Bukky Bakray has been named on the Bafta Breakthrough Talent 2020 list, thanks to her incredible turn in Rocks.
The 18-year-old was recognised alongside more than 30 talented stars across the industry, by a judging panel including British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, filmmaker Amma Asante and actress Fiona Shaw.
Not too shabby, eh?
Speaking about being named, she explained to Metro.co.uk that the honour filled her with confidence – as well as a dose of pressure.
‘It feels beautiful, so, so beautiful to be on the list amongst so much amazing talent. It’s really insane,’ she told us. ‘It’s not something I would have ever imagined. I can’t really articulate it, it’s amazing.
‘I think that definitely makes me feel more under pressure, but that’s not a bad feeling for me. When I saw the jury I thought, “Wow, you guys believe in me? I don’t even fully believe in myself!”
‘As well as pressure, it’s motivating. People don’t get that validation on a regular basis, that is very rare. I just feel so validated and motivated. It makes me feel confident in terms of my abilities.
‘I know Rocks was just the beginning. What happens when I learn more, when I read more, when I do more? To only develop those abilities makes me feel much more powerful.’
Bukky was joined on the list by performer Youssef Kerkour, director and writer Aleem Khan and Aadip Desai, a writer from The Goldbergs, among many others.
Everyone honoured as a breakthrough talent will get one-on-one mentoring and guidance in their careers.
In a previous chat, she explained that her interest in acting was first sparked as a child, but she didn’t think it was a ‘feasible’ career path for her at the time.
Well, we’re definitely glad mini-Bukky was wrong about that.
When asked what she would tell younger self now, after her success with Rocks and the Bafta breakthrough list, she joked that she would have ‘slapped’ herself.
‘I remember, I watched Training Day, I saw Denzel,’ she recalled. ‘I was like, I want to do this. I went in my room and typed in, “How to be an actor”. I saw the results and I looked, and I looked…
‘Sometimes I have a point where I’m like, “Bukky just be realistic, this is not something that is tangible”. For me it was like, “Don’t waste your time dreaming.”
‘If I did a Five from Umbrella Academy and jumped back, and saw myself, I would have slapped myself’s mouth, to be honest. What I told myself during the Rocks process was to eradicate doubt. I would’ve told myself to not doubt myself, not doubt my abilities, and to not think so small.
‘So, I wish that Bukky didn’t look at all those agencies and think that wasn’t possible. I wish that she saw it as a possibility that she needed to work for, and that she deserved and she could have. Those opportunities are for anyone.’
Bukky stole the show in Rocks, which has dropped on Netflix for those who haven’t yet watched – and anyone desperate for a rewatch.
Bafta Breakthrough Talent 2020 list
- Aadip Desai, Writer – The Goldbergs
- Abigail Dankwa, Multi Camera Director – Love Song
- Aleem Khan, Director / Writer – After Love
- Ali Tocher, Game Audio Designer – Surgeon Simulator 2
- Amir El-Masry, Performer -Limbo
- Arnaldo Licea, Game Designer – The Last of Us Part II
- Ben Sharrock & Irune Gurtubai, Director / Writer & Producer – Limbo
- Bethany Swan, Hair and Makeup up Designer – I May Destroy You
- Bim Ajadi, Director – Here Not Here
- Bukky Bakray, Performer – Rocks
- Catherine Unger, Artist/Co-Writer – Tangle Tower
- Chella Ramanan, Narrative Designer/Writer – Before I Forget
- Claire Bromley, External Game Producer – Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Edson Oda, Director / Writer – Nine Days
- Ekwa Msangi, Director / Writer – Farewell Amor
- Fernando Reyes Medina, Multiplayer Designer – Halo Infinite
- Gene Back, Composer – Cowboys
- Jim LeBrecht, Co-Director – Crip Camp
- Jordan Hogg, Director – Ackley Bridge
- Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor, Producer – Blue Story
- Lauren Ridloff, Performer – Eternals, The Walking Dead
- Lea Schönfelder, Lead Game Designer – Assemble With Care
- Linn Waite & Kate Byers, Producers – Bait
- Mary Kenney, Game Writer – Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Nicole Newnham, Co-Director – Crip Camp
- Rina Yang, Cinematographer – Sitting in Limbo
- Rubika Shah, Director/Writer – White Riot
- Ruka Johnson, Costume Designer – Blue Story
- Shannon DeVido, Performer – Insatiable, Difficult People
- Tamara Lawrance, Performer – The Long Song
- Tim Renkow, Writer/Performer – Jerk
- Youssef Kerkour, Performer – Home
She played Shola – aka titular character Rocks – in the flick, a headstrong teenager who has to grow up very quickly when her mum abandons her.
Rocks has received rave reviews, and the actress admitted that she wasn’t expecting such a huge reception.
‘I wasn’t expecting anything, that’s the beautiful thing about this process,’ she said. ‘I remember being at LFF and doing a Q&A. I was across from Kosar Ali, the amazing actress who played Sumaya. I looked at her and was like, “We actually didn’t just make a film, we made a good film”.
‘When I hear people’s reactions, it’s still very, very weird to me, because it’s great to be in a film, but to be in a film that means so much to so many people is it different feeling.’
‘I’m so grateful that I’m in a film that has substance,’ Bukky added. ‘My friend said that this is a film that people want to reference. That’s absolutely amazing, what more can you ask for?
‘Rocks won’t be the new Bond, but it could possibly be something people speak about in English class, or speak about in the development of this film. I feel blessed to be in a film, but to be in a film that is opposite of lacklustre is even more beautiful.’
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Credit: Original article published here.