When looking through the BAFTA Award nominations recently, there wasn't any category that jumped out at me, more than the one for Orange Wednesday's Rising Star Award. The Award is designed to recognise talent, not necessarily from actors who are young, or even new to the acting trade, but are still relatively new to British Cinema. It's a great category, because so often new talent is ignored for the already established generation of actors, so this category gives them the opportunity to compete amongst other new talents, where the playing field is more levelled.
Past winners have included James McAvoy (2006), Shia LeBeouf (2008) and Tom Hardy (2011).
For me, the intrigue in this category is largely due to the fact that I am already familiar with a large portion of the nominees, as they are well-known for their television roles. However, I wanted to take a look into who these actors are, what they've done and why I think they have been nominated for this award.
Note: I haven't written these in any particular order, just the way I pick the opened pages on my browser ;)
1. Chris Hemsworth
Born August 1983, in Melbourne, Chris Hemsworth is quite interestingly, the only none British born actor in this category. Does this change anything? Of course not, but I just thought it was interesting to know! The first thing that I ever saw Hemsworth starring in was Australian soap Home and Away, from 2004 to 2007, as young Kim Hyde. Out of all the nominees, he may have done the least; however, his roles have been considerably larger, with roles as George Kirk (Captain Kirk's father) in the 2009 hit Star Trek being his first major role. His biggest role, to date, however, is without doubt in the leading role of Marvel's Thor, a role he beat off stiff competition to win, including that of his younger brother Liam (currently starring in The Hunger Games for anyone who might have missed that!). Thor is also a role that Hemsworth has reprised for the upcoming Avengers film, as well as Thor 2 which is expected sometime at the end of 2013. He is also starring as The Huntsman, alongside Kristen Stewart (2010 Winner of the Rising Star Award), in the upcoming film Snow White and The Huntsman, which I am definitely looking forward to.
For me, Chris Hemsworth is definitely my favourite to win this category, for a variety of reasons. But, most importantly is that although he has only played three major roles, that I have seen him in, he has played them all so differently, which is always a hard, but great talent to have. So many actors these days are great at playing a role, but they can only play that
one role, and whilst they do it well, eventually it becomes dull, so being able to adapt is a massive ability to have.
2. Chris O'Dowd
Born October 1979, in Sligo, Ireland, Chris O'Dowd may be the eldest of all the nominees; however, he is another of the most recognisable, for me personally. The first time I saw O'Dowd was in the BAFTA Award winning series The IT Crowd, which I loved. Film-wise, O'Dowd has been a bit quieter than Hemsworth, with much smaller, but still very memorable roles. O'Dowd's most notable roles have probably been, as General Edward in Jack Black's 2010 film Gulliver's Travels, as well as playing Kristen Wiig's love interest in the popular 2011 film Bridesmaids. O'Dowd is rumoured to have been cast in the sequel to 2007 Rom-Com Knocked Up, called This is Forty, with O'Dowd allegedly playing a co-worker to Paul Rudd's character. Whether this is true or not, we'll of course have to wait and see.
Although I'm rooting ultimately for Hemsworth to win this Award, I think that it would be great for O'Dowd to win, purely because I know him more in a British Television role, than any of the other nominees, he seems more in keeping with British, and of course we have to support British Talent in British Productions :)
3. Adam Deacon
Born March 1983, in London, Adam Deacon is the only actor that I have no real knowledge of. I've seen about ten minutes of an episode of Phone Shop, but it wasn't really my cup of tea, so I don't remember if I saw him in it or not. His other, most notable roles have included: Jay in Kidulthood and Adulthood. From looking through his profile, he seems to have been in quite a few British Television productions, including two appearances in BBC hospital drama Casualty, a small role in BBC Three's Being Human, television mini-series Dead Set and a recurring role in The Bill in 2003 to 2006. I don't really know much about any of the productions that Deacon has coming up, so I don't feel right writing about them, which is a shame, because I don't feel like I have enough knowledge on this nominee to right fairly.
