Tom Hiddleston Wins Best Actor at U.K.'s National Film Awards

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for BAFTA New York
Tom Hiddleston

John Boyega and Taron Egerton were also among the winners of the public-choice honors, while Helen Mirren received a lifetime achievement award.

Tom Hiddleston is officially Britain's best-loved actor after winning top honors at the British National Film Awards Thursday night.

The honors, voted on by the British film- and TV-viewing public, are a sort-of people's-choice version of the better-known BAFTAs.

Hiddleston won best actor for his performance in High-Rise, Ben Wheatley's adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel set in a dystopian England of the late 1970s. The actor has been riding a wave of popularity recently, thanks to the success of BBC spy drama The Night Manager, in which he stars.

Star Wars' John Boyega won best breakthrough performance in a film, while Taron Egerton, star of Kingsman: The Secret Service and the recently released Eddie the Eagle, won the best newcomer prize. Kingsman also took best international film nod, with Samuel L. Jackson winning best supporting actor.

In one of the night's major surprises, Spectre lost out as best British film, beaten by Rise of the Footsoldier Part II, a crime thriller from director Ricci Harnett based on the real-life exploits of British gangster Carlton Leach. The film's producer, Andrew Loveday of Carnaby International, said that the award was a "huge honor" for the London-based sales and distribution banner.

Helen Mirren, who was given the event's lifetime achievement award, accepted her honor from New York.

Said the Oscar-winning actress, "I am proud to be a member of the National Film Awards winners list, and thank you to all the movie fans for voting for me."

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