First World War epic 1917 swept the board at the Baftas and is odds-on to do the same at the Oscars on Sunday.
But its star, George MacKay, says its success hasn’t yet changed his life — apart from making him travel more. In the film, directed by Sir Sam Mendes, the actor plays one of two soldiers sent on a mission across no man’s land to halt a doomed British attack.
MacKay, left, said he had been stopped in the street by fans saying “lovely things” about the film, “but my life hasn’t changed much”. He added: “Other than I am doing lots and lots of travelling and moving around a lot. So that is the biggest shift so far. I am getting used to living out of a suitcase at the minute.”
The 27-year-old Londoner has previously starred in Pride and Sunshine On Leith. He also won critical acclaim for roles at The Young Vic and The Old Vic. He said: “I couldn’t have dreamt up 1917 until it happened, so it is hard to say what is next.”
MacKay also revealed his performance in the film was partly inspired by a trip to the Imperial War Museum. As part of his research he visited its First World War Galleries, which include more than 1,300 objects such as weapons, uniforms and diaries kept by ordinary soldiers.
He said: “It is the most incredible exhibition. It was the first place I went. The wealth of information is absolutely amazing and the way it explains the war and the politics on a large scale and on a small scale was so insightful.”
MacKay’s co-star Dean-Charles Chapman said he was still getting used to the attention. “The one thing I cannot get used to is the jet lag. I am constantly like: ‘What is going on? Is it morning?’
“To do this with George, he is the nicest bloke I have ever met. And now, he is my favourite actor. He is phenomenal. He is like a brother, we have been through so much.”
The film is favourite to win the best picture Oscar, with Sir Sam tipped to be named best director. Other British stars with nominations include Cynthia Erivo, for best actress, and Florence Pugh, for best supporting actress.