The 20-year-old British actor – who has been cast as Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe appearing as the superhero once already in ‘Captain America: Civil War’ – is among the five nominees shortlisted for the prestigious prize along with 20-year-old actress-and-model Anya Taylor-Joy, ‘Loving’ star Ruth Negga, Spanish actress Laia Costa and ‘Manchester by the Sea’ actress Lucas Hedges.
Speaking virtually at the nominations announcement held at BAFTA HQ in London Piccadilly on Thursday (05.01.17), Holland – who also appeared in Ron Howard’s ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ – said: “I have had the craziest year – it’s been nuts. It’s been so fun. I have got to work with lots of amazing people and I got to be Spider-Man this year which is a real dream come true. Thank you BAFTA for recognizing my work and nominating me for the rising star award. What an honor it is and what a great category to be nominated in. Thank you, thank you, thank you and I guess vote for me.”
Costa, 31, was equally as thrilled with her nomination, speaking virtually from New York City she said: “Thank you very much. I am excited about my rising star nomination. Thank you to BAFTA and thank you for letting me be part of the BAFTA family from now on. I feel very honored.”
Discussing her shortlisting, Anya – who came to prominence in 2015 horror film ‘The Witch’ – said: “I have had an intense but incredible year. I have been really lucky shooting projects I love. I have shot six movies this year – including ‘The Witch’
The five shortlisted actors and actresses were announced by 2009 BAFTA Rising Star Award winner Noel Clarke, who has gone on to star in ‘Doctor Who’ and write and direct the ‘Kidulthood’ trilogy.
Clarke insists the prize gave his career a huge boost and can do the same for this year’s eventual winner.
He said: “I was lucky to win the EE Rising Star Award in 2009, which was such an amazing moment for me, as the only award voted for by the British public it’s so rewarding to know that doing what you love is actually not only recognized by BAFTA in the film industry but in winning, by the film fans at home too. I personally want to congratulate every one of the nominees they are clearly all destined for big things.”
The shortlist was compiled back in November by a panel of experts, including actor and previous EE Rising Star winner Will Poulter, presenter Edith Bowman, film critic James King, director Susanna White and casting directors Leo Davis and Lucy Bevan along with some of the UK’s leading film and entertainment journalists.
Previous recipients of the EE Rising Star BAFTA Award – which was set up in memory of Mary Selway who passed away in 2004 – include; Tom Hardy, Poulter, Jack O’Connell and ‘Star Wars’ star John Boyega to name just a few.
This year is the 20th anniversary of BAFTA’s partnership with EE and the 70th year of the BAFTAs themselves.
The voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 12, 2017.