emily   –   January 09, 2015

Former Skins actor Jack O’Connell is among five young actors nominated for this year’s EE Bafta Rising Star award.

The 24-year-old, from Derby, who plays the lead in Angelina Jolie’s war film Unbroken, is joined by Belle actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw on the shortlist.

Whiplash star Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley from The Fault in Our Stars and The Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie are also up for the prize.

The winner will be announced at the Bafta Film Awards on 8 February.

The award, which is decided by a public vote, is not just for newcomers and can go to actors who have already appeared in a number of films.

O’Connell, who was also seen in 2014 in prison drama Starred Up and Belfast-set thriller ’71, said he was “honoured to be considered… amongst such a talented field”.

Mbatha-Raw, whose fact-based role in Belle saw her play a Caribbean slave’s daughter raised as an aristocrat in 18th Century England, said she was “delighted… to be recognised for a growing body of work”.
Born in Australia, Robbie played Donna Freedman in Neighbours and had a lead role in the short-lived US series Pan Am.

She was subsequently cast as Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife in The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese’s film about notorious New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort.

Teller plays an ambitious musician in Whiplash and will soon be seen as Reed Richards, aka Mr Fantastic, in superhero adventure Fantastic Four.

Woodley was previously seen as George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendants and starred last year in the dystopian fantasy Divergent, in which Teller also appeared.

British actor Will Poulter won last year’s Rising Star award, following in the footsteps of such previous recipients as James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.

Another previous honouree, Kidulthood star Adam Deacon, was arrested this week after failing to appear in court to answer a charge of harassment allegedly involving the actor and director Noel Clarke, an earlier recipient of the prize.

Actress Alice Eve, film critic James King and director Dexter Fletcher were among those who selected this year’s nominees.


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