Dear Gossips,

Variety released its Power of Young Hollywood issue this week with three covers: Camila Cabello, Cole Sprouse, and Stephan James. What a year it’s been for Stephan James. Twelve months ago he was getting ready to premiere If Beale Street Could Talk and Homecoming at TIFF, in his home town. TIFF, by the way, is where he was named the festival’s Rising Star in 2015 when he was just 21 years old. His brother, Shamier Anderson, will receive the honour from TIFF this year. Stephan and Shamier were both at the Variety party last night. 

Stephan’s next film is 21 Bridges, costarring Chadwick Boseman, coming out in November. The film is produced by Joe and Anthony Russo – you know, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Apparently Stephan “tested through the roof in likeability” in the movie even though, ostensibly, he plays the villain. “I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt he will be one of the biggest stars of the next five years,” said Joe Russo of Stephan’s talent. 

This is also why Ava DuVernay wanted him so badly to play John Lewis in Selma. She tells Variety she spent three months looking for him after seeing him in a two minute trailer. She too is expecting even greater things from Stephan. “I feel like he’s the best of his generation, because he can be so many things. Fiery, vulnerable, sexy, confident, humble — I’ve seen him do it all.”

Including Degrassi. He was on Degrassi. Stephan said during his photo shoot that Degrassi is a “rite of passage”. 


A post shared by Variety (@variety) on

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Degrassi doesn’t get its due here at home in Canada and that’s on us. Just last week, Vulture called Degrassi the “Godfather of Taboo Teen Dramas”. Before Euphoria, there was Degrassi and as Ilana Kaplan writes, “Degrassi created a framework for all of today’s provocative teen dramas”. 

You know who was a writer on Degrassi? That would be The Name Therapist, Duana Taha. Today is her birthday – Happy Birthday! She said she’s taking it as a personal birthday gift from Stephan that in addition to namechecking Degrassi, he also talks a lot about Homecoming in his Variety feature. “That did NOT get enough attention the first time out.” 

But the boy from Toronto is getting a lot of attention now. He also covers the September issue of ELLE Canada with Winnie Harlow, also from Toronto. 


A post shared by ELLE Canada (@ellecanada) on

Read the full ELLE article on Winnie and Stephan here.

Yours in gossip,