×

Robert Pattinson, Alicia Vikander, Himesh Patel Among Record Number of New BAFTA Members (EXCLUSIVE)

Robert Pattinson, Alicia Vikander, Sam Rockwell, Melissa McCarthy, Joanne Froggatt, Himesh Patel and Nicholas Hoult are among the record-setting 559 new members joining BAFTA in 2019, Variety can reveal.

The new class includes a number of recent BAFTA Award nominees, such as composer Nicholas Britell (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), director and producer “Arthur Cary” (“Grayson Perry: All Man”), and production designer Fiona Crombie and set decorator Alice Felton, who both won a BAFTA for their work on “The Favourite.”

The new members are drawn from a mix of individuals applying directly and those who were invited. In both cases they have to pass strict vetting and fulfill eligibility criteria. As well as film and TV, the new intake spans games. There are also numerous craft names in the mix, including special-effects expert Chris Lyons, whose recent work includes fashioning Rami Malek’s teeth for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The record 2019 intake will bolster the overall BAFTA membership, which was already at about 8,000. Approximately 1,300 of those members are in the U.S. Being a Brit is not required; the new members are based in 11 different countries, and the wider membership is drawn from 39 territories.

Popular on Variety

Applications for membership are received first before BAFTA adds people to be invited. That allows the organization to try to ensure a wide spread of people inducted into the British Academy.

“We are fortunate to have a membership that broadly reflects the industry, but we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We know there is systemic under-representation in some parts of the industry,” Emma Baehr, director of awards and membership, told Variety. “We are committed long-term to creating opportunity, and so our aim every year is to make the new membership intake as inclusive as possible, and that’s across different roles in the sectors. And we do also absolutely prioritize individuals from under-represented areas.”

Baehr also highlighted new members who have been part of BAFTA’s talent programs and initiatives such as Ronke Adékoluẹjo (“Cold Feet”) and Rhoda Ofori-Attah (“Top Boy”), who participated in the organization’s Elevate program, and writer Laurie Nunn (“Sex Education”), who is one of its Breakthrough Brits.

British actor Patel was a judge on the Elevate program in 2019.

Having been in New Zealand shooting “The Luminaries,” Patel is about to start work on HBO series “Station Eleven.” He told Variety that the British Academy “represents the height of creativity.” He added: “It has such a broad reach, and I feel they use that for good. There are schemes up and down the country, Elevate being one. It is about collaboration, about celebrating the best of what we have – that’s what excites me about now being a member.”

More Film

  • My Salinger Year

    Berlin Film Festival to Open With Sigourney Weaver, Margaret Qualley Starrer 'My Salinger Year'

    The 70th edition of the Berlinale will open with Philippe Falardeau’s anticipated “My Salinger Year,” headlined by a powerful female duo, Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley. Set in New York’s literary world in the 90’s, the coming-of-age-story is based on Joanna Rakoff’s international bestseller and follows Joanna (Qualley), who leaves graduate school to pursue her [...]

  • Bad Hair

    'Bad Hair': Film Review

    The year is 1989 and New Jack Swing is about to push black culture from the margins to the mainstream. The question for the black employees of Culture, the music TV station at the center of writer-director Justin Simien’s delightfully macabre horror-dramedy “Bad Hair,” is what image do they — and their white executive Grant [...]

  • Bad Hair

    Justin Simien's 'Bad Hair' is a Tribute to Exploited Black Women Everywhere, Director Says

    Deeply personal but indulgently campy, Justin Simien’s Sundance opener “Bad Hair” is a genre-blending horror show that the director said serves as a tribute to the struggles of black women. The mind behind  “Dear White People” staged the world premiere for the project at Park City’s Ray Theater on Thursday night, before a cast that [...]

  • Taylor Swift: Miss Americana

    'Taylor Swift: Miss Americana': Film Review

    Fly-on-the-wall portraits of pop-music stars used to be dominated by, you know, pop music. The life and personality and woe-is-me-I’m-caught-in-the-media-fishbowl spectacle of the star herself was part of the equation, yet all that stuff had a way of dancing around the edges. Now, though, it’s front and center. In “Taylor Swift: Miss Americana,” we catch [...]

  • Taylor Swift attends the premiere of

    Sundance Crowd Goes Wild as Taylor Swift Becomes Powerful Voice of Trump Resistance

    At the outset of the first screening of the documentary “Miss Americana” Thursday night at the Sundance Film Festival, it was clear at the outset that it was not necessarily Taylor Swift’s core audience filling the Eccles Theater for the premiere. The opening scene has Swift trying to write a song at the piano while [...]

  • wanda Imax China

    China Closes Thousands of Theaters in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

    China closed swathes of cinemas on Friday in response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus, which started in the city of Wuhan and has now killed 26 people. The closures come a day after the distributors and producers of the seven major blockbusters that had expected to launch from Jan. 25 cancelled their films’ releases. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content