If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Well, as Oscar season comes ever closer to doing the big reveal when it comes to nominations, the select five nominees for this year's Orange Rising Star Award for the BAFTAs have been announced and for the most part, I'm very impressed and it's a select group of actors that's hard for me to pick over the other when it comes to who's the best or who has the most promise. Now, when it comes to this award, it's only been given out five previous times since the very thing that inspired it was the death of a legendary casting director Mary Selway who had helped kick-start many big actors' careers when they were young. Past winners of this award include Kristen Stewart, Shia LaBeouf, Noel Clarke, Eva Green, and James McAvoy. Other past nominees include great young actors like Rachel McAdams, Michelle Williams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg, Carey Mulligan, Rebecca Hall, and Michael Fassbender. So, let's take a peek at who the public will be looking at for nominating as the most promising young star this year.
Gemma Arterton. You may recognize this newer Bond girl in many genre films as of late such as RocknRolla, Quantum of Solace, Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, has been critically hailed for her performances in The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Tamara Drewe, and she is set to star in Men in Black III. I don't know about her. I haven't seen much movies with her in it and even the ones I have seen, she hasn't really impressed me all that much. I just don't see what the big deal is about her and she even seems a bit off to me on the outside. Still, I also haven't been able to see the two movies she gets most praise for. Maybe I'll come to realize her talent and potential in time.
Andrew Garfield. Oh my God, is this guy amazing or what?! You may not know him from his British television stuff like Boy A and Red Riding but you'll recognize some of the big films he's been in since his career first started in 2004 like a tiny part in Lions for Lambs (which was his major film debut), The Other Boleyn Girl, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (co-starring with Heath Ledger in his final film), and this year he's being recognized for his name-making roles in Never Let Me Go and The Social Network (which will probably get him an Oscar nomination), and his future seems bigger than ever as he's the chosen one to replace Tobey Maguire (in the role that made him a household name) in the title role of the Spider-Man reboot. I mean, Garfield is only 27 years old and he's already worked with some of the most respected modern filmmakers of today (Robert Redford, Terry Gilliam, Mark Romanek, David Fincher, & now Marc Webb) and he's nabbed the role of an iconic superhero whom everybody knows even when he was considered intially to be in the least likely half to nab the role. It's kind of nice to be so unexpectedly and pleasantly surprised like that! I mean, before I was cheering for somebody like Josh Hutcherson, Jamie Bell, Aaron Johnson, Anton Yelchin, or Michael Angarano to nab the webbed wall-crawler but after seeing Garfield in Social Network most particularly, I see now where Sony and Marvel are trying to do with rebooting Spider-Man and I like very much of what I'm seeing. I now see what they mean by more of a Batman Begins approach to Spider-Man (because Garfield is an actor first while guys like Logan Lerman and Josh Hutcherson seem to be more like movie stars rather than honest to God actors) and I simply can not wait! Garfield is so lucky to have worked with such great people already on a few great films, to have the ladies already falling in love with him, and to have nabbed an iconic role so young! I really see him as one of the best actors of his generation and upcoming stars twenty to thirty years will possibly refer to him as being one of their inspirations. Congratulations Andrew! I look forward to seeing the rest of your career and hopefully I'll get to work with you someday! I mean, looking back, it's so funny looking at Doctor Parnassus again and seeing the scenes between him and Ledger and now realizing: "Holy shit! Spider-Man and The Joker in the same movie and the same scene together!"
Tom Hardy. The man who, if weren't for Daniel Craig, would be the guy I want to cast as James Bond! When you really look at him and his life story, it's just so amazing! He's kind of like the British version of Robert Downey, Jr. Early in his career, he started off strong with a good enough supporting role in the famous Steven Spielberg & Tom Hanks-produced TV miniseries Band of Brothers, a role in Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down, and as the villain in Star Trek Nemesis. However, he experienced a dark and turbulent time in his life when he was an alcoholic and a crack addict in his early-to-mid 20s, he divorced from his wife in 2004, and he had a baby son with an ex-girlfriend. Throughout the next few years, he would try to get his acting career back together again by doing one of Matthew Vaughn's (Kick-Ass) earlier films called Layer Cake, Marie Antoinette, TV movies of Sweeney Todd and Oliver Twist, a miniseries based on the classic novel Wuthering Heights, RocknRolla, and would make his big independent smash with his critical acclaim in the film Bronson. Now, he's being honored for most particularly his role as Eames, the Forger in Christopher Nolan's mind-bending science fiction opus Inception. Hardy has a few more projects up his sleeve like This Means War (an action comedy alongside Chris Pine), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, is supposed to be the new Mad Max in Mad Max: Fury Road (which has been pushed back for now) which is supposed to be a reboot of the film series that made Mel Gibson such a big star, and a yet unknown leading role in The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan's follow-up to The Dark Knight. I mean, wow! Where has this guy been for so many years?! I mean, I know I've only seen Inception when it comes to Hardy but wow! He just blew me away in his role which made me feel like he could two particular roles perfectly: The Riddler and James Bond! Whenever Daniel Craig is done with Bond, please give Hardy a Bond movie or two just to see what he could do with the character!
