Oscar frontrunners Ariana DeBose and Troy Kotsur scoop Baftas
Oscar frontrunners Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose have scooped prizes at the Bafta film awards, where sci-fi epic Dune has also won a string of gongs.
Coda star Kotsur, who could make Oscar history as the first deaf actor to win a prize, scooped the best supporting actor statue at the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Speaking on stage with his interpreter, the US performer said: “I think it’s all great you’re recognising my work from all the way across the sea, it’s truly amazing.
“I would just like to say congratulations to James Bond, 007, for the 60th anniversary. Have you considered maybe a deaf James Bond, 008?”
DeBose picked up the supporting actress prize for her turn as Anita in West Side Story.
She said: “This means so much to me, I’m somebody who sings, dances, acts.
“I speak dance better than I speak English.
“It’s not every day you get to bring to life a character using all of these disciplines.”
No Time To Die star Lashana Lynch won the EE rising star award, the only Bafta prize voted for by the public.
Collecting the trophy from last year’s winner, Bukky Bakray, Lynch said: “Queen tings, which it is.”
She added: “I’m grateful for a working-class foundation that has taught me everything I need to know about failure, about nos and what nos mean and how to celebrate your yeses.”
She continued: “I would like to thank the women of this country who taught me what it is to be in this industry as a dark-skinned woman. I thank you for laying the foundation for people like me.”
Blockbuster Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve and based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 novel, has scored awards for special visual effects, cinematography, sound and original score.
Actress Rebel Wilson, hosting the ceremony, opened the awards by making jokes about her recent weight loss.
The Pitch Perfect star took to the stage in a sparkly red gown and said: “I might look a bit different from the last time you saw me here.”
Referring to a picture of her at the 2020 ceremony that appeared on screen, she added: “That was me two years ago and since then I’ve done quite a transformation – I hope JK Rowling still approves.
“Everyone is asking me, why did you lose weight? Clearly it was to get the attention of Robert Pattinson.”
She continued: “I didn’t lose weight just to get a guy, I did it to get more acting roles.
“Now I can play the non-funny love interest in an Adam Sandler film.”
She also joked about the box office success of The Batman, saying it was “ironic” the film had been such a hit in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: “One man and a bat started everything, decimating the film industry, two years later one man and a bat should be the one to save it.”
Wilson also quipped that she would be taking over from Daniel Craig as the next James Bond.
The Australian actress told the Bafta audience: “Hold on to your martinis because the Broccolis have let me announce it here and now, this is a scoop, I’m proud to announce that the new James Bond will be me! Oh my god, yes!
“I don’t want people going crazy because there will be a female James Bond, it’s not going to change things that much.”
She added: “Here’s my pitch for the new Bond film – Bond goes to Australia and it can be called Die And G’day.
“And because of the gender pay gap I actually won’t be 007, I’ll be 004.5″
Wilson, who had promised she would not shy away from risque jokes, later added: “I was going to do a musical number as host – it was about Prince Andrew.
“It was on roller-skates. It was called Pizza Express but don’t worry, I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to sing.
“I’m saving my voice for the sequel to Cats.”
The Duke of Cambridge, who is the president of Bafta, is absent from the ceremony this year but recorded a special video message in which he congratulated those nominated.
He also praised the work of Bafta’s breakthrough programme, a year-long mentoring and guidance initiative, saying it “helps people achieve their true potential”.
The EE British Academy Film Awards will air on BBC One at 7pm.