When Noel Clarke won BAFTA’s Rising Star Award in 2009, it was orange (with and without the capital O). The trophy’s colour now the brilliant turquoise of sponsor EE – but its importance hasn’t faded among the new crop of actors.
Clarke was announcing the five nominees for this year’s award at BAFTA’s Piccadilly headquarters in London. Describing his own win as “an amazing moment”, he was confident that the five contenders for 2017 were all “destined for big things.” And, in alphabetical order, they are:
Laia Costa, star of the critically-acclaimed and almost entirely improvised Victoria, which has already won her a series of awards. Her next appearance on the big screen will be opposite Thomas Mann in Matthew Browne’s latest independent film, Maine.
Lucas Hedges, who plays Casey Affleck’s teenage nephew in Manchester By The Sea, due in cinemas next week. Originally spotted by no less a director than Wes Anderson, he’s just finished work on Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Tracy Letts.
Tom Holland, better known to moviegoers as the new Spider-Man from his first outing in Captain America: Civil War. Homecoming lands in cinemas this summer and Holland will also be on screen alongside Robert Pattinson in The Lost City Of Z later this year.
Ruth Negga, whose performance in Mike Nichol’s Loving has marked her down as a contender for this year’s big acting awards. All of which follows an award-winning theatre career.
Anya Taylor-Joy, best known for her debut film role in Roger Egger’s The Witch and soon to be seen alongside the winner of the first ever EE Rising Star Award, James McAvoy, in M Night Shyamalan’s thriller, Split.
The nominees couldn’t be there for the announcement, but several of them turned up virtually, treating the audience to VR messages. Here’s Tom Holland’s message:
Talking to Flavourmag, Noel Clarke described winning the award in 2009 as “the only reason why I’m still working. There’s a lot of respect and credibility that it gives you.” Gent that he is, however, he refused to be drawn on who would get his vote. “I don’t have favourites!”
Voting is open now on ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony on Sunday, 12 February at the Royal Albert Hall.