The five actors, who are all British, have been selected for demonstrating “exceptional talent in film over the past year” and capturing “the imagination of the British public.” Previous winners include James McAvoy, Eva Green, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, Tom Holland, Letitia Wright, Micheal Ward, Bukky Bakray and last year’s winner Lashana Lynch.
More from Variety
The nominees were announced by broadcaster Edith Bowman on Tuesday at London’s The Savoy Hotel. Ackie, Atim and McCormack were present at the event and discussed their career paths with Bowman.
Ackie, whose credits include “The End of the F***ing World,” “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” and “Small Axe,” is currently riding high on the U.K. box office charts with “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” where she plays Houston. She has previously won a Most Promising Newcomer award at the British Independent Film Awards.
Atim has credits in “The Underground Railroad” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and is one of the stars of “The Woman King,” alongside Viola Davis. In 2018, Atim won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance in “Girl from the North Country” at the Old Vic Theatre. She was named one of Variety’s ’10 Brits to Watch’ in 2020 and was awarded an MBE for services to drama in 2019.
Mackey’s credits include “Sex Education,” “Eiffel” and “Death on the Nile” and she played Emily Brontë in “Emily,” which opened the Platform competition at the 2022 Toronto Film Festival.
McCormack’s breakthrough role was in “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” where he played the lead alongside Emma Thompson. His credits include “Bad Sisters” and “Peaky Blinders.”
Aimee Lou Wood won Female Performance in a Comedy Program at the 2021 BAFTA TV awards for “Sex Education” and she was nominated for her role in the same category in 2022. She made an impact in 2022 with awards contender “Living.”
Kicking off the event, BAFTA chief executive Jane Millichip said that this year’s nominees would have made casting director Mary Selway, in whose honor the Rising Star award was set up 18 years ago, proud.
“Recognizing and supporting creative talent is of the upmost importance to us at BAFTA which is why we are delighted to continue our partnership with EE and the EE Rising Star Award,” Millichip added in a statement. “This year’s five nominees have displayed a breathtaking ability to tell stories and create characters that resonate with their audiences, and it’s now up to the British public to decide who will take home the award on Feb. 19.”
BAFTA’s Rising Star award is the only one of the EE British Academy Film Awards that is decided by the public. Voting is now open.
The BAFTA Film Awards will be broadcast from the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London on the evening of Feb. 19. This year’s nominations will be revealed on Thursday.
Best of Variety