Thor stars on all-male shortlist for Rising Star award
Two of the stars of Thor are among an all-male shortlist for this year's Bafta Rising Star award.
Chris Hemsworth, who took the lead role in Kenneth Branagh's comic book movie, goes up against Tom Hiddleston, who played his misguided brother, Loki.
Other nominees include Chris O'Dowd, following his break-out role in Bridesmaids, Adam Deacon from Kidulthood and Eddie Redmayne, who starred in My Week With Marilyn.
The winner will be revealed next month.
End Quote Tom Hiddleston
People sometimes think success in this business happens overnight - and the truth is it doesn't.”
All three of the actresses on the longlist for the prize have been eliminated.
They were Like Crazy star Felicity Jones, Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain, who won critical acclaim for her roles in The Help and The Tree Of Life.
The Rising Star award is the only Bafta film category voted for by the public. The longlist was chosen by a jury which included Simon Pegg, Sienna Miller and Harry Potter director David Yates.
Hemsworth and Hiddleston, who will reprise their superhero roles in the forthcoming Avengers movie, have very different acting backgrounds.
Australian-born Hemsworth got his big break playing high school hunk Kim Hyde in soap opera Home And Away.
Hiddleston trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and appeared in Othello and Ivanov in the West End.
The actor said: "It's amazing, because I'm 30 years old and I've been acting for 12 years. People sometimes think success in this business happens overnight - and the truth is it doesn't."
Hiddleston's recent films have included Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris and The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Terence Davies.
Hiddleston also appears in Steven Spielberg's War Horse, out later this week.
"Spielberg was the architect of my childhood imagination," Hiddleston told the BBC.
"I grew up watching his films. I remember throwing a seven-year-old temper tantrum because my mum was having a dinner party and I had to stop watching Raiders of the Lost Ark for the 42nd time."
O'Dowd is best known for his role as surly computer technician Roy Trenneman in Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd.
End Quote Adam Deacon
As a Hackney boy still living on an estate, to know that the Baftas having been watching what I've been doing means so much.”
He also had supporting roles in several films including The Boat That Rocked and Vera Drake. His next film will be This Is Forty - a sequel to hit comedy Knocked Up.
Deacon starred in gritty urban dramas Kidulthood and Adulthood, before directing and starring in last year's Anuvahood.
Deacon said: "As a Hackney boy still living on an estate, to know that the Baftas having been watching what I've been doing means so much."
He added: "This award has not only given me a lot of hope but I think's given a lot of young actors out there a lot of hope, because they've seen where I've come from."
Eddie Redmayne started his film career six years ago in Australian thriller Like Minds.
He has gone on to play supporting roles in period dramas including Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Other Boleyn Girl, before landing the role of a film assistant who falls for Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn.
"The film is about Marilyn Monroe coming to make a film at Pinewood. We shot it at Pinewood and the whole experience felt like a celebration of British film-making," Redmayne said.
Film critic Mark Kermode said the all-male list was a first for the Rising Star shortlist, now in its seventh year.
"There's an interesting title fight in Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth because they went head-to-head in Thor," he said.
Kermode predicted Hiddleston might have the edge in a public vote due to War Horse and The Deep Blue Sea, with Deacon as the "wild card in the pack".
Previous recipients of the Rising Star award include James McEvoy, Eva Green, Shia LeBeouf and Kristen Stewart.
Last year's winner, Tom Hardy, will next be seen playing the masked villain Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.
The 2012 Orange Bafta film awards ceremony takes place on 12 February at London's Royal Opera House.
Nominees for the main award categories will be announced next week.