Top Boy’s Michael Ward among EE Bafta Rising Star Award nominees

The actor is following in the footsteps of brilliant black British talent

RISING STAR: Michael Ward

TOP BOY’S breakout star Michael Ward has been shortlisted for Bafta’s EE Rising Star Award.

Ward, who shot to fame last year when he played Jamie in the third series of the acclaimed drama, is one of five actors in the running for the prize.

The 22-year-old actor also starred as the joint lead in the hit film Blue Story, which was released in November last year.

“The last two years have been unbelievable, and now to find out that my industry has recognised my work and put me up for the EE Rising Star Award, really is the most amazing thing to happen,” Ward said.

Blue Story director Rapman tweeted: “Makes me too happy to see [Michael Ward] nominated for a Bafta. This particular award is voted by the public so everyone who enjoyed Mike’s performance in Top Boy or Blue story should use this link and vote for him.”

The EE Rising Star Award is the only Bafta award voted for by the public. It recognises actors who have “shown truly outstanding talent on the big screen in the past year and captured the attention of both the public and film industry”.

This year’s other nominees are Kelvin Harrison Jr, Awkwafina, Kaitlyn Dever and Jack Lowden.

Harrison Jr, who stars in Luce, has been tipped for Oscar success for his performance in Waves, released in UK cinemas on January 17.

“I have followed this award since it began and the nominees have always made up a really impressive list. I feel honoured to be counted among them,” Harrison Jr said.

Awkwafina picked up last night’s Golden Globe for best actress for her performance in The Farewell. She is the first person of Asian descent to win the award.

Last year’s Rising Star winner, Letitia Wright, delivered an emotional speech when she accepted her award in London.

The 26-year-old revealed at the time that the email from Bafta helped lift her out of a deep state of depression.

“A few years ago I saw myself in a deep state of depression and I literally wanted to quit acting.

“The only thing that pretty much pulled me out of it was God, my belief, my faith, my family, and an email from Bafta saying that they wanted me to be a part of the Bafta breakthrough Brits. And I was like: ‘Let me try again’,” she said.

Wright’s Black Panther co-star Daniel Kaluuya won the award in 2018, while John Boyega was named Rising Star in 2016.

The winner will be announced at the Baftas on February 2. 

The full list of Bafta nominees will be unveiled tomorrow.

Cast your EE Rising Star Award vote here.

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