CGA names 2023 Rising Stars

L-R, top to bottom: Ben Turland, Bernie van Tiel, Carlos Sanson Jr, Costa D’Angelo, Emma Harvie, Kartanya Maynard, Natalie Abbott, Nathalie Morris, Perry Mooney, Raj Labade, William Lodder and William McKenna.

The Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) has unveiled its Rising Stars for 2023, this year expanding the list from ten actors to 12.

The annual initiative, now in its ninth year, is designed to identify actors with the potential to breakout on the world stage, and this year includes Ben Turland, Bernie van Tiel, Carlos Sanson Jr, Costa D’Angelo, Emma Harvie, Kartanya Maynard, Natalie Abbott, Nathalie Morris, Perry Mooney, Raj Labade, William Lodder and William McKenna.

CGA president Thea McLeod said the guild took great pride in this year’s cohort and was excited to see what their careers have in store.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to support and nurture these talented individuals as they embark on their promising careers in the entertainment industry. In celebration of their remarkable talent and dedication, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to them all,” she said.

Previous Rising Stars include Milly Alcock, Eliza Scanlan, Katherine Langford, Zoe Terakes and Olivia De-Jonge.

The CGA will run interviews with the actors on its Instagram every day in the lead up to the official in-person presentation at the CGA Awards ceremony on November 24 in Sydney at Establishment Hotel. 

The Rising Stars program is supported by Casting Networks and Showcast, with both providing 24-month premium memberships for each of the actors.

The Rising Stars are as follows:

Ben Turland will next be seen as ‘Eli’ in the upcoming Paramount+ original series Paper Dolls. He is also currently filming on the feature film, The Deb, directed by Rebel Wilson. Prior to this, he was cast by Thea McLeod as ‘Hendrix Greyson’ on the 10/Fremantle television series Neighbours, starred as ‘Ethon Weston’ on Channel 5’s limited series Riptide, a recurring guest ‘Jordan Walsh’ on Seven’s Home and Away and had guest roles on Nine’s Love Child and ABC’s Dance Academy.

Actor and musician Bernie Van Tiel can currently be seen starring in the SBS series Erotic Stories and recently starred as ‘Tegan’ in Prime Video’s Class of ’07. Later this year, Bernie will star in SBS’s Swift Street and also composed a song for the series. Previously, she has starred in Jade of DeathSingle, Blaze, Home and Away and Dream Channel. A hip-hop artist and producer performing under the name BVT, Bernie toured with electro-dance pop group Haiku Hands in 2021 and performed at World Pride 2023. Their debut mixtape ‘LALAKI’s Mixtape’ released this month.

Carlos Sanson Jr is known for his role as Santiago in the Stan Original Series Bump and has just finished filming on Paper Dolls for Paramount+. In 2022, he was nominated for the Graham Kennedy Award for Most Popular New Talent at The Logies. In 2021, he was cast by Jane Norris in Sweet As, from Jub Clerc. He has appeared in shows like Mr Inbetween and has produced short films of his own (Hoodies, Nine White Moons, Seeing Red) with his film collective Strange Attractor. He spent early 2020 and late 2019 in Atlanta filming The CW series, Legacies. Prior to that Sanson Jr was in Los Angeles filming Netflix’s Malibu Rescue: The Next Wave. He graduated with a Diploma of Screen Acting from Screenwise in 2018.

Costa D’Angelo graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting). Whilst at VCA, Costa was involved in many theatre productions including 37, First Love is the Revolution, Love and Information, The Seagull, Angels in America, The Palace of Illusion, The Illiad and Capture the Flag. On screen, Costa played the role of Darius in ABC’s Crazy Fun Park and Michael in Frank Lotito’s feature film, Wog Boys Forever. D’Angelo is currently starring in Amazon/Network 10’s reboot of Neighbours.

Emma Harvie is currently starring in Binge’s Colin from Accounts as Megan opposite Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall as well Seven’s RFDS as ‘Chaya’. She recently wrapped on the ABC series In Limbo in the female lead Freya. Previously, she starred in The LetdownDiary of an Uber Driver and Frayed. Her stage credits include Wherever She Wanders, Dance Nation, Wrath, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Astral Plane. A graduate from The Actors Centre Australia, Harvie also studied at The Atlantic Acting School in New York.

