BAFTA Rising Star nominee Micheal Ward reveals his goals for 2020

Jack Lowden and Awkwafina are also nominated

Top Boy’s Micheal Ward has been nominated for the prestigious BAFTA Rising Star Award, the only BAFTA Award that’s voted for by the British public.

The Rising Star Award honours young acting talent who have “demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and begun to capture the imagination of the British public.” Ward was announced alongside the four other nominees by former winner Tom Hiddleston at the Savoy Hotel in London this morning (Monday 6 January), where he appeared with fellow nominee Jack Lowden.

Speaking to NME after the announcements, Ward revealed that he’s getting “more cultured” and working on “understanding the power of the mind” so that he can “hopefully rise like a star” – regardless of a BAFTA win in February or not.

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“I need to get off my phone, man,” Ward told NME. “My phone is too much. For me, that’s the biggest issue. I feel like once I start to come off my phone a lot more, I’ll be even better. Even greater than I am.

Micheal Ward
Micheal Ward in ‘Blue Story’. Credit: Nick Wall

“We’re always on our phones, just looking through stuff,” he added. “It’s pointless really when I could watch a movie, read a book or something. Those are the things that I’m gonna start doing.

On Ward’s reading list are The Secret and The Obsession, the former a self-help book, the latter fiction, “to understand more about the power of the mind. Yeah man, I definitely wanna read those and understand why people speak about them so much. And read some proper fictional books as well to get a more creative mind. Because right now just on your phone you’re not really creative as much. Reading more books, watching more stuff, it just expands your imagination and your mind. Those are definitely things I really wanna do.”

The Top Boy and Blue Story actor has made his name with work that feels distinctively British, but Ward’s already had his thirst for broader cultural experiences quenched by a recent stint working in New York on a new project: “the one you don’t know about”.

Micheal Ward
Micheal Ward as Jamie in ‘Top Boy’. Credit: Chris Harris

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“It feels like I could live there,” he said of New York. “Whereas if you go somewhere like Miami, the weather’s all different, everything’s completely different, it’s different infrastructure.”

He added: “New York is basically like London: I do the same things, I’m seeing the same infrastructure that I’m seeing in London. All the bridges, they’ve got their own big monuments.”

Ward’s been nominated alongside actors Jack Lowden, Awkwafina, Kaitlyn Dever and Kelvin Harrison Jr for the Rising Star Award. Since the announcement, Ward has been “getting loads of phone calls,” he revealed.

“My little brother on Top Boy, he’s just called me. I just spoke to my mum… a lot of the time with these things people don’t know what’s happening,” he said, “what’s actually going on. But if people know that I’m nominated for a BAFTA I’m pretty sure they will vote, especially my family.”

The BAFTA Rising Star Award is voted for by the public and voting is open now.

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