The artists featured in BIFA’s Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories, in true representation of their respective films, are some of the most diverse we’ve ever seen. The ten nominees, representing ten different films, offer us a fascinating snapshot of some of the Britain’s (and the world’s) most exciting performers, from rising stars to seasoned veterans, new faces to international superstars.
In the Best Supporting Actress category we see the familiar faces of Gemma Arterton (St. Trinian’s, Quantum of Solace) and Naomie Harris (28 Days Later, Skyfall), nominated for their roles in The Girl With All The Gifts and Our Kind of Traitor. Whatever happens on the night, Harris will walk away from BIFA 2016 a winner: she will be receiving the Variety Award for her global impact and role in focusing the spotlight on the UK. Another familiar face, South African actress Terry Pheto (Tsotsi, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), is nominated for her role in Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom. The other two nominees, Shana Swash (for My Feral Heart) and Avin Manshadi (for Under the Shadow) have both been nominated for their debut feature film performances, an outstanding achievement considering the strength of this year’s field of competition. You may recognise Shana Swash from her part as Demi in Eastenders, transferring her acting talents from TV to film for the first time. Avin Manshadi will be less easy to place: at nine years old, she’s one of our youngest-ever nominees and a –particularly scary – joy to watch in Babak Anvari’s chilling horror film.
In the Best Supporting Actor category another actor, Arinzé Kene (Eastenders, Crazyhead), has made his second hop from TV to film and is nominated for his performance in Ben A. Williams’ The Pass. Nominated with him are three of the world’s best known male performers: Jamie Dornan for Anthropoid, Christopher Lloyd for I Am Not A Serial Killer and two-time BIFA nominee Sean Harris for Trespass Against Us. Lastly, comedian, writer/director and actor Brett Goldstein – the only actor nominated for a comedic performance – has received a nod for his part in Rachel Tunnard’s multi-BIFA nominated Adult Life Skills.
Find out more about each nominee and the films they’re in below – oh, and don’t forget to tune in to our Facebook Live event to watch the winners be announced live on the 4th December!
Brett Goldstein – Brendan in Adult Life Skills
From the (very funny) press materials for the (very funny) Adult Life Skills: “Brett is an actor and a writer and a stand up and a swimmer. He wrote and starred in SuperBob. He has massive eyebrows.”
In Adult Life Skills, Brett plays Brendan, an awkward estate agent with aspirations to write a novel. Although a school friend of Anna (Jodie Whittaker) and her friend Fiona (Rachael Deering), they never considered him ‘boyfriend material’ due to his soft voice and decision (just once) to wear pink shorts on a French exchange. As Brendan shows Anna and her family around a series of prospective flats to rent (ones Anna’s grandma declares would cause Anna’s hymen to grow back) his teenage crush on Anna is revived. However his awkward interpersonal skills continually undermine his attempts to seduce her.
Jamie Dornan – Jan Kubiš in Anthropoid
2016 sees Jamie star in a number of pictures: he will take a lead role in The 9th Life of Louis Drax, the story of a psychologist, Dr. Allen Pascal (Dornan) who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall due to mysterious consequences, and in Parallel Films’ Jadotville, a military drama on the 1961 siege of 150 UN Irish troops in the Congo, in which Jamie will portray the lead role of Commander Pat Quinlan. Jamie is from northern Ireland and is perhaps best known for his role in three seasons of The Fall and the first two adaptations of the Fifty Shades novels.
In Anthropoid, Dornan plays the role of Jan Kubiš, a Czechoslovak soldier from the Czech army-in-exile on a two-man mission to assassinate SS General Reinhardt Heydrich, the main architect of the final solution and a man many saw as Hitler’s natural successor.
Christopher Lloyd – Crowley in I Am Not a Serial Killer
Christopher Lloyd is an American actor most famous for his role as Doc in Back to the Future trilogy, Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family movies. In addition to his work in film, Lloyd has an equally prominent television profile, having won two Primetime Emmy Awards for playing Jim Ignatowski on the comedy series Taxi. He earned a third Emmy for his 1992 guest appearance on Road to Avonlea.
I Am Not A Serial Killer is a tense horror following the young and disturbed John Wayne Cleaver, a 16-year-old who helps his mum and sister at the family mortuary. John is obsessed with serial killers but doesn’t want to become one, so he sets out a set of rigid rules for himself to stay ‘good’ and ‘normal’. When somebody starts murdering people in John’s small Midwest town, he is forced to investigate and a supernatural game of cat-and-mouse ensues. In the film, Lloyd plays Mr Crowley: John’s seemingly kind, but ultimately mysterious, neighbour.
Arinzé Kene – Ade in The Pass
Arinzé Kene is a British actor and playwright. He has been seen at the Young Vic in London, playing Raymond LeGendre in the Che Walker play Been So Long, as well as hitting the small screen as Connor in Eastenders. As a playwright, Kene penned Estate Walls, which received a reading at the Young Vic Theatre.
The Pass is the story of three very different nights over 10 years in the life of a Premier League Footballer. Jason (Russell Tovey) is at the beginning of his career, and on the night before his first big international match he and long-time friend and team-mate Ade (Arinze Kene) share a hotel room, trying to beat the inevitable pre-match tensions with locker-room banter and teenage high-jinks. Out of nowhere Jason kisses Ade. The emotional repercussions of this pass, and the decisions that follow on and off the pitch, have a major impact on every aspect of the public and private lives of both men across the next decade.