I'm finding it hard to judge an opinion on how likely I find Deacon to win, because I've honestly not seen any of his major work. The work he has done doesn't really appeal to me, personally, but that isn't to say that he isn't a fine talent.
4. Eddie Redmayne
Born January 1982, Eddie Redmayne is another actor that I only have a small amount of knowledge about. Redmayne's career has been relatively small, perhaps on par with Chris Hemsworth, however, in similar style to Hemsworth, Redmayne's roles have been much larger, even if in smaller doses. His biggest roles to date have included playing William Stafford alongside Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanssen in The Other Boleyn Girl, and Ralph Keyes, opposite Romola Garai in Glorious 39. However, his most notable role is definitely in 2011's My Week with Marilyn, in which his played film maker Colin Clark, opposite Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe.
Redmayne has definitely played some interesting roles, and the mere fact that he was cast in the role of Colin Clark alone, shows that Director's have faith in his capabilities. Could he win the award? I'm not sure, but I definitely think he has the talent to win it.
5. Tom Hiddleston
Born February 1981, Tom Hiddleston is probably most recognisable playing Chris Hemworth's brother Loki in Thor as well as the upcoming Avengers film. However, Hiddleston has been cast into some pretty amazing roles over the past few years, including F. Scott Fitzgerald in the upcoming Midnight in Paris, and Captain Nicholls in the current hit film The War Horse. Similar to Hemsworth and Redmayne, Hiddleston is another nominee who may not have that much in his list of “credentials”; however his list is bursting with amazing roles that show off his talents as a great actor.
It seems really weird for both Hiddleston and Hemsworth to be competing against each other in this category, but both of them deserve it for such different reasons. In the long term, I think Hiddleston is very similar to Redmayne, whereby they both have the potential to be in a much broader array of productions, whilst someone like Hemsworth, for example, may find his potential limited (I’m not saying that this will definitely be the case, but I’m saying that there is more potential for it).
Noting that this category has been voted for (voting has already closed, I believe) by Orange Wednesday customers, it is really difficult to predict who is going to bag it, but I can't help feel strongly towards Chris Hemsworth, whilst I do think that either Eddie Redmayne or Tom Hiddleston deserve the award just that little bit more.
I do think that it's really great that this category has been voted for by the film loving customers, because we are definitely a film-loving nation, so it's nice for the decision to be put into our hands, unlike so many other awards. And Orange do so much to support the British film industry, with their Orange Wednesday’s offers that offer free tickets (on a 2-for-1 basis) to a huge range of cinemas every single Wednesday. No other phone company offers that, or supports the often struggling film and cinema industry in such a great way. And it's so easy to get your free tickets, if you are an Orange customer, all you have to do is text 241 to Orange, they'll send you a code, and you just show your code at the Cinema, so it's really easy and not full of stupid online forms that want to know everything about you.
The Rising Star Award and Orange Wednesday, may be the most well-known ways in which Orange support the film industry, however, they have also recently launched their Film-To-Go feature, which allows customers to watch a film, absolutely free through iTunes every single Thursday, which is awesome. Well, I think so anyway.
If, like me, you missed out on voting for your favourite star of the past year, or you're perhaps not an Orange customer, that doesn't mean that you can't show your support for the British Film Industry. A great way of getting involved is by checking out the new Orange Film Pulse website, which allows you to use Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook to share your favourite films, and vote for how awesome you think they are.
Orange certainly is doing a lot to help boost the industry, and I just wish that more would help too, because British Cinema was once the epitome of Cinema, and for the past few years, it appears to have swayed a little into Hollywood's shadow, and we need British business to help bring it back out again, into the daylight where it should be.
Who do you think will win the Orange Rising Star Award? Do you think that the right people have been nominated? Perhaps you think that someone else is more worthy of the award? Let us know, and join in the debate :)
Yes, this is a Sponsored Post, but nope, this has not affected what I've written in the slightest. Everything is my personal opinion, as it always will be :)
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