Thanks to such films as 12 Years A Slave and TV shows like Downton Abbey, the Brits are dominating award season this year and we couldn’t be prouder. From actors who are in line for winning this year, to TV stars we just can’t get enough of, we’ve pick 18 (believe us, it was tough) British actors who make us proud to be Brits.
12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor is the British actor of the moment. His role as Solomon Northup, who was tragically kidnapped and sold into slavery for 12 years, has been described as one of, if not the, best films EVER.
You’ve probably not heard of George MacKay before but we guarantee you will soon. He’s the up and coming Brit actor who’s already starred with Daniel Craig, Saoirse Ronan and Clive Owen, and is nominated for this year’s EE BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Judi Dench has been a British mainstay for years playing a continuing role in the Bond films, as well as plenty of other award-winning films over the years, but it’s her most recent role in Philomena, which has seen her jump back up to the top of her profession.
Not only was Kaya Scodelario our very own Effy in Skins but she’s also got a major role in the next big dystopian flick The Maze Runner. This will be her first major film role and we couldn’t be more excited to see her on the big screen. Here’s to cracking hollywood, girl.
Simon Pegg is probably the most unlikely of famous British actors but after his film Shaun Of The Dead became a massive hit there was no stopping him. After starring in a number of successful films (plus two sequels to Shaun Of The Dead), he’s now one of the main characters one of the biggest Hollywood reboots ever; Star Trek.
Jessica Brown-Findlay wormed her way into all our hearts as the loveable Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey and after making the brave decision to leave (*sob*) she’s got big things ahead. Watch out for her opposite Colin Farrell in A New York Winter’s Tale and Daniel Radcliffe in Frankenstein.
Dame Helen Mirren is quite literally a legend. Not only is she strong believer in beauty at every age, she’s played everyone from the Queen (for which she won an Oscar) to Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville.
Tom Hiddleston may have played the baddie in Thor but that hasn’t stopped us falling for him hard. With that cheeky smile and sexy voice, we’re counting down the days until this British hunk is back on our screens.
Martin Freeman may not have been on your film radar up until recently, but there’s a good reason he is now. Not only does he play loveable Sherlock sidekick Dr Watson in the popular BBC show, but he also beat out massive competition to star as the main character in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy.
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James McAvoy has come along way since Shameless. After starring in The Chronicles of Narnia, The Last King Of Scotland and Starter For 10 he won the EE BAFTA Rising Star Award, and has since gone on to star opposite Keira Knightley in Atonement, Angelina Jolie in Wanted and Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First Class.
Emma Thompson has stared in some serious British classics during her long career, from Ang Lee’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense And Sensibility, to the much-loved family favourite Nanny McPhee. Her latest film Saving Mr. Banks (in which she plays Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers) has been nominated for Best British Film at the BAFTAs.
Benedict Cumberbatch has been on a film roll lately. Starring in three of the biggest films of 2013 (Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years A Slave, The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug), he also plays the eccentric Sherlock Holmes in the successful BBC drama.
Olivia Colman is the British star literally everyone likes. Undeniable funny, awkward in a cute way, with a goofy smile, her roles in British TV shows and films such as Broadchurch and Tyrannosaur have won her well-deserved praise. If you’re still in doubt, make sure you check out our 11 reasons why we really, really love Olivia Colman feature.
Eddie Redmayne shot to stardom last year thanks to his role in Les Misérables but he’d already bagged some impressive roles before then, including My Week With Marilyn and The Other Boleyn Girl. This year you can see him in the Wachowski siblings’ next movie, Jupiter Ascending.
She’s the Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps actress who shot to stardom after playing the lead in Legally Blonde: The Musical and yet remains wonderfully down-to-earth. Keep your eye on her because we’re predicting big things.
He played the scrumptious Mr Darcy (twice!), won an Oscar for his performance in The King’s Speech and doesn’t shy away from appearing in some seriously questionable chick flicks *cough * Mamma Mia! *cough*. How could we not love Colin Firth?
Beautiful, fashionable and a brilliant actress to boot, we get all warm and gooey every time we think about Keira Knightley. She’s kissed Orlando Bloom in Pirates Of The Caribbean, recycled her wedding dress and can pull off a wig (The Duchess, Anna Karenina…) Keira Knightley you are our hero.
About A Boy, Skins, X-Men: First Class… It feels like we’ve watched Nicholas Hoult grow up on screen and we couldn’t be prouder he’s cracked Hollywood. Not only does he have another X-Men film coming out soon but he’s also starring opposite Tom Hardy in a Mad Max remake.
See all the 2014 BAFTA nominations.