The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years

The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years
Daniel. Florence, Josh, Tessa, and Timothee (Picture: EE Bafta)

Tessa Thompson, Timothee Chalamet, Daniel Kaluuya, Florence Pugh, and Josh O’Connor.

The EE Bafta Rising Star nominees for 2018 couldn’t be any stronger, could they?

In the past 12 months all five have helped to lead films to box office and critical success but perhaps most importantly, each have equal name recognition, no strong fandom behind them making the winner obvious on nomination day – and they are a brilliant diverse mix showcasing the caliber of talent coming up through the British and American film industries.

Each and every one of these nominees could win it, and that makes it the strongest and most exciting list the Baftas have announced in years.

Last year’s winner – Tom Holland – had been in the news thanks to his role as Spider-Man, while 2016 winner John Boyega was known for his work in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In 2010 winner Kristen Stewart had the vocal Twilight fangirls behind her – Jesse Eisenberg, Nicholas Hoult, Carey Mulligan and Tahar Rahim didn’t have a chance – while the likes of Tom Hardy (2011), Jack O’Connell (2015) and Will Poulter (2014) had big British fan bases and arguably had bigger box offices hits over their competition.

The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years
Kristen Stewart celebrates winning the Rising Star Award (Picture: Getty Images)

This year however, each of the five nominees, who have been picked for showing ‘truly outstanding talent on the big screen in the past year and [capturing] the attention of both the public and the film industry alike’, have had an equal level of fame in the past 12 months, even if some do a have a bigger body of work behind them.

Being named as a Rising Star is ‘amazing encouragement from film fans in the UK to keep doing what you are doing and giving these incredible performances,’ said former winner Juno Temple to at the launch of the nominees on 4 January.

‘It is so cool that it is the only award voted for by the public.’

The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years
Florence Pugh in Lady Macbeth (Picture: Rex)

Both Josh O’Connor and Florence Pugh broke out in 2017 with the stunning God’s Own Country, about a white working class lad coming to terms with his sexuality, and the chilling and subversive Lady Macbeth respectively.

Beloved by film fans and critics alike, both films saw the pair win at the British Independent Film Awards and their inclusion in the Bafta Rising Star nominees list is indicative of how British cinema has arguably had one of it’s 12 months in recent history.

O’Connor has previously spoken up on how his success with God’s Own Country has led to more American scripts arriving through the post – often seen as the sign of an actor ‘making it’ – while Pugh has several films in post-production with high-profile names including Chris Pine, Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Lena Headey.

The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years
Alec Secareanu (left) and Josh O’Connor in God’s Own Country (Picture: Rex)

Daniel Kaluuya faced not only the horror of white suburban liberal America in the surprise box office smash of early 2017, Get Out, but also contended with criticism from Samuel L. Jackson over the casting of a black British actor over an African-American whom Jackson claimed would have perhaps been able to bring something different to the role.

Appearing in nearly every single scene, Kaluuya was the heart and soul of Get Out – and has a Golden Globe nomination and the hopes of an Oscar and Bafta riding on his shoulders, as well as an upcoming role in the little movie called Black Panther.

Somebody made a psychological thriller about racism
Daniel Kaluuya has been nominated for his role in Get Out (Picture: Universal Pictures/Get Out)

American actress Tessa Thompson may arguably have the Marvel fan base behind her thanks to her role in Thor: Ragnorak but one supporting role a Bafta Rising Star does not make.

Take one look at her IMDb page and Thompson’s name on this list makes sense; after working steadily for over a decade, a string of stand out performances in films such as Dear White People and Creed in the past few years have helped to bring her to Marvel’s, and Bafta’s, attention.

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As for Timothee Chalamet, the 22-year-old also has a long CV, having worked with the likes of Claire Danes and Damien Lewis in Homeland and Christopher Nolan on Interstellar.

But in the past year he left audiences in stunned silence and then in tears as the 17-year-old Elio in Call Me By Your Name, a young Italian boy who finds love and heartache with an older American exchange student in the summer of 1983.

And not only has Chalamet hot on Kaluuya’s heels for Oscars and Bafta nominations, he may also have a leg up in the race to be named the Rising Star after making appearances this year in other award-winning films including Greta Gerwig’s Ladybitd and Christian Bale’s Hostiles.

The 2018 EE Rising Star nominees have given Bafta its strongest list in years
Timothee (right) with Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name (Picture: Sony)

Each of these five deserve to be named the 2018 Rising Star and should, as Temple adds, ‘have a little something prepared’ for the night as especially this year, you never know who will win.

The EE Rising Star Award is the only award voted for by the British Public. Voting is now open at The winner will be announced on 18 February 2018 at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony.

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