Timothee Chalamet is in the midst of a breakthrough year with supporting roles in “Lady Bird” and “Hostiles” and a starring performance in “Call Me by Your Name.” As a result he’s racked up two nominations at the BAFTAs: Best Actor for “Call Me” as well as the Rising Star Award for breakthrough performers. But if Chalamet wins Rising Star he would be only the third American to do so.
Chalamet has an uphill battle for Best Actor; he sits in second place in our predictions with odds of 22/1. Currently in first place is Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour” with overwhelming odds of 1/10 for his performance as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. And right behind Chalamet is four-time BAFTA winner Daniel Day-Lewis for “Phantom Thread” with odds of 40/1.
Rising Star will be Chalamet’s best chance to pick up some hardware at the BAFTAs. He’s is in a tight race but is currently predicted to win with odds of 2/7. The Rising Star Award is unique as it is awarded to a performer for their body of work and not for a performance in any one film. And it’s voted on by the British public instead of the British academy that picks the rest of the BAFTA winners. This could be Chalamet’s biggest challenge because right on his heels is “Get Out” breakout Daniel Kaluuya with odds of 5/1 — who just happens to be British.
Shia LaBeouf made history as the first American to take the Rising Star Award back to the States in 2008. LaBeouf had appeared in the action film “Transformers” and the thriller “Disturbia,” and the buzz for his upcoming role in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” helped push him over the top. His body of work at the time in popular popcorn films allowed him to hold off indie darling Ellen Page (“Juno’) and Brits Sienna Miller (“Factory Girl”) and Sam Riley (“Control”).
No one was shocked when Kristen Stewart became the first American woman to win the Rising Star Award in 2010. Stewart had starred in “Adventureland,” but it was surely her ravenous “Twilight” fans who pushed her over the top. Stewart was the voters’ preference over her “Adeventureland” co-star Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) and Brits Nicholas Hoult (“A Single Man”) and Carey Mulligan (“An Education”).
While Chalamet might not yet be a household name, the Manhattanite may have enough European appeal to eke out a victory. Chalamet is French on his father’s side. And “Call Me by Your Name” takes place in the Italian countryside with the young actor speaking Italian for the role. If the voting public believes he’s European — or just appreciates his European roots and multilingual performance — it could help. Consider that French actress Eva Green was able to pull off a victory in 2007.
But even if Rising Star voters prefer a hometown favorite like Kaluuya, Chalamet shouldn’t feel too bad since he will be in the company of some great American Rising Star nominees: Rachel McAdams (2006), Michelle Williams (2006), Michael Cera (2009), Emma Stone (2011), Elizabeth Olsen (2013), Miles Teller (2015), Shailene Woodley (2015), Dakota Johnson (2016), Brie Larson (2016) and Lucas Hedges (2017) all lost this award, but they’re doing pretty well for themselves.
Be sure to make your BAFTA predictions so that studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 18. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 BAFTAs taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.