Quentin Tarantino picks up a Bafta for 'hot potato' Django Unchained

 

Hollywood bad boy Quentin Tarantino was celebrating today after his controversial screenplay for the western Django Unchained was awarded a Bafta.

The film about a freed slave intent on revenge has attracted criticism for its liberal use of racial insults and Tarantino thanked his backers for standing by what he described as "a hot potato" as he collected the Original Screenplay gong.

Daniel Day-Lewis, who has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actor's Guild award for his role in Lincoln and is hot favourite to carry off an Oscar, won the Bafta for Best Actor.

Accepting his award, Day-Lewis poked fun at his reputation for immersing himself in his characters.

He joked: "Just on the chance I might one day have to speak on an evening such as this I've actually stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years and had a various selection of Bafta sets down-scaled, dating from the late fifties, placed in every single room of every house I've ever lived in and every time I rise from a chair it spontaneously unleashes a soundtrack of thunderous applause, with a few boos and some drunken hecklers."

Day-Lewis was joined at last night's event by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, who braved the wind, rain and sleet to meet fans on the red carpet outside the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden.

Performers including Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence and Eddie Redmayne stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures along with Jessica Chastain, George Clooney and Dame Helen Mirren - the latter sporting dyed pink hair.

Host Stephen Fry introduced the show with the first big award - for Outstanding British Film - going to the latest James Bond adventure, Skyfall.

Its director Sam Mendes paid tribute to the "bravery and brilliance" of Craig and "the great" Ian Fleming, who created the character of Bond. Speaking backstage, he said he would love to make another Bond film.

The award for Special Visual Effects went to the 3D spectacular Life Of Pi before George Clooney presented the award for Supporting Actress to Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway.

The actress thanked the "golden-hearted group" who made the film and wished her co-star Redmayne well, saying: "Feel better. I mean I'd be holding your hair back, but, you know..."

She also thanked Victor Hugo - the writer of the original novel which inspired the musical - saying: "Without whom, none of us would be here."

Ben Affleck was named Best Director by Ian McKellen for his work on Argo which was also named Best Film.

Affleck, who rose to fame as an actor, said: "I want to say this is a second act for me and you've given me that, this industry has given me that and I want to thank you and I'm so grateful and proud."

The award for Film Not in the English Language went to Amour and one of its stars, Emmanuelle Riva, was named Best Actress.

PA

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