The BAFTA TV Awards concluded on Sunday, May 14 at the Royal Festival Hall in Southbank, London, with “Bad Sisters,” “This is Going to Hurt,” and “Derry Girls” the big winners with two awards each. You can take a look at the full list of winners here but read down further below for a number of interviews that happened backstage at the BAFTAs in the winners’ press conference room.
Ben Whishaw — Best Actor for “This is Going to Hurt” and BAFTA Must See Moment award for Paddington Bear meeting The Queen in “Platinum Jubilee: Party at the Palace”
Whishaw won his third BAFTA award for “This is Going to Hurt” by beating fellow nominees Gary Oldman (“Slow Horses”), Taron Egerton (“Black Bird”), Martin Freeman (“The Responder”), Cillian Murphy (“Peaky Blinders”), and Chaske Spencer (“The English”). He previously won two other TV awards — Best Actor in 2013 for “The Hollow Crown” and Best Supporting Actor in 2019 for “A Very English Scandal.” He was also nominated for Rising Star in 2007 (losing to Eva Green) and two more Best Actor TV awards — for “Criminal Justice” in 2009 (losing to Stephen Dillane for “The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall”) and “London Spy” in 2016 (losing to Mark Rylance for “Wolf Hall”).
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Whishaw was not awarded a BAFTA for Must See Moment (no one in particular is) but as the voice of Paddington Bear, he sure played a big part. Paddington and company beat out several other major nominees including the “Derry Girls” finale, the final roundtable in “The Traitors,” Sir Mo Farah‘s revelations in “The Real Mo Farah,” the rescue of Max to Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” in “Stranger Things,” and Nick and Charlie’s first kiss in “Heartstopper.”
On being part of the moment: “I thought it was very funny, very nicely written, mostly I thought that the Queen did a brilliant job of acting with nothing. It’s just a stick and a tennis ball on the end of it. So it was amazing. It’s hard to do. I thought she did a brilliant job.”
On breaking the fourth wall in “This is Going to Hurt:” “I was completely terrified of that. I really wanted them to cut all that so I wouldn’t have to do that, because I find that hard. But I had brilliant directors and they told me how to do it.”
Lenny Rush — Best Comedy Actor for Daisy May Cooper‘s “Am I Being Unreasonable?”
This was the 14-year-old first BAFTA nomination and win and he beat out a host of far more experienced actors including Daniel Radcliffe (“Weird: The Al Yankovic Story”), Jon Pointing (“Big Boys”), Joseph Gilgun (“Brassic”), Matt Berry (“What We Do in the Shadows”), and Stephen Merchant (“The Outlaws”).
On inspirations in the industry: “Daisy May Cooper. She helped me on the improv side, which I really enjoyed, I loved doing the improv, and I saw him earlier and I met him at a Q&A panel the other week, Stephen Merchant. I love Stephen Merchant, I think he’s so funny. He was just so funny, even off-screen, he’s the funniest person ever.”
On where he will put his BAFTA and how he will celebrate: “I’ve got a little shelf sort of thing above my telly and I think I’m going to put it right in the middle. My nan and my aunt and my grandad are all at home looking after my younger brother. It will probably be a late night, but why not?”
Adeel Akhtar — Best Supporting Actor for “Sherwood”
Akhtar won this award over fellow nominees Samuel Bottomley (“Somewhere Boy”), Josh Finan (“The Responder”), Salim Daw (“The Crown”), Jack Lowden (“Slow Horses”), and Will Sharpe (“The White Lotus”). This was Akhtar’s second BAFTA TV win after taking home Best Actor in 2017 for “Murdered By My Father.” He was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “Utopia” in 2015 (losing to Stephen Rea for “The Honourable Woman”) and earned a BAFTA Film Award bid for Best Actor last year for “Ali & Ava” (losing to Will Smith for “King Richard”).
On what he first noticed in the script: “Whenever you get a script, you sort of look at whether you can do it, whether you can do the part justice. That was my first main read of it, just to work out whether I could do it or not. And then beyond that, you know when you’re part of something very special when it feels like the narrative is taking care of itself.”
On what he loved about the script: “I don’t know if that’s in the writing or, again, drawing our attention to stuff that is traditionally overlooked — communities that are traditionally overlooked — but there was something about that which carried a momentum to the script that I felt like I had to be a part of it.”
Nicôle Lecky — Best Mini-Series for “Mood”
Lecky’s show was a surprise winner here, beating out the favorite “This is Going to Hurt” along with “A Spy Among Friends” and “The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe.” This was Lecky’s second BAFTA win after she won Best Original Music: Fiction for the same show at this year’s BAFTA TV Craft Awards. She was also nominated for Best Emerging Talent: Fiction but lost that one to Pete Jackson (“Somewhere Boy”).
On writing the story: “I conceived the story, wrote the story, and I spoke to so many incredible women that were sex workers and told me their personal stories and really did entrust me with them so for me to be stood here is also because of those women so, I’m very pleased.”
On future projects: “I already have a project that I’ve been writing. There’s other television and I’m writing a feature film at the moment so directing, writing, acting, all of the above.”
On making a show authentic and not becoming curtailed by what audiences are perceived to want: “You can kind of only be yourself. I think earlier, in my 20s, I tried to be other people, perhaps, and tried to write what people wanted me to write or say what I thought would be made and then sort of figured out that that was not working and then the moment I just kind of did what I wanted to do, I feel like that’s when people actually received it because received, kind of, authenticity, I think.”
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