LONDON (AP) An actor won't be nervous when the camera comes in for a close-up at the British Academy Film Awards.
David Tennant is hosting the Sunday ceremony in London and says it's more relaxing to be the emcee than a contestant.
I reserve the right to respond to you on the night of February 18, when I was shaking in a corner having some sort of panic attack, he said. It seems like a very privileged position, but without the nervousness of wondering if you've won one or not. You don't have to prepare a little speech hastily scribbled on the back of an envelope. What larks.
And while comedians face increased scrutiny when they host an awards show, Tennant says there's less pressure on actors.
Not being my day job is somewhat of an advantage, he admits. There aren't a lot of expectations because that's not what I do. So if I do it terribly, what's the harm?
He won't have to walk the line between insulting or amusing an A-list audience, while still entertaining viewers at home.
My stand-up career won't hold up the way this is going. Which, again, takes some of the pressure off me. I'm just going to have a great time.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Hannah Waddingham will also be on hand to entertain nominees with musical performances at the Royal Festival Hall.
Ellis-Bextor sings Murder on the Dancefloor, the hit reinvigorated 22 years after its release by her appearance in Emerald Fennell's Saltburn, nominated for Best British Film.
Award shows are funny, aren't they? » thought Tennant. There's so much nervous energy in the air. It's terribly exciting to be here. And then they go on and on and on and on forever.
Can we get everyone on the other end of the line, still feeling like they're celebrating and not despairing of their dinner? he is asking himself.
The atomic bomb epic Oppenheimer leads the BAFTA trophy race, with 13 nominations, including best film.
Gothic fantasy Poor Things received 11 nominations, while historical epic Killers of the Flower Moon and Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest each had nine.
Only two people know in advance that they will have to give a speech that evening: Samantha Morton, recipient of the BAFTA scholarship, and June Givanni, founder of the June Givanni PanAfrican Archive, who is being honored for her outstanding British contribution to cinema .
Being in the room where the victory happens can be a strange experience, Tennant says.
You're surrounded by a lot of ridiculously famous people that you wouldn't otherwise be in a room with. So there's something a little tricky and exciting about that. At the same time, it can be very overwhelming and a little intimidating, he says.
When asked if he would take the opportunity, as an actor, to audition for BAFTA-nominated director Martin Scorsese, Tennant joked that he wouldn't rule out a few lines from Taxi Driver, adding that everything can happen.
Back to the nervous nominees who will be sitting among their competitors, with a camera monitoring their reaction.
Fantasia Barrino, Sandra Hller, Carey Mulligan, Vivian Oparah, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone make up the best actress category and are all present.
Like every lead actor nominated: Bradley Cooper, Colman Domingo, Paul Giamatti, Barry Keoghan, Teo Yoo and Cillian Murphy.
It’s sport and that’s what matters to the public. And that's where as a candidate you just have to suck, Tennant says. You're still much closer to winning than the person who wasn't nominated. So it's a strange experience. Its realization is intoxicating and dizzying and at the same time can be desperately heartbreaking.
But that’s why we connect,” he laughs.
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