Sean Harris – Gordon Bennett in Trespass Against Us
Sean Harris is best known for his role as Solomon Lane, the lead villain in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Harris has appeared in several independent British films, notably as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in 24 Hour Party People and in ’71 which earned him a BIFA nomination. He’s also appeared in Brothers of the Head, Harry Brown, Brighton Rock and critically acclaimed miniseries Red Riding Trilogy and Southcliffe. He broke into the mainstream with supporting roles in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Neil Jordan’s The Borgias.
In Trespass Against Us, three generations of the notorious Cutler family live as outlaws in the Cotswolds. The Cutlers live by their own rules – poaching, pilfering and provoking the police. Chad finds himself torn between respect for his archaic father, Colby, and a desire to forge a better life for his children. When Colby coerces him into a major robbery one night, Chad is faced with a choice that will change his life forever. Should he follow tradition and do his father’s bidding as his rightful son and heir, or should he break the chain and set out on a new path?
Gemma Arterton – Miss Justineau in The Girl With All the Gifts
Gemma Arterton has recently finished filming London set A Hundred Streets alongside Idris Elba and Samantha Barks, which is due for release later this year. Gemma’s career highlights include her role as Gemma Bovery in the 2014 adaptation of Madame Bovary and Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe. She also starred as iconic Bond Girl Strawberry Fields in Quantum of Solace and in J Blakeson’s independent film The Disappearance of Alice Creed. For television, Gemma starred as Tess in the BBC adaptation of Tess of the D’Ubervilles with Eddie Redmayne and as Elizabeth Bennett in ITV’s costume drama Lost in Austin. Her theatre credits include lead role in this year’s critically acclaimed Nell Gwynn and a run in the hit West End musical version of the 2010 film Made in Dagenham at the Adelphi Theatre last year, for which she received multiple award nominations.
Arterton plays Miss Justineau in the gripping sci-fi Girl With All the Gifts. The film takes place in the near future: humanity has been all but destroyed by a fungal disease that eradicates free will and turns its victims into flesh eating ‘hungries’. Only a small group of children seem immune to its effects.
Shana Swash – Eve – My Feral Heart
Known for her long-running appearance as Demi Miller in the flagship BBC soap Eastenders Shana has developed a style that is not only engaging, but incredibly natural.
Swash plays Eve in My Feral Heart. The story follows Luke, an independent young man with Down’s syndrome, who is forced to live in a care home after his elderly mother dies. He struggles to settle there, frustrated at having his wings clipped by its rules, and totally unimpressed by his new housemates. His disappointment with his new home soon turns to wonder when Luke discovers a way out and begins to explore the surrounding countryside. When he is caught sneaking out by Pete, a troubled youth who tends the gardens at the home, the two strike up an unlikely rapport: Pete covers for Luke when he sneaks out and in return Luke helps Pete clear the garden. It’s on one such illicit excursion to the adjoining field that Luke discovers a young injured girl in desperate need of his help…
Naomie Harris – Gail – Our Kind of Traitor
Naomie’s recent credits include Spectre, Southpaw and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opposite Idris Elba. The London-born actress first broke through in 2002 with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, going on to further international recognition and a BAFTA Orange Rising Star nomination for her role as the voodoo witch in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Harris also starred in Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein at London’s National Theatre. As well as Our Kind of Traitor, in the coming months, Naomie will be seen in the BIFA-nominated Moonlight and opposite Will Smith in Collateral Beauty.
In Our Kind of Traitor, Harris plays Gail, who, while on holiday in Marrakech with her husband, befriends a flamboyant and charismatic Russian, Dima, who unbeknownst to them is a kingpin money launderer for the Russian mafia. When Dima asks for their help to deliver classified information to the British Secret Services, Perry and Gail get caught in a dangerous world of international espionage and dirty politics. The couple is propelled on a perilous journey through Paris and Bern, a safe house in the French Alps, to the murky corners of the City of London and an alliance with the British Government via a ruthless and determined MI6 agent.
Avin Manshadi – Dorsa – Under the Shadow
Avin is a nine year old actress who is making her acting and feature film debut in Under The Shadow. She is a very bright and promising young talent who has been able to grasp a challenging and complex role, and make it her own.
Manshadi plays the role of Dorsa in Under the Shadow. The film takes place in Tehran, 1988 as the Iran-Iraq war rumbles into its eighth year. The bombing campaigns focused on the city, coupled with the country’s bloody revolution, slowly tear a mother and daughter (Manshadi) apart. As they struggle to stay together in the midst of these modern terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment, threatening their grip on reality.
Terry Pheto – Ruth – A United Kingdom
Terry is a South African actress who rose to fame through her role as Miriam in 2005’s Tsotsi, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2012, she won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in How to Steal 2 Million.
A United Kingdom is a British biographical romantic drama film directed by Amma Asante and starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, co-stars in the 2012 film Jack Reacher. The screenplay is by Guy Hibbert, based on the book Colour Bar by Susan Williams. The film is based on the true-life romance between Sir Seretse Khama and his wife Ruth Williams Khama