EE Rising Star winner Bukky Bakray: I thought 100 people would watch the film

Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor
·2 min read

Actress Bukky Bakray has said she hopes that people see the “beauty in life” as she was named winner of the EE Rising Star award at the Bafta film awards.

The award is the only one to be voted for by the public, and previous winners include James McAvoy, Noel Clarke, Kristen Stewart and Tom Hardy.

Bakray was one of five nominees alongside Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark, Sope Dirisu and Conrad Khan.

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She grew up in east London and got her big break starring in 2019 coming-of-age drama Rocks, where she plays a teenage girl struggling to take care of herself and her younger brother after they are abandoned by their mother.

Speaking after her win, Bakray said: “I hope that viewers see the beauty in the mundane experience and they see the beauty in life and human beings as people.

“I think when you look at Rocks’ narrative, it’s not flashy, it’s not crazy, there’s no guns, there are no stunts, there is no this and that.

“Even though I love films that have that, this film is really minimalistic. It really focuses on life and human nature and humanity.

“They can see the beauty in Rocks through our gaze, they can see the beauty in their own lives and know you don’t have to be on Wikipedia to be significant.”

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The actress added: “When we filmed Rocks I thought 100 people would watch the film, maximum. I didn’t think it would have this reach.”

Other winners at the ceremony, being held at the Royal Albert Hall, included Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn in the supporting actress category and previous rising star winner Daniel Kaluuya in the supporting actor category.