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George MacKay and Lupita Nyong'o among EE Rising Star Award nominees (2014)

George MacKay

Story by Jack Foley

SUNSHINE On Leith star George MacKay and 12 Years A Slave Oscar hopeful Lupita Nyong’o are among the nominees for the 2014 EE Rising Star Award.

A total of five actors have been shortlisted for the prize, which will be chosen by public vote. The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 16, 2014.

Dane DeHaan, recently seen alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings, Will Poulter, of Son of Rambow and We’re The Millers fame, and Lea Seydoux, of Blue Is The Warmest Colour, round out the shortlist.

This year’s nominees were selected by an influential group of jurors including actress Gemma Arterton, Deputy Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee Pippa Harris and film critic Mark Kermode.

Voting is now open to the public at

More about the nominees…

Dane DeHaan became one of the most talked-about young actors in Hollywood, thanks to his highly praised stage and television roles, including Jesse in HBO drama In Treatment.

Dane DeHaan

He gained more plaudits for his starring role in the camcorder superhero film Chronicle in 2012. Last year, he featured in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, starred opposite Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond The Pines and DeHaan was recently seen in Kill Your Darlings opposite Daniel Radcliffe.

This summer, Dane will line up alongside Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as Peter Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn.

Commenting on his nomination, DeHaan said: “I am so thankful to BAFTA for considering me for this award. It’s a huge honor and humbling experience to be recognized amongst such a talented group of actors.”

George MacKay (pictured above) began his film career aged 10, when he landed the role of Curly in PJ Hogan’s Peter Pan. A series of impressive roles followed and in 2009, George earned nominations from the British Independent Film Awards and the Critics’ Circle Awards for his performance in Scott Hicks’ The Boys Are Back.

George featured in three acclaimed films released in a single month, in October 2013. He took the lead role in musical Sunshine on Leith; he played a tortured survivor in BAFTA winning director Paul Wright’s For Those in Peril, and Eddie in Kevin Macdonald’s apocalyptic tale How I Live Now.

At the announcement, George MacKay said: “This award seems to be about looking forward, and it’s both humbling and exciting to be amongst a group of people who share that goal; thank you BAFTA for sharing and supporting that ideal.”

Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya and educated in the USA, where she graduated from the Yale School of Drama’s acting program. She made a stunning feature debut as Patsey, in Steve McQueen’s unflinchingly brutal 12 Years a Slave.

12 Years A Slave

This breakthrough performance was honoured with the New Hollywood Award and helped to cement her place on Variety’s admired annual 10 Actors to Watch list. As well as acting, Lupita is also an award-winning film-maker.

She wrote, directed, and produced In My Genes, a fascinating documentary about the treatment of Kenya’s often misunderstood albino population.

Lupita Nyong’O commented: ‘I am absolutely delighted to be nominated for the EE Rising Star Award and feel so honoured to be in the company of past and present nominees.’

Will Poulter made his feature debut in the quirky British comedy Son of Rambow, where he gained critical acclaim and earned himself a nomination for most promising newcomer at the 2007 British Independent Film Awards.

Will Poulter

He has proved to be as comfortable with Hollywood A-listers as he is with small-budget Brit flicks. He recently starred alongside Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in the outrageous We’re The Millers and more recently took the lead in Dexter Fletcher’s gritty UK independent film, Wild Bill. This performance saw Will pick up a nomination for young British performer of the year at the London Critics’ Circle Awards.

Will Poulter said: ‘It is an absolute honour to be nominated for this award. To be recognised by BAFTA in a category which ultimately is judged by the public is truly special. Thank you!’

Lea Seydoux is a young actress with an enviable array of accolades from French cinema and television. Now she’s gaining worldwide attention for her roles in high-profile international films, including Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

Lea Seydoux

She has recently taken on her first action role in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and played the lead character in Farewell My Queen – which went on to win the Louis Delluc Prize for best French film.

This year, Léa shared the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival alongside director Abdellatif Kechiche and co-star Adele Exarchopoulos, for her intense and powerful performance in Blue Is The Warmest Colour.

View photos from the launch event

The EE Rising Star Award was created in honour of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director whose career spanned three decades and over ninety films before she died in 2004.

Pippa Harris, EE Rising Star award jury chair and Deputy Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, commented: “It’s always tough to choose five nominees from the hundreds of suggestions from our members and film industry figures, and this year has been no exception.

“The EE Rising Star Award acknowledges new talent but also allows the British public to be involved in the judging process, and choose their stars of the future.”