Wednesday 13 November 2019

Irish actress Niamh Algar named among 20 Bafta Breakthrough Brits 2019

Niamh Algar (Bafta)
Niamh Algar (Bafta)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Irish actress Niamh Algar has been nominated among 20 rising stars for Bafta's Breakthrough Brits 2019.

The talented 20 have been chosen from film, games, and television and include actors, diectors, producers, writers and more.

Niamh (29), who is originally from Mullingar, wowed audiences this year in harrowing BBC drama series The Virtues which was written and directed by Shane Meadows.

She also starred opposite Barry Keoghan in Calm with Horses and has also wrapped filming on Raised by Wolves, a new sci-fi TV series from director Ridley Scott.

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Niamh Algar
Niamh Algar

Her performance in The Virtues also saw her named a 2018 Screen International 'Star of Tomorrow'.

The Breakthrough Brits initiative gives up and coming talent in the industry access to unique career development and mentoring opportunities.

Niamh is joined on the list by Abubakar Salim, who stars alongside her in Raised by Wolves.

The series revolves arond two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet.

Speaking about landing the role, Algar told PA, “I was on set filming up in Leeds and I hadn’t checked my email and I rang my mum and told her and then read down on the email where it says ‘please don’t tell anyone’ and had to be like ‘Mum, you know that information I told you? Forget that’.”

The duo wrapped production on Raised By Wolves in September, and Salim added: “It was an incredible experience, we were in Cape Town from January onwards and it was just a crazy show.

Abi Salim (Bafta)

“It’s based on sci-fi, it’s got Ridley helming it, so it was wild, it was a completely different beast to what I’ve normally done before so I loved it.

“He’s a genius, he’s the kind of director who when he makes a choice and it’s the right choice, you never doubt it. It was amazing to see him work.

“The nicest thing about him is he’s a beautiful soul, he’s an easy guy to talk to, he wasn’t a difficult man to approach when it came to asking what you feel are stupid questions.

“He would give you time and then of course he would tell you if it was a stupid question, which is great, so honest.”

Algar added: “It didn’t feel like we shooting TV, it felt like we were shooting a film, a really long film.

“The sets were all built, there was very little green screen or blue screen and you’re on set you feel like you are on a different planet, especially being so far away from home, in South Africa.

“He (Sir Ridley) does very few takes and I think that is just because he knows.

“He’s created the environment and he has put you in the right frame of mind and ultimately what you’re going to bring to it is extra so you only do one or two takes.

“Creatively he just paints the screen, that’s what he does, he’s come from a design background and you can totally see that in the way in which he directs.

“Seeing on the monitor, it’s a painting. It’s incredible to see him work and he’s got so much energy.”

Also among this year's 20 Breakthrough Brits are art director, illustrator and game artist Chris Cox, Sex Education writer Laurie Nunn, Chernobyl production designer Luke Hull and burns survivor Vicky Knight who made her acting debut this year in the British film Dirty God.

Killed By My Debt actor Chance Perdomo, and Dancing on Ice producer Coco Jackson, are also on the list.

Previous Breakthrough Brits have included The Young Offenders stars Chris Walley, Tom Holland, Florence Pugh, and Josh O'Connor, who has just joined the cast of The Crown for its third season.

Read more: Dirty talk: Sex Education creator reveals embarrassing stash of saucy slang

Burns survivor Vicky Knight among Bafta breakthrough Brits

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