A proud Truwulway and Nunga actor, Kartanya Maynard recently joined the regular cast of season two of Netflix’s international hit series Heartbreak High and was cast by Kate Leonard in Amazon Prime’s series Deadloch. She stars as Richie in ABC’s The Messenger and in the ABC/CBS series Gold Diggers. In 2024, Maynard will make her mainstage debut at the Sydney Theatre Company in Stolen. In 2020, she performed in Archipelago’s production of Angus Cerini’s The Bleeding Tree alongside Marta Dusseldorp.

After completing her BMUs in Musical Theatre at the Australian Institute of Music, Natalie Abbott made her professional debut playing the titular role of Muriel Heslop in Global Creatures’ national tour of Murial’s Wedding The Musical in 2019. Recently, she appeared in 2023’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever at the Seymour Centre and will make her feature film debut in the lead role in The Deb directed by Rebel Wilson. In 2020, Abbott made her television debut in the ABC series Aftertaste opposite Erik Thomson and reprising her role for season 2. Abbott can also be seen in the Netflix Original film The Perfect Pairing. She has been nominated for a Helpmann Award, a Green Room Award and a Sydney Theatre Award.

Nathalie Morris recently completed production on the fourth season of Stan series Bump in which she stars in the lead role of Oly, cast by Kirsty McGregor. She was last seen in Alena Lodkina’s feature film Petrol and will next be seen in Josephine Stewart Te-Whiu’s New Zealand feature Te Motu. Morris graduated from Toi Whakaari with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2018. Her credits also include US feature Black Christmas for Blumhouse Productions, US TV series Almost Paradise and season 1 and 2 of Great Southern Television’s One Lane Bridge. Morris also played the role of Nina in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Chekhov’s The Seagull.

Perry Mooney is a Yuwi person (Mackay) with South Sea Islander (Solomon Islands) and Euro-Australian lineage. Mooney began their career as a model in 2013 and most recently walked in two Afterpay Australian Fashion Weeks (AAFW) in 2021 and 2022. Mooney recently starred as Vic in ABC’s Gold Diggers and has since wrapped shooting a lead role in Population 11 for Stan and Lionsgate. They made their on-stage debut in Queen’s City, earning a Matilda Award for Best Emerging Artist. Later this year, Mooney will star in Face to Face at QPAC and in Tiddas at Belvoir St in Sydney.

Next year, Raj Labade will star as Sebastian in Amazon Prime seriesThe Office: Australia. This year he has worked in the STC/State Theatre production Dictionary of Lost Words and Griffin Theatre production Sex Magick, as well as being cast by Will Pearce and Stevie Ray in the SBS series Appetite. In 2022, Labade starred in the Belvoir production Tell Me I’m Here, Belvoir 22a production Never Closer and Performing Lines’ Mary Stuart. At 17, Labade began his professional career as ‘Lewis’ in the Netflix feature film Back of the Net and, at 18, was accepted into the illustrious Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Whilst at WAAPA, Raj was the recipient of multiple prestigious awards; the 2020 Speech and Drama Teachers Association Poetry Prize, the 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Shakespeare Award of ‘Best Production’ for his performance of Hamlet and the 2021 Leslie Anderson Award for Best Graduating Actor in his final showcase performance.

William Lodder is best known for starring in Binge’s Love Me, cast by Nathan Lloyd. In 2020, Lodder made his screen debut playing the lead role of ‘Jack’ in the Netflix feature film Go Karts. Following this, Lodder appeared as ‘Ted’ in the ABC television series Wakefield. He also recently appeared in the Stan original series Bali 2002. Lodder has a Diploma of Stage and Screen Performance from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

William McKenna’s recent credits include the lead role in ABC and Lingo Pictures’ The Messenger, BBC’s Queen of Oz, and the upcoming Stan series Thou Shalt Not Steal. This year he was also seen on stage for Melbourne Theatre Company’s Bernhardt/Hamlet. In 2019-2020, McKenna starred as Scorpius Malfoy in the Australian production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a role he was cast in by Janine Snape. His performance saw him nominated for a Helpmann Award and win the Green Room Award for Best Performance in a Theatre Production. McKenna also starred in series 3 and 4 of Nowhere Boys for Matchbox Pictures. He debuted in the Melbourne Theatre Company 2022 season in Joshua Harmons’ Admissions. He won the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Class Clowns nationwide competition and hosted the 2016 final. He completed his first solo show Appellation at the 2022 Festival, to which he received a nomination for Best Newcomer.