Happy New Year!

We hope that you all had a festive and relaxing Christmas, and are raring to go for 2015!

The arrival of January can mean only one thing for the cream of the acting crop – awards season! With the Golden Globes just around the corner (11th January) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (25th January), BAFTAs (8th February) and Oscars (February 22nd) following soon after, we thought we would share with you our picks for the top acting awards this year.

Method actors have won 80% of Best Actor Oscars since the year 2000. Could we see another master of the method prevail this year?


Battle of the Brits – Awards Season 2015


In 2012, Ian McKellen declared that “there will be no more British acting greats.” The healthy British contingent in this year’s awards fields suggests otherwise. We are very proud to see the acting categories both at home and across the pond well populated with some great British acting talent.

The Best Actor award at all three major ceremonies could turn into a battle of the Brits, with Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Timothy Spall and David Oyelowo all likely to be nominated for their unforgettable performances as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, JMW Turner in Mr Turner and Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma, respectively. Not to mention young British talent Jack O’Connell’s breakthrough performances this year in Unbroken and ’71. 



This could be the first time that Brit actors have dominated the Best Actor Oscar field.


Our Pick: On a par with Daniel Day-Lewis’s transformation as Christy Brown in My Left Foot, Eddie Redmayne’s very method approach to portraying Stephen Hawking meant that he was able to inhabit the physicality and character of a well-known figure with complete authenticity. He has already taken home the Golden Globe & SAG Awards, he is our tip to sweep the board! 


“Should Redmayne prevail on the night, no one will be surprised except the man himself”







There could be a strong British showing in the Best Actress field, too. Felicity Jones’s portrayal of Stephen Hawking’s wife, Jane, in The Theory of Everything has made people sit up and take notice and marks the pinnacle of a steady rise from child-star. Backstage wrote that her meticulous preparation facilitated a performance that “captures both a raw vulnerability and a reticent but indelible strength.”

There is also a lot of buzz around Rosamund Pike’s career-catapulting role in Gone Girl. Keira Knightley’s top form opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game gives her a strong chance of joining the field this season, too. Veteran of awards success Dame Helen Mirren and newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw are outsiders with their films The Hundred-Foot Journey and Belle.



Our Pick: If it’s going to be a British actress that takes away the big prizes, we would put our money on Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl”. All odds at the moment, though, are on Julianne Moore to steal the show, considering the deafening awards buzz around her role as a renowned linguistics professor struggling with early onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice.”



What have been your memorable acting performances of 2014? Who should be acknowledge in Awards Season 2015? Is there a lesser-known actor that you deem worthy of an award?


UPDATE Monday 9th January 2015:


BAFTA AWARDS 2015 Winners  (2.8.2015): The acting nods were handed out as most of us expected, with our Brit pick Eddie Redmayne triumphing again in the Best Actor category, and Julianne Moore (Still Alice), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) and Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) taking home the other three top prizes. Emerging British talent Jack O’Connell was honoured by the public with the the EE Rising Star Award. Only the Oscars to go now. Will Eddie Redmayne complete the set?


SAG AWARDS 2015 Winners: Brit Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) became the favourite for an Oscar by taking home the award for Best Actor in a leading role. In an emotional acceptance speech, he paid tribute to his fellow nominees, as well as overlooked British actors David Oyelowo and Timothy Spall. He dedicated the award to sufferers of ALS and those that helped him find truth in his performance as Stephen Hawking. Eddie is on the march! British period drama Downton Abbey proved its acting clout across the pond by taking home the award for best ensemble cast in a television drama. 


OSCARS 2015 Nominations (1.15.2015): Some surprises as usual, but a very strong British showing in the Oscars nominations! Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike both secured nominations for Best Actress for their performances in The Theory of Everything and Gone Girl, respectively. They go head-to-head with powerful method actors Julianne Moore (Still Alice) and Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night). Keira Knightley was nominated for her role in The Imitation Game in the Best Supporting Actress category. It wasn’t surprising to see Golden Globe winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) nominated in the Best Actor category, and it looks like only Michael Keaton (Birdman) stands in the way of him securing the double. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) joins him, but unfortunately Brits David Oyelowo (Selma) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) were once again overlooked in a very competitive field. For the full list of nominations, click here.


GOLDEN GLOBES 2015 Winners (1.11.2015): We were delighted to see Eddie Redmayne take home the Best Actor in a Drama at the Golden Globes last night for his role in Theory of Everything. Well deserved! It was also great to see British Actresses Joanne Froggatt and Ruth Wilson have their great work in television recognised across the pond. For a full list of winners, click here




EE BAFTA AWARDS 2015 Nominations (1.9.2015): There were a few surprises here, as British actors Timothy Spall (Mr Turner) and David Oyelowo (Selma) were both snubbed on home turf in the major acting categories, while Ralph Fiennes (Grand Budapest Hotel) bagged an unexpected Best Actor nomination. Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) join him, as expected, and Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) secured another nomination each in the Best Actress field. There is a strong British presence in the Best Supporting Actress field, too, with Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game) and Imelda Staunton (Pride) both nominated. Emerging British talents Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) are in the running for the EE Rising Star award, voted for by the public. For a full list of the nominations, click here.


“At times I thought he was me”

Eddie Redmayne


When talking about his portrayal of renowned scientist Stephen Hawking in the upcoming Oscar contender The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne encapsulates the essence of a tried and tested method acting technique – saturation.

While he had some documentary evidence and a short audience with Hawking himself to work with, the task of characterising our most famous scientist’s steady physical transformation and filling in the blanks with authenticity fell to Eddie Redmayne.

His total immersion in the character allowed him to use his unconscious to leave himself behind and became Stephen Hawking. Saturation is at the heart of his transformative and brilliant performance, and is why he is being tipped for the Best Actor Oscar in February.


The Unconscious



“What you are looking to do is immerse yourself in the role and feed your unconscious with as much information, detail and creativity as possible, so that the mind can fantasise and make imaginary leaps when you are performing.”


The Ultimate Guide to Method Acting


“Imaginary leaps” can be the difference between a good performance and a great one. If you can make these leaps, you’ll find that you can deliver a performance that is authentic, believable and unconscious.


Russian theatre director Yevgeny Vakhtangov was a great advocate for allowing the unconscious to do most of the hard work. He wrote that if you can feel the role, dream and fantasise about it, an authentic performance will appear on stage unconsciously.


It is important to allow your unconscious to play with the development of a character. You can saturate yourself in character in a number of ways.


Start by collecting paintings or photographs of what you think your character looks like, where they live, clothing you think they would wear, objects they would own. Obviously, this was easier for Eddie Redmayne, as he was able to meet the man he was playing, and watch videos and news reports. He still had to imagine how Hawking would have been prior to his decline to MND, though.


Next, imagine and listen to what music you think they would like, wear the perfume they wear, spend a day as your character, visiting places they would like, meeting people that work in their occupation. All of these things will help your unconscious assimilate with the character, and when you come to performing, it will be less like you are pretending, rather that you are living the role.


What other ways can you think of to saturate yourself with your character?

If you would like to know more about saturation, or any other method acting techniques, please do not hesitate to get in touch, or pick up a copy of my new book, The Ultimate Guide to Method Acting.


The Theory of Everything will be released in UK cinemas on New Year’s Day.