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From Harrison Ford to Meryl Streep, Britannia Honorees Are a Trans-Atlantic Mix

BAFTA/LA’s Kieran Breen, Chantal Rickards and Matthew Wiseman offer insights on the 2015 Britannia honorees.

ORLANDO BLOOM
Britannia Humanitarian Award presented by the Beazley Group
“Orlando Bloom is a Unicef ambassador, and does brilliant brilliant work, especially in things like disaster relief,” says BAFTA/LA CEO Chantal Rickards. “He is very passionate about his humanitarian work. He works extensively with Unicef, often makes lots of short films for Unicef to help it promote better and wider.”

The org’s COO Matthew Wiseman adds, “He travels with the Unicef team for several weeks at a time. As BAFTA is a charity ourselves, it’s something that we thought very strongly about, a person using their profile or moving image to push for change, which is very meaningful to us as well.”

“And he happens to be British,” sums up BAFTA/LA chairman of the board Kieran Breen.


MERYL STREEP
Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film
Streep is not British, but “it is about celebrating excellence, wherever it comes from,” Breen says. “There is no question that she merits the worldwide award this year.”

“Plus she’s played two iconic Brits: Emmeline Pankhurst (and) Margaret Thatcher,” adds Wiseman.

HARRISON FORD
Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment
“For somebody who has such a huge body of work behind them, certainly this could have applied to Meryl as well,” Breen says, noting that Harrison Ford’s contribution to global entertainment includes two big-screen icons: Han Solo in the “Star Wars” franchise — a role that he is bringing back in the latest installment this December — and Indiana Jones.

Wiseman points out that Ford spend time playing both of those characters on British soundstages.

JAMES CORDEN
Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year presented by Burberry
“James Corden exemplifies the tradition of British talent coming to L.A. and making it their home and making it big here, which starts all the way back with Charlie Chaplin and (Alfred) Hitchcock,” Breen says.

Rickards adds, “He’s also such a brilliant writer. CBS originally started talking with him about a sitcom because (CBS topper) Les Moonves saw him in (stage play) ‘One Man, Two Guvnors,’ arranged to meet him and said let’s talk about a sitcom. In fact, it was James who said, ‘What about a chat show?’ And so a relationship developed from there. Within weeks they had created ‘The Late Late Show’ with James.

He’s also close friends with Jack Whitehall because they worked together on another BAFTA-award winning TV show ‘A League of Their Own.’ So I’m expecting a few fireworks two weeks from Friday.”

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