Belfast Telegraph

Letitia Wright, Jessie Buckley and Cynthia Erivo on Bafta Rising Star list

This year’s five names has been revealed at Bafta’s London headquarters.

Black Panther’s Letitia Wright and Irish actress Jessie Buckley are among the names on a shortlist predicting stars set for future success in the film world.

Wright, 25, and Buckley, 29, are on the five-strong list of hopefuls in contention to be named the winner of this year’s EE Rising Star Award at next month’s Baftas.

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Letitia Wright (Ian West/PA)

Completing the list are theatre star and film actress Cynthia Erivo, Irish actor Barry Keoghan and American rapper and actor Lakeith Stanfield.

Buckley came second in 2008’s BBC show I’d Do Anything, which saw Andrew Lloyd Webber searching for a Nancy for his West End production of Oliver!

Her theatre credits also include a West End production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, and she starred in the BBC’s 2016 TV adaptation of War And Peace and was lauded by critics for her role in 2018 thriller Beast.

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Jessie Buckley (Ian West/PA)

Buckley will next be seen on film playing a country music singer in Wild Rose and she has also landed a role alongside Benedict Cumberbatch in the film Ironbark.

She said: “I would like to thank both Bafta and the jury from the bottom of my heart for putting me forward for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award – it’s a huge honour and a fantastic category to be nominated for, especially as the winner is decided by film fans at home.”

The shortlist for the Rising Star Award, the only gong voted for by the public for the annual ceremony, was announced at Bafta’s London headquarters in Piccadilly.

The nominees were selected by a jury including Bodyguard star Richard Madden, actress Rosamund Pike, broadcaster Edith Bowman and Marcella star Ray Panthaki.

Wright, who earned an Emmy nomination for her 2017 role in Black Mirror, said it was an “incredible feeling” to be on the list.

She said: “It means a lot that my work has been recognised, especially in the country I’ve grown up in, and that I get to share this recognition with so many talented actors.”

Erivo, from south London, previously won a Tony award for her Broadway role in The Colour Purple and she was seen on the big screen in last year’s Steve McQueen film Widows.

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Cynthia Erivo during the EE Bafta Rising Star Award nominations announcement at Bafta, in Piccadilly, London (PA).

The 31-year-old said she was “ever grateful” for the nomination, adding: “It means the world to me to be acknowledged by the community that, for most of my life, I’ve known as home. Thank you for this incredible honour.”

Keoghan has made waves on the big screen in films including The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, American Animals and Christopher Nolan’s war film Dunkirk.

The 26-year-old Dubliner said: “It’s really exciting to be put forward for the EE Rising Star Award. Over the years, I have watched so many actors and actresses that I admire be nominated in this category, so to think that I’m now on that list is an amazing feeling.”

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Barry Keoghan (Matt Crossick/PA)

American-born Stanfield, 27, is known on the small screen for starring in Atlanta and also had a role alongside last year’s Rising Star Award winner, Daniel Kaluuya, in the film Get Out.

In 2018 he won plaudits for his lead role in the critically acclaimed film Sorry To Bother You.

He said: “On behalf of the entire Sorry To Bother You team, thank you Bafta. It is an honour and a pleasure to be considered.”

Bowman said she is “very happy” with this year’s shortlist, which she praised as “an amazing, diverse group of people who have all got quite specific styles to themselves, but who so deserve this recognition.”

She told the Press Association: “It’s a brilliant bunch and a good interpretation of where film is at the moment.”

Commenting on the shortlist including just one American actor and four from the UK and Ireland, Bowman said: “It’s a really good indication of British talent being given really good roles, and also a really good indication of some brilliant films being made.

“Taking smaller British films, for example, Beast, that Jessie was in, and American Animals, I just think, incredible films from first-time directors, and I think that’s a great thing too.

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Edith Bowman announces the nominees (Ian West/PA)

“You see these filmmakers come through and giving these young talents opportunities to play these roles, and the recognition they’re getting because of that is great.”

The award has also previously been won by Star Wars actor John Boyega and James McAvoy.

The winner will be announced at the Bafta ceremony on February 10 and voting is open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA

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