The names of the five actors and actresses competing for this year’s BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award have been announced. Michael Cera, Noel Clarke, Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Hall and Toby Kebbell are in contention for this prestigious award which recognises exceptional talent.
Now in its fourth year, the award is the only BAFTA prize to be awarded by the public. Nominees are selected by a jury which includes actor and former winner James McAvoy, casting director Fiona Weir and producer and chair of BAFTA, David Parfitt. Nominees must have featured in a film that has been entered for this year’s Orange British Academy Film Awards.
The award was created in memory of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director who died in 2004.
This year’s contenders were announced by Shia LaBeouf, the 2008 winner who said: “I was delighted to win the Orange Rising Star Award last year, especially as it is an award voted for by members of the British public. Since then I’ve had a really busy year working on a number of projects that I’m really proud of and 2009 looks like it’s going to be just as hectic! Hopefully I can go on to achieve the sort of success that my fellow Orange Rising Star Award winners have enjoyed.”
Ian Smith, Head of Partnerships at Orange, commented: “This is the fourth year of the Orange Rising Star Award which now has an impressive list of alumni in James McAvoy, Eva Green and Shia LaBeouf. We’re sure that this year’s winner will enjoy the same levels of success that previous winners have experienced.”
Since his acclaimed role as George-Michael Bluth in the Emmy Award-winning ‘Arrested Development’, Michael’s career has gone from strength to strength. First came roles starring role the top box office grossing film ‘Superbad’, one of 2007’s most talked about films. Soon after he landed another lead role, this time in the Oscar- and BAFTA-nominated Juno, opposite Ellen Page.
Most recently Cera starred in ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’, which was released in October 2008 and screened in a highly coveted slot at the Toronto Film Festival. Next up he will take the lead role in ‘Youth in Revolt’, a film based on his favourite book. He will also star opposite Jack Black in ‘Year One’, due in June 2009. Past credits include a young Chuck Barris in George Clooney’s ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, and ‘Frequency’ with Dennis Quaid.
Since winning a Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer Noel Clarke has been making his mark on British drama in many different ways. As an actor, he’s known to millions as Doctor Who’s Mickey Smith, and as Wyman in ‘Auf Wiedersehen Pet’. As a writer, he penned the hit movie ‘Kidulthood’, which won Best Screenplay award at the Dinard Film Festival and at the Screen Nations Awards, and the award for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards in 2006.
Noel then wrote, starred in and directed ‘Adulthood’, the follow-up to ‘Kidulthood’, and one of the highest grossing British films of 2008. Noel will next star in the feature ‘Heartless’, directed by Philip Ridley, alongside Timothy Spall.
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father and Irish mother. They moved to Ireland after he was just a few years old, where he was raised before attending London’s Drama Centre. His first major role was as Sergeant Burton ‘Pat’ Christenson in Steven Spielberg’s award-winning ‘Band of Brothers’.
The big-screen adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel, ‘300’, gave him his first movie role and numerous others have followed, including Francois Ozon’s ‘Angel’, Joel Schumacher’s ‘Town Creek’ and James Watkin’s ‘Eden Lake’. Michael’s performance as Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s ‘Hunger’ won him great critical acclaim and, following the film’s Camera D’Or winning premiere at Cannes ‘08, Michael has scooped numerous international festival awards. Since then he has gone on to work with Andrea Arnold on ‘Fish Tank’ and is currently shooting Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglorious Bastards’, both due for release in 2009.
Rebecca’s first screen role was in the Channel 4 adaptation of Mary Wesley’s ‘The Camomile Lawn’, when she was just ten years old. As a student at Cambridge, she took to the stage, playing many roles including Miranda in ‘The Tempest’ and Martha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’.
Since University Rebecca has continued to act in the theatre, as well as moving into film. Her first feature film role came opposite James McAvoy in Tom Vaughn’s ‘Starter For Ten’, a coming-of-age comedy about university students struggling to find themselves while learning the differences between knowledge and wisdom. Next came a role in Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Prestige’, starring opposite Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Hugh Jackman. Rebecca will next be on screens in Woody Allen’s ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ opposite Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, and Javier Bardem, and as Caroline Cushing in Ron Howard’s ‘Frost/Nixon’.
Toby developed a keen interest in acting while still at school. Encouraged by his drama teacher, he attended the Central Television Workshop where his talents were quickly spotted by independent filmmaker Shane Meadows. Toby’s performance in Meadows’ ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ won him considerable critical and audience acclaim, as well as a meeting with Oliver Stone. Toby was cast in a small but pivotal role in the epic ‘Alexander’, alongside Angelina Jolie and more theatre and TV work quickly followed.
Toby returned to the big screen in Anton Corbijn’s ‘Control’, winning a British Independent Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also put in a standout performance as Johnny Quid, a drug-addled rock star in Guy Ritchie’s ‘RocknRolla’. He’s just finished filming ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time’, an epic fantasy featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ben Kingsley and directed by Mike Newell, due to hit screens later this year.
How to Vote:
text CERA to 82058 for Michael Cera
text CLARKE to 82058 for Noel Clarke
text FASSBENDER to 82058 for Michael Fassbender
text HALL to 82058 for Rebecca Hall
text KEBBELL to 82058 for Toby Kebbell
or visit www.orange.co.uk/bafta and vote online