Crazy Rich Asians’s Awkwafina and Unbelievable’s Kaitlyn Dever among contenders for 2020 EE Rising Star BAFTA

With the BAFTA film nominations due to be announced tomorrow morning, the British-based awards group have once again revealed a new set of contenders for the EE Rising Star BAFTA.

This year’s group features two homegrown stars and three American starlets all looking to compete for an accolade voted for by the public.

The first nominee is US actress / rapper Awkwafina who enjoyed awards success last night when she won the Best Actress (Comedy/Musical) Golden Globe for her performance as Billi in the Chinese dramedy The Farewell.

Prior to that film, her breakthrough role came when she hosted the late night chat show Tawk (2015-17) and then appeared in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016). 2018 would prove a successful year for her as she played Constance in the female-based heist flick Ocean’s 8. This was then followed by her humourous role as Peik Lin Goh, the close friend of Constance Wu’s leading character in the hit rom-com Crazy Rich Asians.

Awkwafina also recently appeared as Ming Fleetfoot in the action-adventure sequel Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) and has contributed her voice to the likes of Storks (2016), The Simpsons (2019), The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019). She is due to provide the vocals for Scuttle in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Nominee number two is another American starlet in Kaitlyn Dever who can currently be seen as the victimised Marie Adler in the crime-based Netflix series Unbelievable.

Following bit parts in the likes of Modern Family (2009), J. Edgar (2011) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (2011), Kaitlyn caught the eye of many television viewers with her roles as Eve Baxter in the long-running sitcom Last Man Standing (2011-) and as Loretta McCready in the acclaimed FX series Justified (2011-15).

She also made notable appearances in Short Term 12 (2013), Detroit (2017), The Front Runner (2018) and Beautiful Boy with her biggest cinematic role coming as brainy student Amy in the hit friendship comedy Booksmart (2019).

The third contender is yet another American actor in Kelvin Harrison Jr. who first came to our attention with brief roles in 12 Years a Slave (2013), Ender’s Game (2013) and The Birth of a Nation (2016).

He then starred as Weeks in the acclaimed Netflix drama Mudbound (2017) and that was then followed by roles in Monsters and Men (2018) and Assassination Nation (2018). Last year was his most prominent to date as he produced brilliant performances as Luce Edgar in the drama Luce (2019) and as Tyler in the indie-drama Waves (2019). That same year also saw him play Teddy Greene in the crime-based drama series Godfather of Harlem.

The fourth candidate is Essex-born actor Jack Lowden who grew up in the Scottish Borders. His early screenwork came on the small-screen with roles as Alan Wright in Mrs. Biggs (2012) and as Alan Roebuck in the first series of The Tunnel (2013). His cinematic debut saw him appear in the Troubles-based thriller ’71 (2014) and this was then followed by more television work in The Passing Bells (2014) and War & Peace (2016).

After film roles in Tommy’s Honour, A United Kingdom and Denial (all 2016), Jack then portrayed real-life British singer Morrissey in the biopic England is Mine (2017). That same year saw him play Collins in Christopher Nolan’s war thriller Dunkirk and this was followed by his performance as Henry Darnley in the historical drama Mary Queen of Scots (2018).

Last year saw Jack play wannabe wrestler Zak Knight alongside Florence Pugh in the hit wrestling comedy Fighting with my Family (2019). He is also due to appear with former Rising Star winner Tom Hardy in the upcoming Al Capone biopic Fonzo.

Last but not least is London-born newcomer Micheal Ward who can currently be seen as Jamie in the hit crime series Top Boy (2011-). Ward first appeared on screen in Brotherhood (2016) and followed that up with a role as Brendan in the BBC series The A List (2018).

He can also be seen as Marco in the British crime drama Blue Story which was recently pulled from cinemas following violent incidents in Birmingham connected to the film.

You can vote for your preferred choice via the posted link:

The 2020 BAFTA film awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on February 2.

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