Date: 26th February 2001
Teenage star JAMIE BELL was the surprise BEST ACTOR winner at the BAFTA AWARDS held in London last night (25FEB01). Bell, 14, in his debut film, beat off competition from RUSSELL CROWE (GLADIATOR), MICHAEL DOUGLAS (WONDER BOYS), TOM HANKS (CAST AWAY) and GEOFFREY RUSH (QUILLS) for the award which was presented by GOLDIE HAWN at the ODEON, LEICESTER SQUARE, cinema.
Bell said, "I was kind of thinking about not bothering coming, I thought what's the point?" The film was about a boy from the north of England who wanted to become a ballet dancer. Bell said that he would not be celebrating his accolade with a wild party but would instead be going home for an early night. He added that he would not let the gong go to his head, joking that he had been giving advice to other Hollywood stars.
Jamie said, "It is just an award although it is a big one. It is no good getting too big-headed. I've been very busy and I'm very tired. "I have been giving advice, you know, on speech-making and things like that. It's kind of weird that the other guys didn't win because they're such big guys."
He also revealed his biggest thrill was at the GOLDEN GLOBES. "I met Tom Hanks, I stood next to him and I thought 'This is the only chance I'll get to talk to him'. "He asked me the time and I said, 'It's twenty past eight' and he pulled me in front of the camera and he said, 'Now this guy, this guy's great'. "And then there's always a kind of silence when I don't know what to say, and he sort of backed off, he walked away and that was the last I saw of him." (PDD/WNWR&WNWCCB/KW)