×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Britannia Awards Highlight the Breadth of U.K. Talent

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jodie Comer, Jesse Armstrong and other British stars had a good showing at the Emmys, highlighting the many talented actors, writers and producers in Hollywood who come from across the pond. And as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles’ Britannia Awards approach on Oct. 25, the occasion at the Beverly Hilton is ripe for further recognition of this generation of British talent to grace American screens, as well as Yanks who have resonated with U.K. audiences.

“When I look back at the history of British television and how it’s influenced America, it’s really quite astounding,” says Rich Licata of awards agency Licata & Co. “Shows like ‘All in the Family,’ ‘Three’s Company,’ ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Shameless,’ ‘Queer as Folk’ — even ‘Veep’ came from Britain.”

And while Brits have a long and storied history in Hollywood, this age of entertainment has expanded the depth and breadth of U.K. talent beyond the names that Americans have typically recognized: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Daniel Radcliffe, Hugh Grant. Waller-Bridge and Comer are relatively new faces to U.S. viewers, and such names as “A Very English Scandal” star Ben Whishaw and “The Crown’s” Claire Foy aren’t necessarily household monikers just yet. The Britannias, which have in past years honored Foy, Felicity Jones, Emilia Clarke and others, are putting more Brits on American radars.

This year, Waller-Bridge will be honored alongside legendary producer Norman Lear, who will be receiving the Britannia’s Excellence in Television award; Jackie Chan, who will receive the Albert R. Broccoli Britannia Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment; and Steve Coogan, who is slated to receive the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy. This year’s Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film honoree is Jane Fonda, the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for Excellence in Directing will be bestowed upon Jordan Peele.

A different team of board members in L.A. and London come together each year to select the honorees, says outgoing BAFTA LA CEO Chantal Rickards. Recipients do not need to be of British descent, but their work needs to have had an impact on British viewers.

Notably, Waller-Bridge will receive the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year, an honor that recognizes work from the past year. Waller-Bridge, who won the Emmy for lead comedy actress and for writing “Fleabag” — the show itself earned the best comedy series Emmy — is among the new guard.

As with many aspects of the entertainment landscape, the momentum of streaming services has done much to change the dynamic of how people find new shows, often broadening their curiosity and appetite for non-U.S. programming.

“There’s a real thread between American TV audiences and what the British are making, and I think that with the proliferation and popularity of original shows on streaming services and on cable, audiences have been introduced to a greater selection of all things British,” says Licata. “And they’re discovering their creative depth and breadth right now.”

A series such as “Fleabag” probably wouldn’t have been picked up in America in past years, says Rickards. The show consists of only six episodes a season for two short seasons, likely a limiting factor in the traditional linear days. But its home on Amazon has made it easily accessible for new viewers, many of whom only discovered the tragicomedy in its second season this year.

“If anything, the second season had even more buzz about it,” says Rickards. “There is nobody in the entertainment industry who now doesn’t know who Phoebe Waller-Bridge is, and I think she’s going to have an extraordinary career ahead of her. For a woman who’s in her mid-30s, she really is a phenomenon.”

More Film

  • Days of Christmas

    Pau Freixas on Netflix Spanish Miniseries ‘Days of Christmas’

    BARCELONA – A Netflix original produced by Spain’s Filmax, “Days of Christmas” marks the new series of Pau Freixas, one of the highest-profile creators on Spain’s vibrant drama series scene. A three-part miniseries, “Days” will be made available worldwide by Netflix on Dec. 6. The story takes place over three different Christmas days, the first [...]

  • Writers-Room-Panel

    Ventana Sur: Argentine Directors on Benefit of Writers’ Room (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Ventana Sur hosted two of the country’s leading screenwriters to relay the benefits of utilizing a writers’ room while conceptualizing fiction projects, delivered to a packed auditorium on Tuesday afternoon as part of the Fiction Factory series held at the UCA Campus in Puerto Madero. Director Daniel Burman, known for films such [...]

  • Kathleen Kennedy to Receive Prestigious BAFTA

    Kathleen Kennedy to Receive Prestigious BAFTA Fellowship

    Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm and producer of scores of movies, will receive a prestigious BAFTA fellowship, the British Academy’s highest honor, in February. Across a 40-year career, Kennedy has produced pictures that have garnered 25 Oscars and more than 100 BAFTA nominations and 27 wins. She will be honored with the fellowship at BAFTA’s [...]

  • Lee Byung-hun stars in "The Man

    Lee Byung-hun’s ‘Man Standing Next’ Secures 2020 Asia Theatrical Releases (EXCLUSIVE)

    Showbox’s political drama “The Man Standing Next” has secured releases in multiple territories in Asia. The film was picked up by Falcon for Indonesia, The Klockworx for Japan, Viva Communications for the Philippines, Shaw Renters for Singapore and by Moviecloud for Taiwan. Release dates in each territory have yet to be confirmed. Set 40 days [...]

  • Lulu Wang and Zhao Shuzhen'The Farewell'

    Zhao Shuzhen on Stealing Scenes in Her First American Movie, 'The Farewell'

    A year ago, 76-year-old actor Zhao Shuzhen shot her first American movie, “The Farewell,” based on writer-director Lulu Wang’s very personal family story. In November, Shuzhen found herself making her first visit to the States, where she earned standing ovations from audiences and posed for pictures with stars like Robert Pattinson at parties. Then she [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez and Director Lorene Scafaria

    'Hustlers' DP Todd Banhazl Discusses How Not to Shoot With the Male Gaze

    Cinematographer Todd Banhazl had to rethink conventional wisdom in shooting Jennifer Lopez starrer “Hustlers.” What sort of approach did you and director Lorene Scafaria discuss in terms of how you were going to shoot the women and create these strong images of strippers? From the beginning, we talked about this idea of control and the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content