Now the five nominees of the fifth annual Orange Rising Star Award have been announced, and as usual it's a mix of the really quite famous (Twilight star Kristen Stewart) and the really quite obscure (A Prophet actor Tahar Rahim). If you follow the BAFTA Film Awards, you'll know that, alongside all the categories decided by Academy members, there's one prize where it's the public vote that matters. The Orange Rising Star Award was introduced in 2006, when James McAvoy won, and since then Eva Green, Shia LaBeouf and Noel Clarke have all scooped the honour.
Now the five nominees of the fifth annual Orange Rising Star Award have been announced, and as usual it's a mix of the really quite famous (Twilight star Kristen Stewart) and the really quite obscure (A Prophet actor Tahar Rahim).
Nominee Nicholas Hoult was there at BAFTA's London HQ this morning for the announcement, signaling that he's not content to sit back and let Stewart win the prize without a fight. And although few have yet seen his new film A Single Man (it's not out until February 12), the likely voting constituency massively overlaps with the audience that watched him in TV's Skins. After all, Clarke beat arguably bigger stars last year thanks to his roles in urban teen flicks Kidulthood and Adulthood and TV's Dr Who.
Then there's Carey Mulligan, who is almost certain to earn a "proper" BAFTA Best Actress nomination for An Education. Her campaigning efforts are more likely to go in that direction, but she might also seize this opportunity to build her profile with the paying public ahead of her next film, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, co-starring 2008 ORSA winner LaBeouf.
Jesse Eisenberg joins Stewart as the other American on the list – coincidentally or not, they both starred in US indie flick Adventureland last September. Since that film was hardly gangbusters at the box-office, the distributor is probably wishing it had waited until now to release it. In the intervening months, Eisenberg enjoyed his first bona fide box-office hit, with zombie comedy Zombieland. You might say that the actor occupies the place on the shortlist enjoyed last time by Michael Cera – and Cera lost to Clarke.
The wild card in the pack is Frenchman Tahar Rahim, whose movie A Prophet doesn't open until Friday next week, January 22. In the official guidelines, the award "honours a young actor or actress of any nationality who has demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and begun to capture the imagination of the British public as a film star in the making".
The jury selecting the five nominees evidently bent the rules regarding that last point, since the British public wouldn't know Rahim if he fell on their head, but hopefully they will soon. He recently won Best Actor at the European Film Awards for A Prophet.
To vote for your favourite, go to http://bafta.orange.co.uk/OrangeRisingStarAward/