Influencers are known for their presence on social media, but a handful of online personalities have also made the transition onto the big and small screens.
Although Hollywood can be a difficult industry to break into, some of those who have grown large followings online have found their own way in. Decades ago, a typical “famous” person was someone whom audiences saw in movies, TV shows and on red carpets. But the rise of social media has changed what it means to be a celebrity, making way for influencers.
Some A-list stars have expressed their concerns over social media throughout the years, including Ana de Armas and Jennifer Aniston. The Blonde actress said earlier in 2023 that social media has ruined the “concept of a movie star” for new generations because “that mystery is gone.”
The Friends star has previously shared a similar perspective. During a 2022 interview with Allure magazine, she responded to a comment about the “mass-fame phenomenon,” saying, “I feel like it’s dying. There are no more movie stars. There’s no more glamour. Even the Oscar parties used to be so fun.”
Although some influencers, such as Addison Rae, Liza Koshy and King Bach, found fame on social media apps such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Vine, several content creators are working to branch out and find their spot in Hollywood, alongside industry veterans who have years if not decades of experience.
A list of influencers who have made their into acting in movies and on television follows.
Addison Rae first joined TikTok in 2019 and quickly rose to popularity on the social media app. Now, her account has amassed more than 88.7 million followers. Apart from dabbling in music with her 2021 single “Obsessed,” Rae has also set out to find her place in the film industry. In 2021, she made her acting debut in Netflix’s He’s All That and is also set to star in Thanksgiving, which is currently in the works.
After graduating from Georgetown University in 2019, Jack Martin went on to pursue a career in social media, gaining more than 855,000 followers on TikTok with his comedy skit videos. It was later that he found his way into television, starring as Josh Harris in NBC’s La Brea, which ran for three seasons.
Charlie D’Amelio, one of the most-followed influencers on TikTok with more than 150 million followers, rose in popularity in 2019, posting videos dancing and with her sister Dixie D’Amelio. Following her success on social media, Charlie and her family have dabbled in different aspects of entertainment, from music, fashion and reality television. Charlie has also made her way into acting, voicing Tinker in StarDog and TurboCat, and she is also set to star in the upcoming film Home School.
Andrew Bachelor, known as King Bach on social media, initially rose to fame for his comedy videos on the once-popular app Vine. After gaining millions of followers on the app as well as his YouTube, he found his way into acting. He has since been cast in several projects, including Black-ish, Holidate, The Mindy Project, Black Jesus, Meet the Blacks, The Walking Dead and The Babysitter: Killer Queen. And his upcoming film Legend of the White Dragon is currently in production.
Noah Beck, once a college soccer star, quickly grew in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, posting dancing videos on TikTok. But even before his social media fame, he dipped his toes into acting with a few smaller projects. Now, with more than 33 million followers on TikTok, he has continued to pursue acting, making appearances in Side Hustle and Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. He is also set to star in The QB Bad Boy and Me.
Liza Koshy is another creator who initially found success on the app Vine with her sense of humor, gaining millions of followers. She has also amassed more than 17 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. But Koshy eventually decided to make the transition into acting, starring in projects like Freakish, Escape the Night, Boo! A Madea Halloween and more recently, Cat Person. She has also worked as a voice actor in Crow: The Legend, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken and The Ghost and Molly McGee. As for upcoming projects, Koshy is also set to star in A Family Affair and Players.
Nash Grier first became a social media star on Vine, gaining millions of followers on the app before it shut down in 2016. He then continued creating content on other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram, where he has more than 4.5 million subscribers and 13.5 million followers, respectively. But Grier has also had his hands in several acting projects throughout his career, including The Outfield, The Deleted, You Get Me and Unexpected. He has made appearances in Scream: The TV Series and I Am Mortal as well.
Ariel Martin, known as Baby Ariel on social media, initially found success on Musical.ly, becoming one of the top creators on the app before it eventually became TikTok. She currently has more than 36 million followers on the app. But in recent years, she has looked at pursuing acting opportunities, including making appearances in Bizaardvark, Henry Danger, Bixler High Private Eye and Family Reunion. She has also starred in and produced her own YouTube series, Baby Doll Records, as well as starring as Wynter in Disney’s Zombies films.
Chase Hudson, known online as Huddy, initially amassed a following on TikTok for his dance and lip-sync videos, currently boasting more than 31 million followers. But other than social media, Hudson has also expressed interest in music, releasing his debut album, Teenage Heartbreak, in 2021. But when he wasn’t writing and recording music, he made his acting debut that same year in Colson Baker’s, aka Machine Gun Kelly’s, musical drama Downfalls High.
Cameron Dallas was one of the top creators on Vine, which launched his social media career. After the app shut down, he moved to other platforms like YouTube and TikTok, where he has more than 5 million subscribers and 17 million followers, respectively. But during his success as a creator, he also pursued some acting opportunities, including starring in Expelled and The Outfield. He also made appearances in American Odyssey and Mr. Corman.
Grace Helbig started posting on YouTube in 2007 and never expected she would gain more than 2.5 million subscribers. As she continued to upload videos, building a career on social media for herself, she also had an interest in acting. So it only made sense that she started taking on projects, making her debut in Camp Takota, which she also co-produced. Other projects she has starred in include Side Effects, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Dirty 30 and The Wedding Year. She has also had some voice acting roles in Trolls and Jellystone.