One Night in Miami actor Kingsley Ben-Adir is nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award
Nominees for the 2021 EE Rising Star Award were announced on Wednesday, ahead of The EE BAFTA Film Awards. Bukky Bakray, Conrad Khan, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù are the nominees who were selected by a group of jurors that includes names such as Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander, actress and BAFTA Film Committee member Jo Hartley and BAFTA-winning actress Naomi Ackie.
The EE Rising Star Award is in its 16th year, and this is the only category at EE BAFTA Film Awards that's voted by the Britihs public. The winner will be announced on April 11, 2021 at the at the EE BAFTA Film Awards ceremony on BBC One.
Here's a brief look at the background of the nominees and why they have been selected by the jurors:
Kingsley Ben-Adir, the breakout star of Regina King's directorial debut film One Night in Miami is in the spotlight for his captivating portrayal as Malcolm X. The film received three Golden Globe nominations as well. He has been longlisted in BAFTA's 'Leading Actor' category for 2021. Kingsley’s career started on the stage, in plays including Mark Rylance’s Much Ado About Nothing at The Old Vic. On screen, he most recently starred opposite Zoe Kravitz in the Hulu series High Fidelity; played a co-lead role in the third series of the Brit Marling Netflix series The OA; played Colonel Ben Younger in the BBC/Netflix drama Peaky Blinders; and starred in films The Commuter, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Trespass Against Us. Commening on his nomination, the actor says, "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."
Bukky Bakray who won critical acclaim for her debut lead performance in Rocks, the breakout hit received this nomination for the same role. She has also been longlisted in BAFTA in the 'Leading Actress' category for 2021. Bukky continues to refine her craft and is currently enrolled for Theatre Peckham's Originate Acting Course. Commenting on her nomination, she said, "I honestly feel so blessed to be recognised early on in my career. I still can't believe this. I'm not sure I ever will either. All the warmth and love from BAFTA and EE is beautiful and I'm grateful."
Conrad Khan featured in the role of Tyler in Henry Blake's 2020 film County Lines. His impressive performance has earned him quite a few nominations including the BIFA's 'Most Promising Newcomer' and Screen International Star of Tomorrow. His first role was as a young Chris Hemsworth (Eric) in The Huntsman: Winter's War. Speaking about his nomination, Conrad says, "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."
Morfydd Clark's performance in Rose Glass' award-winning debut Saint Maud has been much-appreciated by critics. The actress has won the London Critic's Circle Award for 'British/Irish Actress of the Year', and has also been longlisted in BAFTA’s 'Leading Actress' category for 2021. Morfydd appeared as both 'Dora Spenlow' and 'Clara Copperfield' in Armando Iannucci's The Personal History of David Copperfield, and as 'young Jane' in Craig Robert's Eternal Beauty opposite Sally Hawkins in 2020. She is currently in New Zealand filming a lead role in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings. Morfydd is quite excited about being nominated and she says, "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."
Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù has established himself as an internationally renowned actor quite early in his career. He is currently be seen on Netflix in Remi Weekes' horror/thriller, His House, which earned him 'Critic's Choice Super' and BIFA award nominations for 'Best Actor', and in the Sky Atlantic/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. On television, most notably, Dìrísù was seen in AMC’s Humans and in Netflix’s series, Black Mirror, for which he received the ‘Rising Star Award’ for the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards. Ṣọpẹ́ is currently in Ireland shooting a lead role in Mr Malcolm's List. Upcoming releases include Mothering Sunday with Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, Tim Felhbaum’s Berlinale Special Tides and Silent Night with Kiera Knightley and Matthew Goode. Talking about his nomination, he says, "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."