Baftas look to new generation of rising stars

Film industry veterans have identified a new generation of rising stars including Ben Whishaw, the lead in Perfume, Cillian Murphy from The Wind that Shakes the Barley, and the Casino Royale Bond girl Eva Green.

All five will face a public vote to decide who will win a special award honouring emerging talent at the British Academy Film Awards in February.

Whishaw, Murphy and Green are joined on the shortlist by Naomie Harris, who first attracted attention in Danny Boyle's futuristic movie 28 Days Later in 2002, and Emily Blunt who turned in an acclaimed performance in the international hit The Devil Wears Prada after the independent British film success My Summer of Love.

The shortlist was selected by a jury including the director Anthony Minghella, the actress Thandie Newton, star of the 2006 Oscar-winning film Crash, and James McAvoy, the former star of television's Shameless, who is about to be seen in the film The Last King of Scotland, about the Ugandan leader Idi Amin.

McAvoy, who won the award last year, said: "It's important to remember that the award is not best newcomer. This is for a body of work and for an actor who has managed to start creating a relationship with the audience.

"I like the fact that the industry awards its peers but this is great because it's voted for by the paying public. The ultimate award is to get bums on seats and for people to like your movie."

McAvoy, who worked with Naomie Harris on the TV adaptation of Zadie Smith's White Teeth, said both she and Emily Blunt stood out for their versatility. "They are sexy and beautiful and feminine, but also very strong."

McAvoy described Cillian Murphy as probably the most experienced of the nominees. "I think he's wonderful. He's really great, scary, weird, but also really truthful," he said.

"He not only does things like playing the lead in The Wind that Shakes the Barley - he was exceptional - but he can do big box-office stuff. For me, he was one of the most brilliant things in Batman Returns."

Although a worldwide audience has discovered Eva Green through her role opposite Daniel Craig as Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, McAvoy pointed out that playing a Bond girl was tough. "I think she's done something a little bit intelligent with it and she was the best thing in The Dreamers."

Ben Whishaw - who was plucked from obscurity to star in Trevor Nunn's Hamlet - had been catapulted to the attention of the film-going public, McAvoy said, by his superb performance in Perfume. "Things like Layer Cake didn't allow him to shine but his performance in Perfume is the thing you watch it for. He's brilliant."

The Orange Rising Star Award was created in honour of the late Mary Selway, a highly respected casting director who worked on more than 90 films, including Withnail and I, Gosford Park and Notting Hill. She died in 2004.

David Parfitt, chairman of the Bafta film committee, said: "As the only audience award, it certainly raises the profile of young actors and actresses within our industry. Promoting and supporting the next generation of talent is essential and this is why it's important to have awards in place such as the Orange Rising Star."

Members of the public can vote via the Orange website (orange.co.uk/ bafta) or via text message (text ORSA, space, then the first name of the choice to 81800).

The winner will be announced at the Baftas on Sunday 11 February.

The five emerging talents

Emily Blunt

Blunt, 23, wowed the critics in the British movie My Summer of Love. She has since appeared, to acclaim, in The Devil Wears Prada. She is in the yet-to-be-released horror Wind Chill and is filming The Jane Austen Book Club.

Eva Green

Paris-born Green, 26, made her debut in The Dreamers and her Hollywood debut in Kingdom of Heaven. She reached worldwide audiences in Casino Royale. She is now filming His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass.

Naomie Harris

Harris, 30, got her break in 28 Days Later in 2002, following up with After the Sunset, Miami Vice and a scene-stealing appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. She also starred in White Teeth on TV.

Cillian Murphy

Murphy, 30, first gained attention in 28 Days Later. He won a Golden Globe nomination for Breakfast on Pluto, appeared in Batman Begins then starred in The Wind that Shakes the Barley, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

Ben Whishaw

Whishaw, 26, hit the headlines when he was cast as Hamlet by Trevor Nunn, winning an Olivier Award nomination. After roles in Enduring Love and Layer Cake, he starred in Perfume. He has just finished I'm Not Here.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary