Nyong'o nominated for Bafta award
Published 06/01/2014 | 11:02
12 Years A Slave actress Lupita Nyong'o is among the nominees for this year's EE Bafta Rising Star Award.
The Kenyan, a graduate of Yale drama school, goes up against Palme d'Or Award-winning French actress Lea Seydoux, star of controversial lesbian love story Blue Is The Warmest Colour, as they compete for the award which is decided by public vote.
British actors Will Poulter, star of We're The Millers, and George MacKay - who had his big break starring alongside Clive Owen in The Boys Are Back - have also been shortlisted, along with US star Dane Dehaan, who recently starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in Kill Your Darlings.
Seydoux joined Poulter - who also appeared in Narnia film The Voyage Of The Dawntreader - and MacKay at Bafta's HQ in London to celebrate their nominations.
The nominees were selected by a group of jurors including actress Gemma Arterton, deputy chair of Bafta's film committee Pippa Harris and film critic Mark Kermode.
Nyong'o - who was born in Mexico - made her movie debut in 12 Years, which was directed by Turner Prize-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen.
Seydoux, who shared her Palme d'Or with Blue Is The Warmest Colour director Abdellatif Kechiche and co-star Adele Exarchopoulos, confessed how proud she was to be nominated for the award.
She said: "I am very touched, the fact that the British Academy chose me.
"The fact that I'm on my own makes me feel the people here recognise my work."
The Frenchwoman, dressed in a dazzling Prada coat and Miu Miu frock, revealed she would like to do more work in Britain.
Seydoux, who has previously told how difficult she found it to endure the long sex scenes in Blue Is The Warmest Colour, admitted starring in the highly acclaimed film has changed her life.
She said: "It was a big success in France and all over the world. So all the people are very touched by the film, and I'm very proud of the film and the fact that everybody loves it. It's amazing the fact you do a work that everybody sees, I was not expecting that much."
Poulter, 20, began acting as a child and made his name in 2007's Son Of Rambow. Last year he starred alongside Jennifer Aniston in Hollywood romantic comedy We're The Millers, which he admitted has been a big boost to his career.
He revealed: "I remember my first film being a very small British independent and the second one being a big American studio shot in Australia and I was very young then, and that was my only experience of big budget films.
"So when We're The Millers came along I really didn't feel I was even capable of it. I was like 'I've only ever done this once before, I don't think I can do it again, I just scraped through the last time'.
"But it was fantastic to be involved in something like that and a real dream come true to work with the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. I was very, very lucky."
He added: "It still hasn't really sunk in, but to be in a range of films that vary in budget and style is something I'm very grateful for and something I hope I can continue with. But to be recognised alongside these guys is phenomenal."
MacKay, 21, was also a child actor and last year appeared in Dexter Fletcher's movie Sunshine On Leith, featuring the music of The Proclaimers.
He revealed being nominated for the Rising Star Award now had made him think about his career going forward.
He said: "I'm thinking about it in a different way. I think when you're younger you're slightly spoilt with the situation you get put in, and to get to work with the people I got to work with without really thinking about it.
"I'm blessed that I didn't worry too much about it when I was a kid or overthink things, and I learned a lot unconsciously, but now I'm really ready and excited to learn as much as I can and do as much different work as I can to make a concerted effort to think for myself about what I want to do and carve a path for myself."
Voting is now open to the public at www.ee.co.uk/bafta.