Jessie Buckley, Cynthia Erivo, Barry Keoghan, Lakeith Stanfield and Letitia Wright have been named as this year’s EE Rising Star Award contenders.
The award, the only given at the BAFTA film awards which is voted for by the public, recognises new and emerging talent. The winner will be named at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 10 February 2019.
Today’s shortlist was revealed by BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry and film broadcaster Edith Bowman.
Jessie Buckley has established herself as a true talent of stage and screen since playing Anne Egermann in the West End revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Playing the role of Moll in Beast saw Jessie give a critically acclaimed performance, with critics praising her for bringing a fresh, frank, feminine perspective to her leading performance. The film was launched to wide acclaim at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. At this year’s film festival, Jessie’s most recent project, Wild Rose, was premiered, in which Jessie plays a Glaswegian musician who dreams of becoming a Nashville star. The film concluded to a standing ovation and is due to be released in April 2019. Jessie was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2017.
Jessie Buckley, commenting on her nomination, 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.”
Cynthia Erivo is a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award-winning actress, best known for her stunning performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple.
This year, Erivo has starred in both Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale alongside Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, and Jon Hamm as well as in Steve McQueen’s Widows alongside Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki.
In 2019, Erivo will be seen starring alongside Daisy Ridley and David Oyelowo in in the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Chaos Walking, from director Doug Liman and John Ridley’s Needle in a Timestack alongside Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, and Leslie Odom Jr.
Cynthia Erivo, commenting on her nomination, said: “I’m ever grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award. 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.”
Barry Keoghan first received widespread critical acclaim as one of the breakout stars of Sundance 2016 for his performance in Rebecca Daly’s Mammal and was named as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2015.
Since then, Barry has received praise for his work as Boy opposite Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman in Yorgas Lanthimos’ The Killing Of A Sacred Deer, as part of Christopher Nolan’s stellar ensemble in Dunkirk and, most recently, in Bart Layton’s American Animals – for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor BIFA in 2018.
Barry Keoghan, commenting on his nomination, said: “I want to thank BAFTA and of course the jury for this incredible honour. 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.”
Lakeith Stanfield is currently starring in Boots Riley’s hit debut, Sorry To Bother You where he was praised for his role as Cassius Green. He also received widespread acclaim for the lead role in Crown Heights, about the wrongful conviction of prisoner Colin Warner.
The film then went on to win the Audience Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
Stanfield has also starred in Jordan Peele’s cult hit Get Out, alongside 2018 EE Rising Star Award winner Daniel Kaluuya and, in the Netflix original film War Machine, alongside Brad Pitt. On the small screen, he has also received critical acclaim for his role as Darius in Donald Glover’s series Atlanta on FX.
Lakeith Stanfield, commenting on his nomination, said: “On behalf of the entire Sorry To Bother You team, thank you BAFTA. It is an honour and a pleasure to be considered.”
Letitia Wright gained worldwide attention for her role as Shuri in Marvel’s ground-breaking film Black Panther. She reprised her role in Avengers: Infinity War.
In 2017, she starred in Netflix’s Black Mirror for which she was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Limited Series or Movie. Wright currently stars in The Convert at The Young Vic Theatre in London. Next up, she is set to join 2016 EE Rising Star Award winner John Boyega in the Mike Cahill-directed adaptation of Hold Back The Stars and a reboot of the French hit film, Le Brio.
Letitia Wright, commenting on her nomination, said: “It’s an incredible feeling to be chosen by BAFTA and the jury as a candidate for the EE Rising Star Award. 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.”
This year the EE Rising Star jury panel included jury chair and co-president of Cornerstone Films Alison Thompson, actress Rosamund Pike, actor Richard Madden, BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Ray Panthaki, film broadcaster Edith Bowman, film critic Anna Smith, producer Georgina Lowe, casting directors Leo Davis and Lucy Bevan.
Edith Bowman, EE Rising Star Award juror and broadcaster, said: “Selecting and announcing the EE Rising Star Award nominees has always been an honour.
“Having been on the jury panel for the past three years, the experience is more thrilling each year. Now, it’s up to film fans from across the UK to vote for their favourite nominee, as this is the only award which is determined by the British public.
“So, please make sure to check out each of the films these talented actors and actresses have been nominated for and get voting”
Pete Jeavons, Director of Brand Marketing at EE, added: “This year marks the 14th year of the EE Rising Star Award and the nominees make up yet another impressive shortlist.
“The breadth of roles played by the nominees over the past year has been nothing short of incredible; I would urge everyone to go and see them in action before casting their vote.
“It’s a real honour for us to play a part in recognising emerging film talent in partnership with BAFTA and we are looking forward to seeing who the public decide should be their winner.”
Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA.