Bukky Bakray, Conrad Khan, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark and SÌ£oÌ£peÌ£Ì Dìrísù are this year’s nominees for the prestigious BAFTA EE Rising Star award - which has previously been won by James McAvoy, Kristen Stewart and John Boyega.
The five nominees for the 16th EE Rising Star Award were announced this morning during a live streamed event at the The Savoy.
George MacKay, best known for starring in Sam Mendes’ war epic 1917 announced the shortlist - the winner of which is voted for by the public. Edith Bowman was host.
Previous winners have included Tom Hardy, Jack O’Connell, Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya. Anya Taylor-Joy, Florence Pugh, Jessie Buckley, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson and Margot Robbie are among former nominees.
Bukky Bakray is best known from her breakout role in Rocks, directed by Sarah Gavron. This year, she has also been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) and London Critics Circle, and is on the long list in BAFTA’s Leading Actress category for 2021.
Speaking about her nomination, she said she felt “blessed to be recognised so early on in my career”
Conrad Khan is best known for playing Tyler in Henry Blake’s 2020 feature film, County Lines. Khan’s first role was in 2016 when he played a young Chris Hemsworth (Eric) in The Huntsman: Winter’s War. He will also star in Peaky Blinders, opposite Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson.
He said: “A huge thank you to BAFTA for this nomination! I am so excited and proud to be in such great company – the EE Rising Star Award is something I never would have even dreamt of at the start of my career. I am really looking forward to being part of this year’s awards. It is an honour.”
Kingsley Ben-Adir is the star of Regina’s King’s directorial debut film One Night in Miami, in which he made headlines with his captivating portrayal of Malcolm X. The film has received three Golden Globe nominations.
He said: “It’s an honour to be picked as a BAFTA EE Rising Star. I have always had great respect for this award and have admired the selection each year, so to be in this category, and to be recognised in this way, means a lot. Thank you.”
Morfydd Clark has been singled out for her performance in Rose Glass’s award-winning debut Saint Maud. Morfydd appeared as both in Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, and in Craig Robert’s Eternal Beauty opposite Sally Hawkins in 2020.
She said: “I’m delighted and disbelieving that I have been nominated for such a prestigious award by BAFTA and the EE Rising Star jury, thank you to all who compiled the list of nominees. I am honoured to be recognised amongst this group of talented, British actors. It has been a difficult year for many people and I hope the next few months will bring hope and a brighter future for the arts.”
SÌ£oÌ£peÌ£Ì Dìrísù can currently be seen on Netflix in Remi Weekes’ horror His House, and in the SKY/AMC series, Gangs of London. Previous film credits include war drama, Sand Castle, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, as well as Ariel Vromen’s sci-fi thriller, Criminal. He has also starred in Netflix series Black Mirror.
He said: “The history of the EE Rising Star Award is full of such exceptional and inspirational talents and I’m so grateful to both EE and BAFTA for considering me amongst them.
“I’m properly delighted for all my fellow nominees for being recognised in what can only be described as a difficult and challenging year for everyone across the world.”
Public voting is now open atee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be revealed at the EE British Academy Film Awards on April 11 2021.