Recognizable for her bleached or barely-there brows and her sharp screen presence, Myha’la Herrold has had a short but incredibly strong career. The actress has only about a dozen credits to her name, but it’s all about quality over quantity with her. Between starring in one of this year’s best Black Mirror episodes and landing roles in Dumb Money and Leave the World Behind, 2023 is the young actress’ year. She’s one to watch now, and one to keep an eye on for the future.
Breaking into the industry with Industry
Though Herrold had a few roles prior to the pandemic (most notably in Amazon (AMZN) Prime’s anthology series, Modern Love), 2020 saw the actress stake her claim on a lead role in the HBO series Industry. Herrold stars as Harper, a driven American with all of the skills necessary to secure a permanent position at the show’s cutthroat London investment bank, but she’s determined to keep her background hidden. The show has been hailed as a fantastic example of prestige TV, even if it hasn’t fully broken into the mainstream yet, and Herrold’s work has been singled out as one of “the most exciting performances on television.”
She killed it in Bodies Bodies Bodies
Like fellow recent breakout Rachel Sennott, Herrold struck gold with her performance in A24’s satirical slasher Bodies Bodies Bodies. She plays Jordan, a woker-than-thou member of the movie’s rich kid clique who’s more than willing to hurt people (emotionally and, eventually, physically) to stay on top of her moral high ground—and she manages to make her character’s cruel comments incredibly funny. The cast also includes established young talents like Amandla Stenberg and Maria Bakalova, making the horror film quite the training ground for the newest generation of notable actors.
A 2023 to remember
Herrold’s year in film and TV began with “Loch Henry,” the second episode in Season 6 of the Netflix (NFLX) hit series Black Mirror. She stars as Pia, a young filmmaker who’s accompanying her boyfriend to his remote Scottish home in order to make a very niche, very cheap documentary. But when she stumbles upon local lore that looks like the perfect true crime doc, she decides to make the most of it—even if that digging is dangerous. Herrold’s transition from cinematic opportunist to eventual final girl helps ground the episode, making it memorable beyond the true crime trend it seeks to poke fun at.
The actress will also be playing supporting roles in two highly anticipated movies that are expected to be in the awards conversation this year. In Dumb Money, a film detailing the GameStop short squeeze saga of 2021 that just premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, she plays a small scale investor that helps put pressure on hedge fund billionaires. It’s been one of the most-liked and most talked about movies of the fest, with lots of comparisons to another zingy, ensemble-led film in The Big Short. The film premieres in select theaters this weekend before gradually expanding nationwide.
Still to come is Leave the World Behind, written and directed by Mr. Robot mastermind Sam Esmail. This apocalyptic thriller stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke as a happy couple who are spending time at a vacation rental with their kids, only for a strange man (two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali) and his daughter (Herrold) to arrive with news of a disastrous, world-altering cyber attack. It’s all very mysterious, but the high caliber of talent involved bodes well for the movie as well as Myha’la Herrold’s performance.