Next Tuesday sees BAFTA announce their nominations for the 2018 film awards as the Oscar race starts to get heated.
But as per usual, the British films group have revealed the first nominees for the EE Rising Star Award category which is a lot stronger this time around.
There are three homegrown stars who have been shortlisted with London-born DANIEL KALUUYA the most likely to land the accolade. Daniel made a strong impression on audiences this year with his exceptional role as terrified African-American man Chris Washington in Jordan Peele’s acclaimed thriller Get Out. His performance has already earned him Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award nominations for Best Actor and is also tipped for nods from BAFTA and the Academy.
Prior to appearing in the film, Daniel made his breakthrough in British television when he played Posh Kenneth in the hit series Skins (2007-09). After also popping up in the likes of Silent Witness, Doctor Who, Psychoville and the acclaimed Black Mirror, he then made it onto the big-screen by appearing in the action-comedy sequel Johnny English Reborn (2011). Since then, he has also starred in Kick-Ass 2 (2013) and Sicario (2015) which has furthered strengthened his appeal to more worldwide audiences. His upcoming roles in 2018 see him play W’Kabi in the Marvel spinoff Black Panther and also star in the Steve McQueen-directed drama Widows.
The second British nominee is the lovely FLORENCE PUGH who received critical acclaimed last year when she played a long-suffering bride who embarks on an affair in the romantic drama Lady Macbeth (2017). The role has already won her the Best Actress accolade at the British Independent Spirit Awards and has even led to her being christened the new ‘Kate Winslet’.
Oxford-born Florence broke into film with her starring role in the mystery drama The Falling (2014) and also had a key part in the hit ITV series Marcella (2016). She is due to appear in more films including the historical drama Outlaw King, the wrestling biopic Fighting with my Family and a small-screen adaptation of King Lear. There is also a key role in the BBC series The Little Drummer Girl which is an adaptation of the John Le Carre novel.
Rounding off the homegrown nominees is JOSH O’CONNOR. Like Florence Pugh, Josh also celebrated recent success at the British Independent Spirit Awards when he won Best Actor for his powerful performance as an alcoholic farmer who ends up in a relationship with a Romanian worker in the drama God’s Own Country.
The Cheltenham-born actor began his screen career by appearing in Doctor Who and would contribute useful television appearances in the second series of Peaky Blinders and eight episodes of Ripper Street (2014). However he then landed film roles in The Riot Club (2010), Cinderella (2015), The Program (2015) and Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) and has recently been involved in the ITV series The Durrells in Corfu.
The beautiful TESSA THOMPSON is the fourth contender on this year’s shortlist. The Californian actress got her big break when she appeared in the 2006 horror A Stranger Calls. She then had crucial television roles in the likes of Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy and Heroes and then featured in a number of low budget films.
However she then earned praise for her performance in the social satire Dear White People (2014) which won her a couple of key breakthrough roles. After appearing in the Martin Luther King biopic Selma, she then played starred in the Rocky sequel Creed as Bianca, the lover of boxer Adonis Creed. She is set to return for Creed 2 which is due out in 2019.
Her acting CV has risen even further in the last couple of years with key roles in the acclaimed HBO series Westworld and as kick-ass superheroine Valkyrie in the hit Marvel outing Thor: Ragnorak. She can next be seen in the sci-fi thriller Annihilation and a possible appearance in the Marvel epic Avengers: Infinity War.
The final nominee in the lineup is New York native TIMOTHEE CHALAMET. The 22 year old starlet is currently earning rave reviews for his performance as a teenager struggling with his feelings towards an older man in the romantic drama Call Me By Your Name. The role has led to a lot of awards success and he is heavily tipped to receive Best Actor nominations with BAFTA and the Oscars.
He first caught our attention by playing Finn Walden in eight episodes of the acclaimed series Homeland (2012) and soon landed film parts in the likes of Men, Women & Children (2014), Interstellar (2014) and Love the Coopers (2015). Timothee is also involved in another Oscar contender in the indie-comedy Lady Bird and can next be seen in Beautiful Boy and A Rainy Day in New York.
Previous recipients of the award have included James McAvoy, Eva Green, Kristen Stewart, Tom Hardy, John Boyega and last year’s successor Tom Holland.
Voting is now open on the BAFTA website and the winner will be announced at the BAFTA ceremony on Sunday 18th February.