Monday 10 January 2011

Nominees unveiled for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award 2011

London 10 January 2011. Today at the BAFTA Headquarters, jury member, film director, actor and award-winning singer-songwriter Ben Drew (aka Plan B) announced the hotly anticipated nominees for the newly named Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award 2011. The nominations recognise five international actors and actresses whose talent has captured the imagination of the British public. The nominees are:
  • Gemma Arterton
  • Andrew Garfield
  • Tom Hardy
  • Aaron Johnson
  • Emma Stone
Orange’s accolade for up and coming talent is the only award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards that is voted for by the public and for the first time this year, allowed Orange Wednesdays customers to be part of the selection process. Voting takes place both at and via text. The winner will be announced at the star-studded Orange British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 13 February 2011. Previous winners of the award include James McAvoy in 2006, Eva Green in 2007, Shia LaBeouf in 2008, Noel Clarke in 2009 and Kristen Stewart in 2010.

This year the award has been renamed the ‘Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award’ to celebrate that for the first time in the award’s history, Orange Wednesdays customers have been given the responsibility to select the final five that are now open to the public vote.

Potential rising stars were proposed by BAFTA members and leading film industry insiders to create an initial list of contenders, who have appeared in several feature films, with at least one of those films released in the current awards year, 1 January to 31 December 2010. The jury, consisting of actors, casting directors, film directors, media representatives and chaired by Finola Dwyer, chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, then selected the longlist of eight that went out to Orange Wednesdays customers.

Ben Drew, Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award juror, commented: “It was a great honour to be invited on the jury panel for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star award this year. I recently directed my first feature film and therefore know there is a wealth of inspiring rising talent out there and it is awards such as these that help these guys get their names in lights. I am really pleased with the final five for this year’s award. It shows a great breadth of talent and I think these guys are all truly deserving of this accolade – I can’t wait to see who the public vote for.”

Finola Dwyer, Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award jury chair and chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, said: “It is so important to involve the general public in helping us determine the stars of the future, which is why the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award is such a fantastic initiative. Our final five are truly representative of the rising stars who are capturing film fans hearts and minds, and I look forward to congratulating our winner on the night!”

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at Orange, said: “Our award is now firmly established as a credible and coveted accolade at the Orange British Academy Film Awards. Therefore this year, we wanted to build on its great reputation and make it even more relevant to our customers, by involving them in the selection process. We know Orange Wednesdays customers are avid films fans and this process has allowed them to really get involved and influence the final five nominees.”

This year’s Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award jury was made up of: Ben Drew (director and musician), Lucy Bevan (casting director), Tom Ford (director), Peter Sarsgaard (actor), Natascha McElhone (actress), Mike Newell (director), Laura Symons (film publicist), Charles Gant (film journalist), Jamie Graham (Deputy Editor, Total Film), Larushka Ivan-Zadeh (Film Editor, Metro), Hannah Marriott (Entertainment Editor, Grazia), Geoff Lloyd (Hometime Show DJ, Absolute Radio) and Robbie Collin (Film Critic, News of the World). The jury was chaired by BAFTA- and Oscar-nominated producer Finola Dwyer.

The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award was created in honour of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director whose career spanned three decades and over ninety films before she died in 2004. She worked with notable directors such as Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott, contributing to the creation of some of the silver screen's most memorable characters.

For more information on the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award go to

  • Renamed the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award to signify Orange Wednesdays customers’ involvement in the selection process
  • The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award is the only award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards to be voted for by the British public
  • The winner will be announced at the awards on 13 February 2011
  • Previous winners include: James McAvoy, Eva Green, Shia LaBeouf, Noel Clarke, Kristen Stewart

Nominee Biographies

Gemma Arterton
After graduating from RADA in the summer of 2007, Gemma has quickly become one of Britain’s brightest young actresses, most notably for her iconic Bond girl role in Quantum of Solace, alongside Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench.

With a string of impressive performances behind her, including Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, Richard Curtis’ The Boat That Rocked, Clash of the Titans and Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time, she’s established herself on the world stage.

Most recently, her performance in Tamara Drewe, directed by award-winning Stephen Frears, received glittering praise, as did her performance in J Blakeson’s independent film The Disappearance of Alice Creed.

Andrew Garfield
Rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after young actors working internationally today, Andrew has notched several stunning performances under his belt since graduating from drama school just six years ago.

After appearances in John Crowley's Boy A which earned him the Best Actor TV BAFTA, Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs and Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, most recently Andrew has been earning numerous Best Supporting Actor nominations for his performance as Eduardo Saverin in David Fincher’s smash hit The Social Network where he stars alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake.

Andrew will soon be seen in Never Let Me Go, with Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan and has recently commenced filming the leading role of Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s much anticipated next instalment of Spider-Man, set for release in 2012.

Tom Hardy
Making his name in Spielberg's TV series Band of Brothers, Tom’s film debut was Star Trek: Nemesis, swiftly followed by Ridley Scott’s war thriller Black Hawk Down. Tom has become one of cinema’s most versatile and gripping actors, including a recent performance in the smash hit Inception, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

After a string of appearances in hit films such as Warrior and Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla, as well as the TV series of Stuart: A Life Backwards and Wuthering Heights Tom’s most powerful performance undoubtedly came in the lead role for Bronson, in which he put on three stone of muscle to play the infamous British prisoner.

Currently in filming for This Means War with Reese Witherspoon and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman, Tom has also secured a part in Christopher Nolan’s hotly anticipated Batman Rises.

Aaron Johnson
Aaron’s rise to fame was highlighted by his critically acclaimed performance as a young John Lennon in Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy, and more recently in the lead role for smash hit Kick Ass, for which he was nominated for ‘Performance of the Year’ at the National Movie Awards.

His impressive back catalogue of appearances includes The Illusionist, in which he played a young Edward Norton, Shanghai Knights, where he starred alongside Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and also in Dummy and The Greatest.

Emma Stone
After some notable performances in hit films Easy A and Superbad, Emma recently landed the role of Gwen Stacy in Marc Webb’s next Spider-Man release, cementing her position as one of Hollywood’s brightest young actresses.

Following her typically charismatic appearances in recent films such as Zombieland and Paper Man, she’s now set to appear in Crazy, Stupid, Love, which is due for release next year, also starring Ryan Gosling.

She can also soon be seen in DreamWorks’ film The Help, an adaptation of Kathyrn Stockett’s New York Times best-selling novel, and has also lent her voice to the DreamWorks animated comedy The Croods, which also features Nicholas Cage and Ryan Reynolds.

The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award
This year, the award has been renamed the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. This is to reflect the new level of involvement that Orange Wednesdays customers now play in deciding upon the final five that will go up for the public vote. Orange Wednesdays customers voted on the longlist of eight candidates, drawn up by the jury, to decide on the final five that will now go up for the public vote.

image Credits:
Aaron Johnson: Richard Young / Rex Features
Tom Hardy: Matt Baron / BEI / Rex Features
Gemma Arterton: Rex Features
Emma Stone: Startraks Photo / Rex Features
Andrew Garfield: Startraks Photo / Rex Features

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