Hollywood Authentic hit the red carpet, ceremony and parties at this year’s EE BAFTA awards – join us for a recap on the fun from the South Bank’s Royal Festival Hall.
The festivities kicked off with a proposal at 2pm as an early-arriving guest popped the question and host David Tennant took to the carpet to greet waiting fans as the cars began arriving. It was a family affair for many of the nominees; Emily Blunt, dressed in gold-beaded Elie Saab, arrived with her parents, as did Paul Mescal (plus his siblings) while Christopher Nolan brought along his teen son, Magnus. The red carpet was soon filled with talent taking the opportunity to greet each other and admire the performances that had impressed voters; and in the case of Mescal (rocking Cartier lapel diamonds), get star struck by David Beckham.
Florence Pugh (in Harris Reed with statement Boucheron jewels) embraced Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Bradley Cooper (long-line Louis Vuitton) and Carey Mulligan high-fived, the Chicken Run 2 team carried maquettes of their characters in fowl evening wear while Emma Stone, wearing custom Louis Vuitton, Margot Robbie and Emily Blunt swapped news. As nominees and guests mingled, Hannah Waddington prepared for her mid-show number by dancing to the DJ with Colman Domingo while they waited to be snapped by press photographers. Plum-coloured fits were a theme with Cate Blanchett arriving in burgundy Louis Vuitton, Daisy Edgar-Jones in wine Gucci hotpants, Lashana Lynch embellished in maroon Prada, Josh Hartnett head-to-toe in claret and Ryan Gosling giving his custom Gucci white suit a raspberry trim.
The festive mood continued inside as guests sipped Taittinger over three floors, Gillian Anderson admiring Taylor Russell’s white Loewe gown as attendees found their seats, and Liliput the Maltese terrier getting ready backstage for her show opener with Tennant. He promised the ceremony would be as ‘smooth as Ken’s chest’ and with a back-to-basics plan after last-year’s breakout sofa chats, the gongs were handed out in a brisk running time – including Sophie Ellis Bexter’s barnstorming rendition of ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ from Saltburn.
Leading the nominations race (with 13), Oppenheimer cleaned up – taking home 7 accolades including best film, director, actor and supporting actor, while Poor Things netted 5 including best actress. Holocaust drama The Zone Of Interest also won big with three category triumphs.
Positioned at the side of stage, Hollywood Authentic founder Greg Williams captured the winners exclusively as they left the spotlight, BAFTA masks in hand. ”The coolest trophy by far!” exclaimed adapted screenplay winner, Cord Jefferson, while EE Rising star winner Mia McKenna-Bruce giddily admitted she was so stunned that had no idea what she’d said in her speech as last year’s recipient Emma McKay fanned her with the award envelope.
Putting himself in good stead to win at Oscar, Robert Downey Jr. took home the supporting actor mask for Oppenheimer (but only after signing for it backstage) 31 years after winning for Chaplin, telling the audience “the entirety of my life story in 30 seconds‘’ and that Christopher Nolan had suggested he “attempt an understated approach as a last ditch effort to perhaps resurrect my dwindling credibility” with the role.
He was followed onstage by The Holdovers star Da’Vine Joy Randolph, winning best supporting actress and continuing to dominate this category during awards season. Tears threatened as she praised her co-star Paul Giamatti and reminded viewers that her character in the film served as “a beautiful reminder of how her story has rippled through the world.”
After Samantha Morton received a fellowship award for her decades-long career (feted via video by Tom Cruise), Cillian Murphy continued the Oppenheimer sweep with a Best Actor win presented by last year’s Best Actress winner, Cate Blanchett. Heralding his “Oppen-homies” and the “most dynamic, decent, kindest producer-director partnership in Hollywood” in Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, he waited in the wings to see the outcome of the Best Film category. Before that Emma Stone bagged Best Actress from Idris Elba, keeping the family theme going in her speech by thanking her mom for making her “believe this crazy idea I could do something like this” and also for giving her life. A joke that played well in the auditorium but also backstage when the Oppenheimer team came off for their Best Film win and Emily Blunt told Stone how much she’d enjoyed her speech.
While the team embraced and handed the award to each other, Blunt’s proud dad held her handbag and congratulated Waddington on her soulful rendition of “Time After Time” during the in memoriam section. The closing category was particularly memorable for the surprise arrival of presenter Michael J Fox, who was touched to receive a standing ovation. His wife Tracy Pollen waited backstage to congratulate the star on his speech, especially courageous as he continues to struggle with Parkinson’s. As he stood at the podium he enthused; “There’s a reason why they say movies are magic – cos movies can change your day, change your outlook, they can sometimes even change your life”.
Racing to the green room for a celebratory photo, the Oppenheimer team then hit the dinner downstairs as guests at tables decorated to represent the Best Film nominees were served a starter of six root bhaji and roast carrot, a chicken caesar main with triple cooked chips and a toffee chocolate dessert with vanilla mascarpone and a tiny chocolate BAFTA mask. As glasses clinked, Ayo Edebiri and Emma Corrin chatted on the stars, Hannah Waddington and Michael Sheen caught up at a table as Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal had a Normal People reunion. Stone changed into a monochrome dress with candy-stripe shoulders for her dinner and she wasn’t the only one swapping looks as the parties kicked off across town.
Florence Pugh slipped into David Koma white lace to take in the Universal celebration party for Oppenheimer at the Nomad Hotel in Covent Garden before stopping by the British Vogue and Tiffany afterparty at Annabel’s alongside her co-star Robert Downey Jr., who’d changed his formal black shirt for a Sex Pistols t-shirt. Also in attendance were Anna Wintour (in trademark sunglasses), Dua Lipa, Anya Taylor Joy, Emily Blunt, Rosamund Pike, Clare Foy, Sophie Ellis Bexter, Andrew Scott, Idris Elba, Da’vine Joy Randolph and Emerald Fennell.
The celebrations continued at the now-legendary Netflix party at The Chiltern Firehouse where Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott (in red Berluti) continued their awards season bromance, Hannah Waddington and Sophie Ellis Bexter swapped performance notes and Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper hung out. They were joined by a who’s who from cinema, including Phoebe Dynevor, J.A. Bayona, Idris Elba, Regé-Jean Page, Teo Yoo, Rosamund Pike, Callum Turner, Archie Madekwe, Lily James and Keegan-Michael Key (still heroically wearing a pristine tux). The merriment went on long into small hours…
Best Film – Oppenheimer
Outstanding British Film – The Zone Of Interest
Best Director – Christopher Nolan
Outstanding Debut By By British Writer, Director Or Producer – Earth Mama
Film Not In The English Language – The Zone Of Interest
Best Documentary – 20 Days In Mariupol
Best Animated Film – The Boy And The Heron
Best Original Screenplay – Anatomy Of A Fall
Best Adapted Screenplay – American Fiction
Best Leading Actress – Emma Stone
Best Leading Actor – Cillian Murphy
Best Supporting Actress – Da’Vine Joy Randolph
Best Supporting Actor – Robert Downey Jr
Best Casting – The Holdovers
Best Cinematography – Oppenheimer
Best Editing – Oppenheimer
Best Costume – Poor Things
Best Original Score – Oppenheimer
Best Production Design – Poor Things
Best Sound – The Zone Of Interest
Best Visual Effects – Poor Things
Best British Short Film – Jellyfish And Lobster
EE Rising Star – Mia McKenna-Bruce
Words by Jane Crowther
Photographs by Greg Williams