The five nominees for this year’s rising star Bafta have been revealed, with ‘Black’ Panther star Letitia Wright current favourite to attract the most public votes to crown her the winner at the ceremony on 10 February.
Wright, 25, is a Guyanese-born British actor who cut her teeth on TV shows such as ‘Top Boy’ and ‘Banana’.
Last year, Fandango named her the highest box office earning actor of 2018, with her roles in Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, The ‘Commuter’ and ‘Ready Player One’ meaning she pulled in more money than any other actor in Hollywood last year — for the studios, at least.
Running against Wright are ‘Sorry to Bother You’ star Lakeith Stanfield, 27; ‘Wild Rose’ lead Jessie Buckley, 29; Barry Keoghan, 26; and ‘Widows’ breakout Cynthia Erivo, 31. Steve McQueen’s heist thriller was Erivo’s big screen debut, but the Stockwell-born actor is a Broadway veteran, who won a Tony award in 2016 for her leading role in a musical version of ‘The Color Purple’.
Buckley is likewise relatively fresh to cinema audiences, but has a stage background including West End leads in ‘A Little Night Music’, ‘Henry V’ (opposite Jude Law) and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’.
Dublin-born Keoghan has appeared in a diverse list of films, including Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, Yorgos Lanthimos’s ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ and docu-drama American Animals.
Last year’s winner, Daniel Kaluuya, who featured alongside Erivo in ‘Widows’, won his prize for his breakthrough performance in Jordan Peele’s ‘Get Out’. Previous winners have included James McAvoy, Kristen Stewart and John Boyega.
This year’s shortlist was drawn together by a panel which includes Rosamund Pike and Richard Madden.