Aaron Johnson. The new British hunk in town from the controversial yet acclaimed superhero flick, Kick-Ass! But before that burst of success for this very talented actor, when he was a child, one of the first movies he was in was Shanghai Knights and he played a young Charlie Chaplin in that blockbuster starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. He also appeared in films like The Thief Lord and The Illusionist and would later star in the acclaimed biopic of former Beatle, John Lennon called Nowhere Boy for which he would gain much critical acclaim. Then, his name-making turn came in when last year, he would don the tights and take on the title role in Kick-Ass! He is also slated to Chatroom, Albert Nobbs, and Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall in the foreseeable future! Man, did he turn in a great performance in that! I can't imagine anybody else playing Kick-Ass! He took that character and completely made it his own! I am also completely amazed that he was able to play somebody like a youg Charlie Chaplin at such a young age and be able to pull it off but damn it, he did it! He's good-looking, dashing, charming, funny, has a beautiful accent that could get him anything he pleased, and even with two roles that I have seen has managed to be completely different in the way he inhabits both the behaviours of Kick-Ass and a young Charlie Chaplin! Now, when he was asked about his inspirations, he said that Daniel Day-Lewis was his idol and just because he said that, I am dying to see what he does next because of the fact that he is influenced by one of Hollywood's very finest living actors! I will look forward to the rest of your career as well, Aaron!
Emma Stone. Well, well, well. Emma and I have come a long way in our actor-viewer relationship! Before her film debut, she had appeared on many episodes of certain TV shows such as Medium, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Malcolm in the Middle before she made her famous film debut with Superbad as the female lead and the love of Jonah Hill's Seth's life: Jules. Ever since then, she has been a very busy bee with big supporting roles in movies like The Rocker, The House Bunny, Ghost of Girlfriends Past, Zombieland, and Marmaduke. Now, she is being honored by this nomination and her first Golden Globe nomination (Best Actress for a Comedy or Musical) for her star-making leading role in Easy A! In her immediate future, she is team up with her Easy A director yet again for Friends with Benefits with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake, The Help, The Croods, and she is now the female lead in the Spider-Man reboot alongside Andrew Garfield as Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker's first love. Of all the actors nominated for this award, she's the one I'm probably most proud of to have watched her since her film debut. I mean, she just amazed me in Superbad with the character she played and the thing is that she seemed so warm and welcoming and safe yet so drop dead gorgeous at the same time! I was afraid that I would never see much of her tonight but thankfully for me, the majority of the young stars who I fall in love with after one of their earlier films, go on to do bigger and better things! I mean, she's like Lindsay Lohan 3.0 and I hope to God that she doesn't fall into the same traps that Lohan did and I don't think she will! She seems genuine and grounded enough and smart enough not to! I mean, she's getting really famous now in a business where if you get offered in a role in a big superhero film, that's almost like the sacred rite of passage for Hollywood actors nowadays and she's done it! She's made it in Hollywood! Once again, I feel so happy that I now have another star that I love that I'll be able to watch now guaranteed for the rest of my life!
So, if you ask me who should win, I honestly couldn't you an answer! I love each and every one of these actors with the obvious exception of Gemma Arterton and I can't just simply choose one over the other! Each and every actor is amazing in their own, unique way and bring something new, interesting, and compelling to watch on screen! Like I said with that superhero movie rite of passage, one actor has already been made famous because of playing a superhero, three actors on the list are about to go through that passage with both Spider-Man and Batman, and the other actor has already been named a Bond girl which considered by many could be a better rite of passage for an actor (and more honorable and traditional, perhaps) to signal to them that they have tons of potential to bring to the future movies of Hollywood. So, prepare to be talking about these guys no matter what for the next few years or even decades and for your children to watch and idolize them and even be inspired by them! You just sit and watch! In the mean time, I congratulate each and every one of the nominees for this accomplishment and for their future endeavors on the silver screen!