BAFTA has announced the five nominees for its Rising Star Award, presented each year to a breakout film star — think of it like BAFTA’s equivalent to the Best New Artist Grammy. This year’s nominees are Laia Costa, Lucas Hedges, Tom Holland, Ruth Negga and Anya Taylor-Joy.
Unlike the rest of the British academy’s categories, this one is decided by votes from the viewing public, which in recent years has benefited performers with passionate fan bases like “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart (2010), Will Poulter (2014) and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breakout John Boyega (2016). This year that could certainly help Holland, who debuted as Marvel’s new Spider-Man in 2016’s international blockbuster “Captain America: Civil War” and will lead his own film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” in 2017.
Being in the Oscar conversation might help a couple of other contenders connect with fan voters. Hedges is a strong contender for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as a teenager whose father dies in “Manchester by the Sea, while Negga earned rave reviews and Best Actress buzz for her biographical role in “Loving” as a woman in an interracial marriage fighting against racist laws in Virginia.
Taylor-Joy isn’t expected to earn an Oscar nomination this year, but she nevertheless earned rave reviews for her work in the indie horror film “The Witch,” which earned her a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Actor as well as nominations from various regional critics groups, including Washington DC and London.
Rounding out the category is Costa, a Spanish actress best known for playing the title role in the German thriller “Victoria” (2015), which earned her a Best Actress nomination at the European Film Awards.
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