The BAFTA awards have just unveiled a new category for casting – and actor Richard E Grant is absolutely delighted about it.
After the organisation announced it would hand out an award for Best Casting in both its film and TV craft ceremonies from 2020, the Oscar-nominated actor praised the decision on Twitter. Citing casting director Mary Selway – who hired actors for films such as Alien, Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Grant said “recognition for Casting Directors has been a long time coming.”
Finally! – I owe my career to the late, great casting director Mary Selway, who changed my life in 1986, when she cast me in ‘WITHNAIL & I’. Recognition for Casting Directors has been a long time coming. https://t.co/0LL1IO1lMu
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) August 7, 2019
In a statement from Bafta, casting director Lucy Bevan (Cats, Maleficent) said: “It is a great honour for our industry to be recognised by BAFTA and I look forward to seeing many deserving, talented casting professionals receive the award in the years to come. I would like to thank BAFTA on behalf of casting directors across the world, it is terrific news for our profession.”
Victor Jenkins, Chair of the Casting Directors’ Guild also welcomed the news. The alchemy of casting has long been overlooked in awards categories,” he said in a statement. “I am both personally and professionally over the moon about this most excellent news and on behalf of the Casting Directors’ Guild and its members…and Casting Directors as a whole….send a huge thank you to BAFTA for not one, but two new awards for the craft of casting.”
Bafta also announced that the Best Original Music category in its film awards is to be renamed Best Original Score, intending to underline “a focus on composer and score, and acknowledging the integral part they play in contributing to the narrative, atmosphere and emotional landscape of the film”.
David Arnold, Bafta-nominated composer of Quantum of Solace, commented: “I feel these new category changes will go a long way to ensuring the proponents of these skills are effectively identified and justifiably recognised.”
The awards body has also confirmed that streaming services will be able to submit their work for consideration once more. This will be good news for Netflix, whose film Roma took home seven awards at the 2019 Bafta film ceremony.