February 25, 2001
Actors Lose Happily to Bell at BAFTAs
In a potential preview of Oscar night, Britain's top BAFTA awards went to Julia Roberts and Ang Lee and to Gladiator for Best Film and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Best Foreign Language Film Sunday night.
Besides taking the Best Film plum, the lavish epic Gladiator won awards for cinematography, editing, and production design.
The Best Actor race can't be duplicated Stateside, however: 14-year-old Jamie Bell walked off with the prize for his work as the dancing lead of Billy Elliot. Bell didn't make the cut for the American Academy Awards, but all his BAFTA competition - except Wonder Boys star Michael Douglas - did.
Gladiator star Russell Crowe (who's become a showbiz mentor of sorts to young Bell), perennial Oscar favorite Tom Hanks, and Geoffrey Rush will all vie again March 25 for the Best Actor Oscar.
According to Reuters, Crowe, Hanks, and Rush were anything but sore losers when Bells' name was called out, whooping and wolf-whistling as Bell made his way through the leopard-skin seats to collect his award.
"I was kind of thinking about not bothering coming, I thought, 'What's the point?'" the 14-year-old said. "I'm hoping to go behind a camera, eventually, when I can reach the lens," the cheeky schoolboy told reporters.
Russell travels to support Souths
against North Queensland Cowboys
Townsville, Queensland ~ 2006