A talent downpour stormed Grosvenor House’s ballroom Sunday with the annual Empire Awards in London.
Who would win the Hero Award? There sat the Austrian Oak, Arnold Schwarzenegger, a traditional favorite. Or perhaps, Hugh Jackman?
Yet, with Tom Cruise in the house, the competition split wide open. As J.J. Abrams wisely pointed out though, “Giving Tom Cruise a hero award, it’s like giving a toy to Santa Claus. There’s no point.”
The result came from far left field, confirming that in the 21st century, it’s brains that rule above mere brawn, with Simon Pegg crowned as the night’s official hero.
Some things remain unchanged, as Emma Thompson’s winning wit brought her usual hilarity to the stage.
Scrutinising the Empire Awards’ evolution to its present showy affair, Thompson reminisced over the early trophies. “The awards in those days were pretty much anything that came to hand,” she observed. Napkins, you know, penile attachments. I mean anything.”
With that conclusion, guests bailed on the ballroom, dispersing into the depths of Mayfair. Their destination: the wrap party at Quaglino’s.
Full list of winners:
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Legend of Our Lifetime
EMPIRE 25th AWARD: The Action Hero of Our Lifetime
BEST MALE NEWCOMER
Aidan Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug)
BEST FEMALE NEWCOMER
Margot Robbie (The Wolf Of Wall Street)
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
BEST BRITISH FILM
The World’s End
Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Jameson BEST ACTOR
James McAvoy (Filth)
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)