Oscars 2021: This year’s British nominees from Carey Mulligan to Riz Ahmed

Leah Sinclair
·5-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The 2021 Academy Awards are due to take place on Sunday night, and there is a strong showing of British talent among the nominees.

From Vanessa Kirby in Pieces Of A Woman to Daniel Kaluuya in a Judas And The Black Messiah, a number of British actors and creators have been recognised for their work this year, and could also make history.

With Riz Ahmed potentially becoming the first Muslim to win best actor at the awards to Emerald Fennell possibly becoming the second female to win best director and best screenplay, we’ve listed the British stars who are flying the flag at this year’s ceremony:

Carey Mulligan

Nominated for the best actress prize for her role as a traumatised woman seeking revenge in Promising Young Woman, Ms Mulligan, 35, is no stranger to the Oscars.

She was nominated for her break-out role in Lone Scherfig’s film An Education in 2010, when she was also in the running for the Bafta rising star award.

She made her stage debut in 2004 in the play Forty Winks at the Royal Court Theatre in London and has since starred in films including Never Let Me Go, The Great Gatsby, Drive, Shame and Suffragette.

Daniel Kaluuya

Favourite to win the best-supporting actor prize for his role as Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Judas And The Black Messiah, Kaluuya, 32, has been known to British audiences since his role in teen drama Skins more than 10 years ago.

Since then he has become an international star, with roles in Black Panther, Widows and Queen & Slim, as well as Jordan Peele’s horror satire Get Out, which landed him his first Oscar nomination.

Vanessa Kirby

First-time nominee Kirby, 33, shot to fame when she was cast as Princess Margaret in the first series of Netflix drama The Crown.

Since then she has starred in action films such as Mission: Impossible - Fallout, and Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw but she gained the attention of Oscar voters with her emotional performance as a young mother whose home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy in Pieces Of A Woman.

Amazon Studios via AP
Amazon Studios via AP

Riz Ahmed

The first Muslim to be nominated for the best actor Oscar, Mr Ahmed, 38, has been widely praised for his role as a drummer who loses his hearing in Sound Of Metal.

He first found fame with British audiences as one of four British terrorists who set out to train for and commit an act of terror in Chris Morris’s 2010 film Four Lions.

Since then the actor, who is also a rapper known as Riz MC, has starred in Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne, Venom and Star Wars film Rogue One, as well as TV outings on Girls and The Night Of.

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Already an Oscar winner for his defining role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence Of The Lambs, Sir Anthony landed his sixth nod for his leading turn as a man slipping into dementia in The Father.

He was previously nominated for The Remains Of The Day, Nixon, Amistad and last year’s The Two Popes, in which he played Pope Benedict XVI.

Now 83, Sir Anthony counts Hitchcock, Beowulf, Legends Of The Fall and his reprisals of Dr Lecter in Hannibal and Red Dragon among his famous roles.

Gary Oldman

Oldman, 63, is a recent Oscar winner for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, but has been recognised by the Academy again for his star turn as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz in Mank.

His first starring role was as Sid Vicious in Sid And Nancy, and since then he has starred in JFK, Dracula, True Romance, Romeo Is Bleeding and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - which landed him his first Oscar nomination.

Sacha Baron Cohen

Nominated for two Oscars this year, Mr Baron Cohen, 49, is recognised for his supporting acting work as social activist Abbie Hoffman in The Trial Of The Chicago 7 and his screenplay writing on Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which saw him reprise his role as the fictional Kazakh journalist.

The comedian rose to prominence in the late 1990s on The 11 O’Clock Show, which spawned his break-out character Ali G and landed him his own show.

Mr Baron Cohen debuted the character of Borat in the 2006 spoof documentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and reprised the role again for the 2020 sequel.

While the 49-year-old is best known for adopting different personas he has also recently forged a career as a serious actor.

AP
AP

Olivia Colman

Ms Colman, 47, first found fame as Sophie, the girlfriend of David Mitchell’s neurotic Mark, in the British comedy Peep Show, before becoming the toast of Hollywood and an Oscar winner.

She landed the best actress Academy Award in 2019 for her role as Queen Anne in The Favourite after a successful career on the small screen in Green Wing, That Mitchell And Webb Look and Twenty Twelve, and in British films including Hot Fuzz and Tyrannosaur before she played the role of Carol Thatcher opposite Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady.

She has become a mega-star in the UK with TV roles such as The Night Manager, Fleabag, Broadchurch and The Crown and is now nominated for her second Oscar, this time in the supporting category, for her role in The Father.

Emerald Fennell

Ms Fennell, 35, is likely most recognisable to British audiences as an actress - she played Nurse Patsy Mount in Call The Midwife and Camilla Parker Bowles in The Crown.

But it is her directorial debut, with the film Promising Young Woman, that has brought the attention of the Oscars.

She is nominated in the best director category and the best original screenplay category.

If she wins for directing she would be the second woman in history to take the prize, and if she wins for her screenplay she would be the first solo woman to win since Diablo Cody for Juno in 2007.

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