Naya Rivera on HitFix’s Top 25 Breakout Stars of 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Naya Rivera
What hit in 2011: "Glee"

What's next: 
Still more "Glee" (op: what about her solo album doe)

Lowdown: If Chris Colfer was the breakout stunner in the first season of "Glee" and Heather Morris kept popping off the screen in season two, Naya Rivera is well on her way to becoming the season three MVP of the FOX musical-dramedy. After already establishing herself as one of the best reciters of Ryan Murphy's biting dialogue, Rivera's Santana became more than just a sassy comedic foil when she began to examine her sexual identity in the spring. That arc has pushed Santana into more and more of a central role this season, culminating with the devastating final minutes of "Mash Off," perhaps the most emotionally honest scenes not featuring Colfer in the show's entire run. Initially just a background player, Rivera has risen to every challenge put to her by the challenging (more like incompetent) "Glee" writers. In 2011, Rivera was also a standout in "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie," became a red carpet fashion favorite and hosted the GLAAD Media Awards. Oh and if we were casting "West Side Story" for a Broadway revival, we'd make Rivera our Anita in a second.

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