For Sunday’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, EW sent London-based reporter Matt Mueller to give his On the Scene report of the biggest night in filmmaking across the pond. WARNING: Britishisms ahoy!
It was an evening of princes, dames, and former talk-show queens at the BAFTAs — or, as they’re officially known but no one in Britain actually calls them, the EE BAFTAs (EE being the British Verizon, not to be rhymed with “wee,” the British slang for urine, but rather articulated like the poet e.e. cummings).
The red carpet walkway laid down before London’s Royal Opera House was covered entirely for the first time ever by a clear plastic rain refuge, which had been anchored 48 hours earlier in the midst of a blustery rain storm with 60 mph winds. An effortful feat of logistical planning, in other words, and, naturally, wholly redundant on the night: These were the first rain-free BAFTAs in years.
This year’s red carpet was like being on celebrity safari, with sightings few and far between to start with and less easily recognised species (Ruth Wilson, Daniel Bruhl, Will Poulter, Steve McQueen…) having to make do until the arrival of the charismatic megafauna. Chants of “Leo! Leo! Leo!” loudly spelled out the crowd’s most coveted sighting, but what began in dribs and drabs suddenly became a full-on A-list stampede as the big names materialised only to be herded swiftly along the red carpet in order to prepare for the security lockdown necessitated by the arrival of HRH the Duke of Cambridge (a.k.a. Prince William). Even Hollywood grand poobahs Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were whisked along in their his-n-her tuxedos, while Michael Fassbender sprinted like a black-tied gazelle down the narrow corridor. There was little time to gab, although Lupita Nyong’o did stop to tell us that Ralph Fiennes is immensely proud of her success. She was a runner on the Kenyan shoot for The Constant Gardener and used to fret how much she was annoying him ferrying him back and forth to the set. READ FULL STORY