Brit pack! UK stars who are taking over the movies

Ahead of the Baftas, RT film editor Andrew Collins picks the new pretty young things of British acting

Carey Mulligan
…is the new Tilda Swinton
The slender, boyish mulligan, 26, has in fast motion established herself as adaptable to both mainstream and arthouse projects, doing Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps one minute and Shame the next, already echoing 51-year-old festival-circuit darling Swinton’s fruitful, career-long balancing act: from The Chronicles of Narnia to I Am Love.

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Benedict Cumberbatch
…is the new Kenneth Branagh
Ubiquitous Cumberbatch, 35, has taken to TV, from Stephen Hawking to Sherlock Holmes, but stayed loyal to the theatre. Branagh, 51, was adopted as “pet Brit” by the Academy, which could happen to the Steven Spielberg-anointed Cumberbatch (War Horse), who’s already been cast in the next Star Trek.

Felicity Jones
…is the new Kristin Scott Thomas
Although Jones, 28, is not fluently bilingual like the Légion d’honneur-bestowed Scott Thomas, 51, she read English at Oxford while appearing in The Archers and is now Sundance-stamped after the improvised Like Crazy. With model looks (she’s the face of Burberry) and stage credentials to match Scott Thomas, she’s all set.

Daniel Radcliffe
…is the new Hugh Grant
Although the hasn’t-he-shot-up? Harry Potter star, 22, must work harder to eclipse his Hogwarts icon status, he has the confidence, looks and comic licks to emerge as a successor to Grant, 51, who found fame as a Cary Grant-like comic leading man in his 30s.

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Michael Fassbender
…is the new Gary Oldman
The lithe, fearless star of Shame has already made the inroads into Hollywood that LA-based Oldman, 53, made in the 90s. Plays an urbane spy in thriller Haywire — shades of George Smiley? – by 30, Oldman had directed the personal Nil by Mouth, so Fassbender had better hurry up and get behind the camera!