Meet the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits of 2017: the ones to watch in TV, film and gaming

From the producer of Fleabag to the writers of This Country, the UK’s most promising stars of television, film and gaming spoke to about what the future holds

Susan Wokoma, actor

Wokoma played Cynthia in E4’s BAFTA-winning Chewing Gum. Her feature film debut came in 2013’s Half Of A Yellow Sun, and more recently she was the co-lead in E4 and Netflix’s Crazyhead.

Susan Wokoma BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)
Susan Wokoma BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)

What projects do you have coming up in the next year that you can tell us about?

I have just shot a pilot which I’m really excited about – it’s Matt Berry’s new comedy on Channel 4. It’s about a Victorian murder squad solving mysteries like Jack the Ripper. I just got to run around in a big dress and corset! I’m also currently writing two new comedies.

Are you hoping that there might one day be more Chewing Gum?

Hopefully one day, if we can get all of us in the same room at the same time, with enough time to shoot a good series, hopefully. But I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon!

You’re currently starring in the play Labour of Love with Martin Freeman and Tamsin Greig, what are they like to work with?

On day one we had to do that big thing where everyone stands in a circle and says, ‘Hello, my name is and I’m doing…’ And I think I said something not very funny at all and Martin just shouted, ‘Twat!’ across the room and I thought, ‘I like him’.

Martin’s really good at making you corpse on stage and he retains it but Tamsin is awful. She’ll be making you laugh and she’ll start laughing herself – and she’s the lead.

Molly Windsor, actor

Windsor starred as Holly Winshaw in Three Girls, the critically acclaimed BBC1 series based on Rochdale’s grooming and sexual abuse scandal.

Molly Windsor BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)
Molly Windsor BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)

What roles have you got coming up in the future?

I’ve just finished shooting two jobs – one is a feature film called The Runaways and the other is a short film called Elsewhere.

Were you nervous about getting across such harrowing subject matter in Three Girls?

I felt so compelled to do it. I thought this story needs to be told, this needs to be done right. I don’t want anyone else to touch it.

Those people have been through so much. And to have the strength to go through it all again and hand it over to the BBC – they are just phenomenal people. I feel very, very lucky that I was part of that process and that hopefully we did it justice and we got their stories heard.

Which actor do you admire?

I’ve kind of fallen in love with Denise Gough. I went to see her play People Places Things and I didn’t think it was going to be for me, but I went and suddenly I was like, ‘I want to do theatre, she’s amazing.’

Jessie Buckley, actor

Buckley’s television credits include War & Peace, Taboo and The Last Post – she’s also set to star in a new BBC1 adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ psychological thriller The Woman in White.

Jessie Buckley BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)
Jessie Buckley BAFTA Breakthrough Brit (Freuds, EH)

Apart from The Woman in White, what else is on your slate?

I just finished working on a film called Country Music [a musical drama by Tom Harper]. We’re creating a soundtrack alongside it so I’m making an album at the moment which is absolutely hilarious. I’ve been roped into writing country music, which is just like, ‘What the f*** is going on?’ I’ve never written in my life! I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing.

Which actor do you look up to?

I love Frances McDormand. It’s so nice to see a woman be herself. She’s always stayed herself and she just has like a proper face, and she is so full of soul and life and her projects are amazing. She brings such vulnerability and humanness to all her characters. And they’re characterful, they’ve got quirks.


Find out who the rest of the BAFTA Breakthrough Brits are on the next page