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Orange Rising Star Awards 2007 - Bond girl shortlisted

Eva Green

Story by Jack Foley

CASINO Royale star Eva Green is among five emerging stars in contention for a Bafta award that seeks to honour exceptional young acting talent.

The Orange Rising Star Award is unique in that it is the only award to be voted for by the British public. This year’s nominees were announced recently by last year’s winner, James McAvoy.

Also in the running are Ben Whishaw, star of Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer, Cillian Muprhy (of The Wind That Shakes the Barley and Batman Begins, Naomie Harris (who appeared in Miami Vice) and Emily Blunt, a Golden Globe nominee for The Devil Wears Prada.

Film fans can have their say by voting via the Orange website; or via text message. The winner will be announced at The Orange British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 11, 2007.

To vote for:
Ben Whishaw – text ORSA BEN to 81800
Cillian Murphy – text ORSA CILLIAN to 81800
Emily Blunt – text ORSA EMILY to 81800
Eva Green – text ORSA EVA to 81800
Naomie Harris – text ORSA NAOMIE to 81800

The Orange Rising Star Award was created in honour of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director whose career spanned three decades and over 90 films before she died in 2004.

Mary helped launch the careers of many stars in films as varied as Gosford Park, Master & Commander, Notting Hill and Withnail & I.

She worked with notable directors such as Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott, contributing to the creation of some of the silver screen’s most memorable characters.

Commenting on the significance of the awards, James McAvoy – who can currently be seen in The Last King Of Scotland – said: “This award is very special because it’s in honour of Mary Selway, somebody who cared about nurturing talent and not just about finding the next big thing for the next five minutes.

“It’s doubly special because the audience vote for it, it feels nice to know that they are rooting for you.”

About this year’s nominees

Eva Green
Born in Paris, Eva made her debut in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, playing the lead role of Isabelle. The 26-year-old actress can currently be seen in the highly successful James Bond feature Casino Royale, as Vesper Lynd. She has just started filming His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass directed by Chris Weitz.

In 2005, Eva made her Hollywood debut, starring as the female lead in Ridley Scott’s, Kingdom of Heaven. She played Sibylla, opposite Orlando Bloom and Liam Neeson. In 2004, she appeared in Jean-Paul Salome’s French-language film, Arsene Lupin.

Ben Whishaw
Since graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2003 Ben has appeared in Enduring Love, a film adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel, and Layer Cake. He subsequently made his West End debut at the National Theatre in their stage adaptation of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and starred as Hamlet in Trevor Nunn’s electric ‘youth’ version of the play at the Old Vic for which he has received tremendous critical acclaim and a Laurence Olivier nomination (2005).

Most recently, Ben has appeared in Perfume and has just finished filming I’m Not Here, Todd Haynes film portrayal of Bob Dylan’s life, alongside Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Christian Bale. He is 26.

Cillian Murphy
Cillian Murphy, 30, first garnered international attention for his performance as the reluctant survivor Jim in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later. Following a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Breakfast On Pluto, Murphy starred in the 2006 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, directed by Ken Loach.

Murphy also made an indelible impression as Dr. Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, followed by a role opposite Rachel McAdams in Wes Craven’s Red Eye. Later this year, Murphy re-teams with Danny Boyle and Alex Garland for the sci-fi thriller Sunshine.

Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt shot to international prominence with her lead role in the multi award-winning British movie, My Summer of Love. In spring 2005, she moved to Australia to make Irresistible, co-starring Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill. Later that same year, she flew to New York to start work on The Devil Wears Prada, as the intensely neurotic Emily Charlton for which she received great acclaim.

Emily moved from New York to Canada in late 2005 to begin work on Wind Chill, produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderburgh. She is currently making The Jane Austen Book Club. She is 23.

Naomie Harris
After graduating from Cambridge University, Naomie, 30, trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her break came in 2002 when she was cast as the co-lead in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later.

Since then she has featured in many high-profile movies, including After The Sunset, alongside Pierce Brosnan, Michael Mann’s Miami Vice and the box office smash Pirates Of The Caribbean 2. She is currently working on Pirates Of The Caribbean 3.