Oscar contenders up for Bafta Rising Star prize


Oscar hopefuls Lucas Hedges and Ruth Negga are among the five actors in contention for the Rising Star prize at this year’s Bafta Film Awards.

Hedges, 20, and Negga, 34, are tipped to receive Oscar nominations later this month for their roles in Manchester by the Sea and Loving respectively.

Laia Costa, Tom Holland and Anya Taylor-Joy are also on the shortlist.

Holland, who made his debut last year as superhero Spider-Man, said it was a “huge honour” to be nominated.

“I have to say thank you to Bafta for recognising my work,” said the 20-year-old, who will be seen later year in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Costa, the Spanish star of German film Victoria, said she felt “honoured to be considered in this company”.

Released in the UK last year, Victoria told the story of a young woman caught up in a bank heist in one single, uninterrupted take.

Hedges, who plays a young man who loses his father in Manchester by the Sea, said it was “really exciting to be recognised”.

“I’ve always been enamoured with English culture and have dreamed of living in England, so this nomination is particularly meaningful for me,” the US actor continued.

Negga, who was born in Ethiopia and raised in London, said it was “so surreal to be recognised for doing something I love”.

Loving, which premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, sees her play a woman who faces jail for flouting interracial marriage laws in 1950s America.

Taylor-Joy, seen last year in horror film The Witch, said she could not “put into words how it feels to be in the company of such talent, past and present”.

The 20-year-old, Miami-born actress will be seen later this month in Split, the latest film from The Sixth Sense director M Night Shyamalan.

Sponsored by mobile phone company EE and decided by a public vote, the Rising Star award has been presented at the Baftas since 2006.

According to Bafta, the award “honours a young actor or actress who has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and has begun to capture the imagination of the British public”.

Previous recipients include James McAvoy, Noel Clarke and Star Wars actor John Boyega, who took home the prize from last year’s ceremony.

The 2017 Bafta Film Awards will be held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 12 February.

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