“Get Out” leading man Daniel Kaluuya may have lost the Best Actor BAFTA to Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) but he picked up a nice consolation prize earlier in the evening when he received the Rising Star award from Margot Robbie and Octavia Spencer. Among his rivals for this award, which is voted on by the British public, was another Best Actor nominee: Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”).
Kaluuya was the first winner to enter the press room and was by far the liveliest and funniest. His natural charm and charisma were infectious during the interview and he had everyone laughing by the end of his time answering questions.
He mused on now having to take Ubers everywhere due to his ever increasing fame, as well as the fight to be noticed while working towards his goals. I asked the Oscar nominee about the high bar he has already set for himself. “I don’t know, I’m winging this! Genuinely, every day.”
Upon reflection he elaborated, “I don’t think like that. I just try and take every day as it goes and be a student first. I try to keep learning, keep growing, keep reading and whatever comes my way, comes my way – and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t know if there are peaks or lows or whatever, I just want to keep grinding, do you know what I mean?”
While Chalmet is American, Kaluuya is British as were the other three nominees (Josh O’Connor, Florence Pugh and Tessa Thompson). Only two of the 12 winners of this award to date have been American: Shia LaBeouf (2008) and Kristen Stewart (2010).
While the other three home-grown nominees are little-known outside the UK, Kaluuya stars in one of the biggest hits of the year world-wide. His film is a leading Oscar contender and he reaped a Best Actor bid at the Academy Awards as well. This one-time star of Channel 4’s teen drama “Skins” went on to star in the TV series “Babylon” and “Black Mirror.” He then had scene-stealing turns in “Sicario” and “Kick-Ass 2” and is showcased in the massive hit “Black Panther.”