Baftas: All the gossip from the red carpet
By Mirror.co.uk 21/02/2010
British newcomer Carey Mulligan was the star of the red carpet tonight as this year’s Baftas got under way.
The Oscar-nominated 24-year-old is hotly tipped to win best actress at the Orange British Academy Film Awards for her lead role in coming-of-age film An Education.
Thousands of fans went to Covent Garden to catch a glimpse of the A-Listers shivering on the red carpet in the cold weather as they arrived for the biggest event in the British film calendar.
Mulligan, who has become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actresses despite being rejected by three drama schools, made it a family occasion by bringing along her parents and brother to the ceremony.
She dyed her brunette crop blonde and made a glamorous entrance in a floor-length monochrome floral number with a train – despite the threat of puddles – by French designer Vionnet.
She said of her elegant and figure-hugging dress: “I have just tried to twirl but I ended up wrapping myself up.”
Of her Oscar and Bafta nominations, she said: “I don’t feel anything really. It’s sort of like being punched. At first you think it’s a mistake, then it sinks in slowly. It’s bizarre, surreal.”
She said: “I rang my mother when I was Oscar nominated and she’s a teacher and had just told her students to turn off their phones. Then her phone rang.”
Mulligan has been linked with her Wall Street 2 co-star Shia LaBeouf, but the actor did not appear to
be at the event, Britain’s answer to the Oscars.
An Education, based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoir, is also up for best film.
It takes on Hollywood movies Avatar and The Hurt Locker – the three films have eight nominations each.
Kate Winslet, who is not nominated for any awards, whipped up a frenzy of excitement on the red carpet when she arrived in a Stella McCartney black dress with lace cut-out panels.
She said of not being nominated: “The pressure is so off. It’s just fantastic. I can just relax and really enjoy it. I really love it. It’s great to come here.
“I’m going to see my family. It’s great to catch up with my mum and dad. It’s really important to keep coming back.”
Veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave, who is to receive an Academy Fellowship tonight, sheltered from the rain under an umbrella when she arrived with her actress daughter Joely Richardson, who was dressed in a dark blue Katherine Walker gown.
Colin Firth, 49, who is up for best actor for A Single Man, was also at the event.
Asked about playing a gay man, he said: “I don’t think about it too much really.”
He joked: “Matthew Goode (Firth’s co-star) was a good kisser, so was Julianne Moore, so it was difficult to be a single man.”
Asked about stripping in the film, he said: “It’s a nightmare. The battle against gravity doesn’t get any easier as you approach 50.”
As well as celebrities, onlookers screamed for Prince William as he walked the red carpet in a Savile Row suit.
William, who will be presenting Redgrave with her fellowship, shook hands with fans and posed for photographs.
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French actress Audrey Tautou has been nominated for best actress for her role as fashion designer
Coco Chanel in the film about the designer, Coco Before Chanel.
She looked stunning in a pink puffball-style dress but said she was wearing another French designer – Lanvin.
She said: “I’m not wearing Chanel, but my perfume is.” Of her style, she said: “It’s spontaneous”.
Heavily pregnant artist-turned-director Sam Taylor-Wood, who is nominated in the debut British director category for the John Lennon film Nowhere Boy, arrived with her 19-year-old actor fiance Aaron Johnson.
She said of her black lace dress: “I managed to get into this, which was great….I just wish it wasn’t so cold.”
Anne Marie-Duff, up for supporting actress for her role as Lennon’s mother in the film, wore a red Alberta Ferretti gown.
The actress, who is also pregnant, said: “It’s the most feminine you can ever be so designers are more than happy to dress you.”
Possibly the youngest star of the red carpet was 15-year-old Saoirse Ronan, who wore a white ruffled shoulderless Burberry dress, with pebbled bracelets.
The Irish actress, who is up for best actress for her role in The Lovely Bones, admitted: “I have got a stylist. She just brings me clothes.”
She added: “The Lovely Bones has been a bit of a whirlwind. It’s really taken me all over the world. It’s great that it’s brought me to the Baftas. I’ve never been before.”
Of the attention of being a young star, she said: “It’s not too bad. I like this sort of thing because there’s a buzz and everyone is really excited. Some things can be a little bit trying but it’s okay.”
Designer turned film director Tom Ford said he was hoping Firth would land the best actor gong for his role in his film A Single Man.
He said: “I’m wearing myself. I always wear myself.”
He added: “My fingers are crossed for Colin Firth, our lead actor.”
Gabourey Sidibe, the US actress nominated for best actress for her debut role in hard-hitting film
Precious, said: “I’m a former receptionist. I’m not used to doing a bunch of red carpets so that’s a change. It’s really scary when you get out of the car.”
Vera Farmiga, a nominee for supporting actress for Up in the Air, said: “I have been watching these events for years from my living room.”
The star, wearing a white dress with black belt, said: “Now that I’m here I don’t always feel that I’m here. I’m looking at Carey Mulligan to see how she is.”
US actress Anna Kendrick, who is also nominated for supporting actress for Up in the Air, was feeling the cold in a yellow off the shoulder Pucci dress and Jimmy Choo heels.
She said: “I’m not nervous (about the award). I’m presenting so I’m more nervous about not messing up on whatever name that I have to read.”
Matt Dillon, who is presenting an award, said: “There’s something really great about the Baftas, where it’s situated, in the city. We’re right in the thick of it. Bafta is a very festive atmosphere. It doesn’t feel so business-like.”
Kristin Stewart, up for the Rising Star award, donned a Chanel strapless white dress with feathers, while Nowhere Boy star Kristin Scott Thomas wore a backless black dress.