‘West Side Story’s’ Ariana DeBose, ‘The King’s Man’s’ Harris Dickinson on Their BAFTA Nominations
Art and Experience:
Nominees are selected for demonstrating “exceptional talent in film over the past year.” Previous winners of the award have included James McAvoy, Eva Green, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, Tom Holland, Letitia Wright and Micheal Ward.
The award, which is in its seventeenth year, is the only BAFTA honor to be decided by the general public, who can vote for their favorite online.
Just hours after the nominations were unveiled, DeBose and Dickinson sat down with Variety to discuss their nominations.
Congrats on the nominations! How are you feeling?
DeBose: I’m just thrilled that I get to be here in London to celebrate this nomination and celebrate all of my fellow EE Rising Star nominees, because I am very well aware that every single one of them is massively talented and I find them all incredibly inspiring.
Dickinson: Wonderful, thank you very much. [I found out] a couple of weeks ago. It was incredibly exciting. It’s strange, because I wasn’t able to tell anyone so it’s always odd when you sort of have to quietly celebrate. It’s one of those things that I’ve looked to as a young, aspiring actor with great admiration for years. So to be included and nominated, especially with the other nominees, is really special.
You’ve both appeared in some amazing projects, including “West Side Story” (DeBose) and “The King’s Man” (Dickinson). What would your dream role be?
DeBose: I don’t think my dream role has been written yet. I’m incredibly inspired by stories of unsung heroes, women who haven’t been heard in the fullest way or what they had to offer was not fully realized because they’re a product of their time. And also, I’m interested in sci-fi, and thrillers and political statements, and yes, I would love to play a superhero. Why? Because it sounds fun. I’d also love to play a villain. So I look for characters that are dynamic and I look for stories that I feel need to be told.
Dickinson: That’s such a difficult question. I was around 12 or 13 when Christopher Nolan’s Batman, the second Batman came out — “The Dark Knight” in 2008. I remember always wanting to be Batman but those shoes are well and truly filled. So any role in that universe would be fun, but I don’t know. There is no dream role. I think each role offers its own set of challenges and exciting possibilities.
You’ve recently worked on some great projects. Ariana, what was it like working on Matthew Vaughan’s upcoming spy thriller “Argylle” alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard and John Cena?
DeBose: It was great. It was my first experience working in the U.K. and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I really want to come back so I’m actively looking for work in the U.K.
I can’t say enough about it because it was just so playful and yes, action films are incredibly technical — it was the first experience for me in this genre, and I loved the attention to detail. Matthew creates such intelligent action films and they’re kind of sexy, but they’re also fun. There’s a lot of fun to them, and like a little bit of spontaneity in and of itself. And it was really cool to make a movie like that with him and his crazy cast that he assembled because, I mean, [the list of A-list names in the film], that’s crazy.
And Harris, what was it like working on “See How They Run” with Adrien Brody, Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan?
Dickinson: It was brilliant. I mean, you know, to watch Sam and Saoirse work was an absolute honor. I think they’re two of the most formidable actors working at the moment. And I’m genuinely such a fan of them. So it was special. I mean, Sam specifically is so playful and fun that, you know, each day felt like a real treat.
Interviews have been condensed for space and clarity.
Public voting for the EE Rising Star Award is now open and the winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on March 13, 2022.