The nominations for BAFTAs 2021 EE Rising Star award were revealed on Wednesday.
George McKay announced the all-British line-up in a special virtual event, and named Bukky Bakray, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark, Ṣopẹ́ Dìrísù, and Conrad Khan as the nominees.
Bukky, 16, was shortlisted for her incredible turn as Olushola ‘Rocks’ in Rocks, while Kingsley, 35, was nominated for his work in Regina King’s Golden Globe-nominated film One Night In Miami as Malcolm X.
Congratulations! Rocks star Bukky Bakray (pictured) and One Night In Miami’s Kingsley Ben-Adir led the stars shortlisted for BAFTAs 2021 EE Rising Star Award on Wednesday
Morfydd was shortlisted for her horror Saint Maud, while Ṣopẹ́ was named for his performance in the tense Netflix horror His House, and Conrad was nominated for independent film County Lines.
Speaking of his role in the drama, Kingsley gushed: ‘I look back now and I feel so lucky to have spent so much time with Regina and Malcolm.
‘I feel like Regina and I spoke about being very careful about all the decisions from the beginning and trying to create a Malcolm, so that if you went back to watch it again you would see the undercurrent that explodes at the end.
‘Regina is one of the most fascinating human beings who have ever lived so I feel very lucky to have had this experience.’
Speaking of his role in the drama, Kingsley (pictured in One Night in Miami) gushed at the virtual event: ‘I feel so lucky to have spent so much time with Regina [King] and Malcolm’
Speaking of her nomination, Bukky (pictured in Rocks) told the panel of getting the news: ‘I honestly feel so blessed to be recognised so early on in my career. I still can’t believe this’
Speaking of her nomination, Bukky told the panel of getting the news: ‘I told my brothers, and when I told them they were just really shocked. They were all shocked.
‘When my agents told me I told them they were lying but I remember my brothers telling me “it’s your time champ.”‘
She added: ‘I honestly feel so blessed to be recognised so 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. Thank you’
Rocks follows Bukky’s teenage character after she and her brother are abandoned by their single mother, and sees them try and learn to fend for themselves and avoid being taken away by authorities.
Sweet: Kingsley, who appeared in person at the event, said director Regina ‘is one of the most fascinating human beings who have ever lived so I feel very lucky to have had this experience’
Amazed: Bukky (pictured in 2019) said oh getting the news: ‘When my agents told me I told them they were lying but I remember my brothers telling me “it’s your time champ”‘
Morfydd plays hospice nurse Katie in the psychological horror, and in the film she renames herself Maud and becomes obsessed with saving the soul of a former dancer in her care.
Speaking about the role, she told the panel: ‘When I read the script I feel Rose Glass (the film’s director) wrote a character that felt complete, it was easy to step into it.’
When asked if it was difficult to play Maud, Morfydd, who was tuning in from New Zealand, added: ‘No, not really which I think freaks people out a bit.
‘She made a lot of sense to me and I think loneliness is a kind of fear that seems kind of non-neurotic.
Freaky: Morfydd (pictured in Saint Maud) plays hospice nurse Katie in the horror film, who renames herself Maud and becomes obsessed with saving the soul of a dancer in her care
Horror: When asked if it was difficult to play Maud, Morfydd (pictured in the film) added: ‘No, not really which I think freaks people out a bit. She made a lot of sense to me’
‘It was a thing I’ve been thinking about for some time, and when I read the script it was something I wanted to write if I had any skill in writing, she made sense to me.’
Ṣopẹ́ said of being shortlisted for the prize: ‘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.’
He added: [I am] definitely proud that this thing we worked on really hard and so long was received so well by everybody, it was definitely a surprise.
Delighted: Ṣopẹ́ stars in Netflix horror film His House (pictured) , and said he was ‘so grateful’ to be shortlisted for the prize as it is ‘full of such exceptional and inspirational talents’
Delighted: Ṣopẹ́ (pictured with Wunmi Mosaku) added: [I am] definitely proud that this thing we worked on really hard and so long was received so well by everybody’
‘I don’t think anyone had recognition or appreciation of what the product was going to be at the end of it, it was about telling the story to our best ability, trying not to get weighed down by the horror.
‘For people to come out the other side and enjoy our horror film it was such a delightful bonus but not something we expected.’
Conrad, who was shortlisted after his impressive acting in County Lines, claimed he was ‘in a state of disbelief’ at being nominated.
He said the honour was ‘really humbling and it gives me a lot of energy and motivation on a daily basis. Really proud to be here.’
Surprised: Conrad, who was shortlisted after his impressive acting in County Lines, claimed he was ‘in a state of disbelief’ at being nominated
Grateful: Conrad (pictured in County Lines) said the honour was ‘really humbling and it gives me a lot of energy and motivation on a daily basis. Really proud to be here’
County Lines sees Conrad play Tyler, a 14-year-old boy who is groomed as part of a drug-selling enterprise that traffics children across the UK.
This is the 16th year the award has been given, with past winners including Daniel Kaluuya, Juno Temple, John Boyega, Tom Hardy, Jack O’Connell, Tom Holland and Kristen Stewart.
The award is the only 2021 EE BAFTA category to be voted for by the British public and voting is now open.
Top Boy actor Michael Ward was given the coveted trophy at last year’s ceremony.
The EE Rising Star award was created in honour of the late Mary Selway. A highly respected and BAFTA award-winning casting director whose 36-year career saw her work on more than ninety films and work with leading directors such as Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood.
Mary’s work contributed to the creation of some of the silver screen’s most memorable characters and in 2001 she received BAFTA’s Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.
Public voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be revealed at the EE British Academy Film Awards on April 11th 2021 on BBC One.
Proud: Top Boy actor Michael Ward (pictured) was given the coveted trophy during last year’s ceremony