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John Boyega and Taron Egerton among Rising Star Award nominees

John Boyega

Story by Jack Foley

STAR Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega and Kingsman: The Secret Service star Taron Egerton are among this year’s Rising Star Award nominees.

The accolade is the only prize at next month’s BAFTA film awards to be voted for by members of the public. But given the popularity of Star Wars, London-born Boyega must be viewed as an early favourite to land it.

Aged just 23, Boyega has enjoyed a rapid rise to success, especially now that he has found global fame as rebellious Stormtrooper Finn in the new Star Wars adventure.

Before that, he had played just one lead film role, in 2011’s action comedy Attack The Block, but had also enjoyed smaller parts in TV shows like 24: Live Another Day and BBC Three’s Becoming Human.

He is due to appear opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in the film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel The Circle later this year.

As well as competition from Egerton, Boyega faces competition from Fifty Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson, as well as Oscar-tipped Room star Brie Larson and breakthrough star Bel Powley, who attracted widespread acclaim last year for her role in indie drama The Diary of a Teenage Girl.

The winners will be announced at the BAFTA Film Awards in London on February 14.

Here’s a little more info about Boyega’s fellow nominees…

Taron Egerton

The 26-year-old shot to prominence for his role as Eggsy alongside Colin Firth in Matthew Vaughn’s spy caper Kingsman, which has already won him the best male newcomer title at the Empire Awards. Prior to that, he played Edward Brittain in Testament of Youth, the acclaimed adaptation of Vera Brittain’s war-time memoirs. He has since appeared alongside Tom Hardy in Legend and is now set to play the leads in a biopic of skier Eddie The Eagle Edwards and a new version of Robin Hood.

Dakota Johnson

The daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson and the granddaughter of Tippi Hedren, Johnson comes from a distinguished Hollywood dynasty. She turned heads for her performance in Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as a fair amount of praise. But has also had parts in The Social Network, the 21 Jump Street remake and Fox sitcom Ben and Kate. She will shortly be seen reprising her high-profile role, as Anastasia Steele, in the Fifty Shades sequel.

Brie Larson

Twenty-six-year-old Californian Brie Larson already has a long list of screen credits to her name, including Short Term 12, Trainwreck, 21 Jump Street, Don Jon and The Spectacular Now. But she is now one of the favourites for this year’s best actress Oscar for playing a woman held captive role with her young son in the big screen adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel Room. She also shone alongside Mark Wahlberg in last year’s drama The Gambler.

Bel Powley

Powley, 23, from London, began her career in CBBC series MI High and played Bianca in TV sitcom Benidorm. But she graduated to feature films last year, playing Minnie in coming-of-age drama The Diary of a Teenage Girl and Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out.