Some actors deserve to be bigger stars than they are, here are our favorites
Best known for: "The Kids Are All Right," "Lee Daniels' The Butler," "America's Next Top Model"
What's next: "And So It Goes," "I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story"
What's missing: A bit of respect. A former runner-up on "America's Next Top Model," Alafia (formerly known as Yaya DaCosta) is so traffic-stoppingly gorgeous that casting agents seem to have trouble seeing her as anything but dazzling ensemble decoration -- while the limited opportunities afforded to young black actresses in Hollywood don't make things any easier for her. But she's far more than just a striking presence: long promising on the fringes, she blossomed with a superb supporting role in last year's Sundance critical hit "Mother of George," and made the most of her limited screen time in "The Butler." Playing the late Whitney Houston in a TV biopic (directed by Angela Bassett, who knows a thing or two about being squandered by the industry) may or may not do much for her on the prestige front, but it'll prove whether or not she can carry a project. - Guy Lodge