Year in review: From Hollywood’s bravest whistle-blowers (see: Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan) to the industry’s fiercest moguls (hi, Kylie Jenner!), Us Weekly honors the standouts of 2017.
The actress has opened up about how her role as Kate on This Is Us has helped people communicate about different issues. "On a daily basis ... I cry with strangers” Metz told Us Weekly in November. “There’s a high school friend I recently went and saw during Thanksgiving and his wife had triplets and they lost one of the babies. Just when you think the show is too far-fetched, it’s like, no, people are actually living these stories."
Criticized for everything from her Slovenian accent to the 4-inch stilettos she wore boarding a flight to hurricane-ravaged Houston, the first lady stood strong. Facing haters “is part of being famous,” the 47-year-old told Us in 2015. “You will not have everybody love you all the time.”
Incurring backlash in June — her second week as an NBC journalist — for interviewing a Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist, the 47-year-old declared: “While it’s not always popular, it’s important.” That mantra informs all her choices. On Megyn Kelly Today, she’s explored everything from pop culture to sexual assault.
A breakout performance in July’s Girls Trip earned the once-homeless star a Saturday Night Live hosting gig (the first black female stand-up comedian to get that job in the NBC sketch show’s history!) and praise from DJ Khaled. At a November fete, the Last Black Unicorn author, 38, recalled to Us, “He goes, ‘You’re the hottest thing out there right now. You’re on fire!’”
An eye-popping 15.8 million chose to Netflix and chill, catching the premiere of the show’s second season within three days of its October release. Carrying most of the nine episodes? The series’ youngest stars: Finn Wolfhard, 15, Gaten Matarazzo, 15, Caleb McLaughlin, 16, Sadie Sink, 15, Millie Bobby Brown, 13, and Noah Schnapp, 13.
Scientology was just the start. After two seasons of exposing the darkest truths of her former religion on her hit A&E docuseries, the 47-year-old will investigate other “cultlike religions” in season 3, an insider reveals. On deck: New York-based self-help group NXIVM and the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
At the height of their fame, Fixer Upper’s stars decided to remodel their life. Ending their hit HGTV show (Chip, 43, and Joanna, 39, will still create their popular Target line, Hearth & Hand) means more time with their four kids, notes Chip, who told Success, “We want to make sure that we’re here for our family during really crucial, pivotal points in its journey.”
Once struggling entertainers, the real estate phenoms built their love of flipping houses into a multimillion-dollar empire. And with millions tuning in to their HGTV smash Property Brothers — and its four successful spinoffs — the 39-year-olds aren’t slowing down. As Jonathan tells Us, “I don’t see us ever stepping away.”
Before Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and dozens more stepped forward, the actress, 49, walked out on a limb. She’s said of her decision to go on-record in October with The New York Times about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment, “It’s simply beyond time to have the conversation.”
You gotta have heart. That’s the message the talk show host, 50, delivered this year. Revealing his 8-month-old son, Billy, was born with a congenital heart defect, he’s led the charge for affordable health care. “There are certain things I don’t understand,” he told Vulture in October. “and the idea that Americans wouldn’t want to take care of each other when they’re sick is one of them.”
The newest American princess — she and Prince Harry, 33, will wed in May — may just be tailor-made for the role. Even before the 36-year-old called Kensington Palace home, she was discussing the importance of charity. Teaming with organizations such as U.N. Women and World Vision, she says, “feeds my soul.”