Emma Mackey has said she shared a “symbolic” moment with “very special friend” and fellow EE Rising Star Award nominee Aimee Lou Wood at the British Academy Film Awards.
The 27-year-old actress, who scooped the EE Rising Star Award during Sunday evening’s ceremony, found fame alongside Wood in Netflix hit Sex Education.
Speaking to the PA news agency about the experience of being nominated alongside her friend and co-star, Mackey said: “We’re very, very close friends.
“So, me and Aimee, I don’t think we realised how rare it is to be nominated in a category with someone who is literally one of your key players in life.
“So, it’s pretty amazing and we were just so proud of each other.
“But we didn’t really talk about it. We were just really happy for each other.”
In 2021 Wood won the Bafta for best female comedy performance for her portrayal of Aimee Gibbs, the on-screen best friend of Mackey’s character Maeve Wiley, in Sex Education.
Mackey was nominated for the Bafta best female comedy performance in the same year.
Recalling the moment she was announced as the recipient of the EE Rising Star Award, Mackey added: “One thing I do remember is when I was walking up to the stage, I saw her (Aimee) and I was like ‘there she is!’ I found it really reassuring and just so lovely to see her face because we’d literally just wrapped on season four (of Sex Education).
“So, not to be too corny, but it felt like quite a symbolic moment for us because we’d both just finished the fourth season and we’re both doing films and we’re moving on and doing different things, and it just felt like a really powerful moment and I just love her to bits and she’s a very special person to me. So it meant a lot.”
Mackey and Wood were nominated in the category, which shines a light on the acting world’s latest stars, alongside Naomi Ackie, who recently portrayed Whitney Houston in musical biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, The Woman King’s Sheila Atim and Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’s Daryl McCormack.
The Baftas category is the only one to be voted for by the public and previous winners include Lashana Lynch, Bukky Bakray, John Boyega, James McAvoy, Kristen Stewart and Tom Hardy.
Mackey also revealed that she met a number of famous faces while attending the ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London’s Southbank Centre.
“Colin Farrell said congratulations and Angela Bassett and Cate Blanchett, so it was really lovely,” she told PA.
“Emma Thompson was there, and she’s such a brilliant person and so much more eloquent in accepting awards.
“I think my parents actually named me after her, not to put too fine a point on it, but I think genuinely that was a thing.
“I probably should have told her that and I kind of regret that I didn’t, although that might have been quite intense.
“But there were just so many people that I look up to, in quite a genuine way. I’m still learning to go up to people and tell them that I admire them because I don’t want to seem desperate or whatever.
“But it’s such a lovely thing when people say nice things, so I’m sort of learning that actually it isn’t that big of a deal.”