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James Bond’s Lashana Lynch and West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose among nominees for BAFTA rising star award

James Bond actress Lashana Lynch and West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose are among the latest crop of young performers nominated for BAFTA’s rising star award.

Before appearing as the new 007 in No Time To Die last year, Lynch, 34, had starred in Captain Marvel opposite Brie Larson, and Sky police drama Bulletproof.

DeBose took on the role of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s gritty adaptation of West Side Story – bagging herself Golden Globe and SAG nominations.

Before that, the 31-year-old American star appeared in hit musical Hamilton, as well as Netflix’s The Prom, alongside James Corden and Meryl Streep.

Speaking to Sky News, DeBose said she was "shocked" when she found out she had been nominated.

"I’m American, this doesn’t make any sense… I was like, ‘there’s absolutely no reason really for me to be here, except you guys asked me to be’, and that means the world.

"I’m so honoured to have the work recognised, and specifically, with this type of award, when that’s voted on by the British public, that’s really special."

She added: "I actually just had a birthday, 31-years-old, and to realise, ‘oh, your star is kind of rising and it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start, but you can find success in different ways’, and I’m just really honoured to be recognised in this way. It’s exciting."

Who else is nominated?

Harris Dickinson is also on the list – he recently appeared in The King’s Man, a prequel to the Kingsman films.

The English actor, 25, also starred in Disney’s latest Maleficent film.

He told Sky News that the nomination was "special", adding: "I look at the nominees and the winners and even BAFTA as an institution – it feels incredibly special to be mentioned in that space."

Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds also bags a nomination after appearing in the horror film A Quiet Place and its 2021 sequel as Regan Abbot – a role she has already won a Hollywood Critic’s Association award for.

The actress, from Utah, is only 18 years old.

Simmonds told Sky News: "To be added to this amazing list of nominees and award winners who are so brilliant and talented, I feels like such an honour, but it also makes me go, ‘oh, I guess I’m doing good enough acting to be recognised’.

"It really feels wonderful."

The final nominee is Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee, whose most recent film, The Power Of The Dog, is tipped to do well at the Oscars and BAFTAs next month.

He has also been in the animated film Paranorman, as well as appearing in the most recent round of big screen X-Men adventures as Nightcrawler.

He told Sky News he felt "sheer joy and excitement and shock" when he discovered he’d been nominated, saying he was struggling to put "it into words".

What does the award recognise?

The BAFTA rising star gone is designed to honour up-and-coming talent.

Bukky Bakray won last year’s trophy after starring in Rocks, following in the footsteps of the likes of Spider-Man star Tom Holland, Twilight actress Kristen Stewart and Star Wars’ John Boyega.

The full list of BAFTA nominations are revealed on Thursday, with the ceremony taking place on 13 March.



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