Loving the art of storytelling was a key theme throughout the night at the Beverly Hilton at BAFTA/LA’s Britannia Awards. Long a night of comedy, Friday night had touches of poignancy as honorees eschewed politics to discuss other topics closer to home. The evening’s emcee was Brit rapper-comic Doc Brown.
Samuel L. Jackson, recipient of the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment from Brie Larson, said he loved storytelling and performing for his friends as a child. “It’s been an amusing trip, I’ve made some interesting choices that made for interesting films,” he said, citing “Pulp Fiction” for one. “I get new fans as they come of age and watch it.”
He paid tribute to his longtime publicist Lisa Kasteler “for helping me navigate the world.” Jackson said he realized from a young age, “I like the sound of applause.” But Kasteler taught him “how to talk about myself so I didn’t sound like I was in love with myself.”
Jake Gyllenhaal, who presented Ang Lee with the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing, said he thinks frequently of his “Brokeback Mountain” co-star Heath Ledger and how far the LGBT world has come since that movie came out. After the big love scene in “Brokeback,” he said he turned to Lee who broke out into a big smile and said, “So gay.”
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Lee, for his part, said he was so tired during the production of “Brokeback,” having such finished filming “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hulk.” “The shots in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ are so boring,” he said. His father had just died, but “that movie nurtured me.”
Lee thanked his actors who were “tortured by my bad English and bad sense of humor.”
Ewan McGregor, who received the Britannia for his philanthropy, said, “This really should go to the volunteers of Unicef, not me.” He started working with Unicef after seeing the work the organization did during a motorcycle trip across Asia. There is a great need with so many displaced in the Syrian civil war he said and urged attendees to support a charity. “The little things make a big difference,” he added.
There was, of course, lots of laugh during the evening. Christopher Guest presented the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Award to Ricky Gervais. “Of course it would be a greater honor if he were presenting me,” Guest deadpanned. “It would make more sense, but rigged or not I guess Ricky deserves this award.”
Gervais accepted saying, “Everyone in show business is saying I’m better than Charlie Chaplin and I humbly accept.”
Jennifer Lawrence, who presented Jodie Foster with the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award, said the multihyphenate taught her that an actor’s choice of roles reflects her lives. “I realized how many white trash roles I’ve played,” Law said.
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“All I’ve ever wanted to do is make movies,” Foster said. “This is what I want to do for a living. I get to tell stories. I make movies. We make movies. I’m not done yet.”
Tom Hanks presented Burberry’s British Artist of the Year trophy to Felicity Jones comparing her to Botticelli’s Birth of Venus painting. Jones said, “I have been incredibly lucky to have worked in this industry for a long time.”
News Source : Variety