Watson and Dench head Bafta LA list

Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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There was a British invasion of Beverly Hills as Bafta Los Angeles hosted its annual Britannia Awards, honouring film and television talent from both sides of the pond, including actors Dame Judi Dench and Emma Watson and director Mike Leigh.

US stars including Robert Downey Jr and Julia Louis-Dreyfus also attended but the majority of attendees were Brits – no surprise, given the party was thrown by the LA branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

Downey received the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, named after the director of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey.

“(The award) means a heck of a lot to me,” he said. “I love British film-makers and they have such a great talent pool.”

Oscar-winner Dame Judi was honoured with the Albert R Broccoli Award for Worldwide Contribution in Entertainment, named after one of the original producers of the James Bond films.

She said: “Well, I’m rather overwhelmed by (the award), because I didn’t ever expect to have a film career at all. I never knew Cubby Broccoli, although I know, of course, (Albert’s daughter) Barbara Broccoli and (Barbara’s half-brother and Bond series producer) Michael Wilson very well. And I’ve had 17 years of doing Bond, which has been just wonderful. So, I’m very, very proud that I shall have something that is named after Cubby.”

Dame Judi and and Watson posed together for photographers on the arrivals line.

Watson, named Britannia British Artist of the Year, said Dame Judi is “just all soul and all grace and strength and beauty, and she really, for me, she’s an iconic British actor. She’s what you aspire to be”.

Dame Judi, 79, is on a box-office roll with her 2012 releases The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Skyfall, and her Oscar-nominated Philomena last year each boasting worldwide grosses of more than 100 million dollars (£62 million). Her next film is the sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, hitting cinemas in February.

She said: “People like to say, ‘When are you retiring?’. Or, ‘When are you going to slow down?’. That’s all very rude in my family. We don’t say any of that. I think if I stop, it’ll be like a car: I shall run out of petrol and fall over. So, I plan not to do that, if possible.”

The Bafta Los Angeles Jaguar Britannia Awards are set to air on BBC America on Sunday.

Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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