Before taking the world by storm in “Normal People,” Paul Mescal played the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” at his school — and his mask kept falling off mid-production. “The Midnight Sky” star Tiffany Boone knew she was hooked on acting when, at age eight, she played an elf in the play “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” And “One Night in Miami” actor Aldis Hodge was two years old when his mother used Batman toys to bribe him to join his brother in a print job. “She said if I just took a couple picture, I’d get a Batman toy,” Hodge revealed. “That was the first actual job; I knew I could make a career out of this, because I said, ‘This is my ticket to Batman toys.’”

These were just some of the revelations that came out during Variety’s 10 Actors to Watch panel, held during FYC Fest on Dec. 15. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, nine of the 10 actors gathered virtually this year to discuss their careers in a wide-ranging conversation — Jonathan Majors, the star of “Lovecraft Country” and “Da 5 Bloods” was called into work at the last second and unable to attend. Also in attendance were Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Dominique Fishback (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Jayme Lawson (“Farewell Amor”), Rosy McEwen (“The Alienist: Angel of Darkness”), Tom Pelphrey (“Mank”), Helena Zengel (“News of the World.”)