his flexible talent as he adds both indie and mainstream screen experiences to the notches on his belt.


gen z rising actors michael sager


The Filipino-Canadian multi-hyphenate first got his taste of the limelight as a backup dancer on Disney’s Descendants (2015). He made his film debut as a cast member of Five Breakups and a Romance (2023) and is shaping up to be a young talent to keep within your sights as he takes on more roles, and is set to star in upcoming GMA Network series Shining Inheritance, an adaptation of South Korean drama Brilliant Legacy (2009).


gen z rising actors grae fernandez


You may know Grae for his recent role as Yosef in Senior High (seriously, props to the casting director for having an impeccable casting radar), where he proved he can handle an intense role, or as a member of boy group Gimme 5. Before Senior High, the actor took a short hiatus from Philippine showbiz to head to New York and train at the Stella Adler School of Acting, and is now set to star in upcoming series Pamilya Sagrado, rounding out the show’s cast of established and rising actors.

Continue Reading: 15 Filipino Actors To Watch Out For