Hackney actor Adam Deacon won the Rising Star Award at Sunday’s BAFTAs following a storm of support from fans, including N-Dubz, Ashley Cole and Labrinth.
Deacon, 28, who describes himself as ‘an underdog’, beat Eddie Redmayne from My Week with Marilyn, Tom Hiddlestone and Liam Hemsworth who both starred in last year’s Thor and Chris O’Dowd from Bridesmaids, to take home the only public nominated award.
Unlike Redmayne and Hiddlestone, who were both educated at Eton, Deacon still lives on the council estate in Hackney where he grew up. He said he hoped the award would help inspire young people from poorer backgrounds to aim higher.
“Thank you to BAFTA for this because it means acceptance and it’s not just a win for me, it’s a win for the underdog and it’s a win for any young person out there who’s got a dream to better themselves.”
Deacon first appeared in Ali G IndaHouse aged 12-years-old but his break-out role was Jay in Kidulthood, a gritty urban drama directed by previous Rising Star Award winner Noel Clarke.
After roles in Adulthood, The Bill and Casualty, Deacon decided to direct, write and star in urban comedy Anuvahood, feeling frustrated that he was being overlooked by directors due to his background.
“If you’re coming from a certain world, or a certain area – call it a council estate – it’s that little bit harder to get into the acting profession,” he said.
Deacon is very involved in the community and is a TV presenter on the Community Channel, the UK’s only TV station dedicated to issues in the charitable, voluntary and community sectors.
His latest film Payback Season is due for release in March. Co- starring Anna Popplewell, it follows the struggles of a Premier League footballer living on a council estate./ 15 February, 2012