BAFTAs 2020: Jessie Buckley in running for role as Glaswegian country singer in Wild Rose

Wild Rose star Jessie Buckley and writer Nicole Taylor pictured before its Scottish premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival.
Wild Rose star Jessie Buckley and writer Nicole Taylor pictured before its Scottish premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival.
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Irish stage and screen star Jessie Buckley is to compete with some of Hollywood's best-known actresses for a BAFTA for her role as a Glaswegian pub singer.

Buckley, whose character Rose-Lynn Harlan dreams of finding fame in Nashville after being released from jail, will be up against Renée Zellweger, her co-star in Judy, for the leading actress honour.

Other contenders include Scarlett Johansson for Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan for Little Women and Charlize Theron for Bombshell.Written by Glaswegian screenwriter Nicole Taylor, Wild Rose - which also featured Julie Walters as Buckley’s on-screen mother - was hailed by critics as Scotland’s answer to A Star Is Born.

Oscar-winning American songwriter Mary Steenburgen is on the shortlist for an Academy Award for the closing anthem she wrote for the finale of Wild Rose, Glasgow (No Place Like Home). which was set at the city's Celtic Connections festival.

The film, which was shot on location around the city, including venues like the Grand Ole Opry and the Old Fruitmarket, won three honours at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow in November, including best film actress for Buckley.

Another Glasgow-set film, love story Only You, the feature debut of writer-director Harry Wootliff, has won her a nomination in the outstanding debut category.

Sorry We Missed You, award-winning Scottish screenwriter Paul Laverty’s latest movie with his long-time collaborator, director Ken Loach, is nominated for best British film.

Leith-based actor Jack Lowden, whose recent films include Dunkirk, Morrissey biopic England Is Mine, and Highland-set Netflix thriller Calibre and historical drama Mary Queen of Scots, is in the running for BAFTA's “rising star” award.

Johansson is also nominated in the best supporting actress category for her performance in Jojo Rabbit. Other nominees include Laura Dern for Marriage Story, Florence Pugh for Little Women, and Margot Robbie, who is nominated twice, for Bombshell and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Best supporting actor contenders include Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, who are both nominated for The Irishman, Tom Hanks for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes and Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Jessie Buckley filmed Wild Rose in locations across Glasgow, including the city's famous Grand Ole Opry club.

Jessie Buckley filmed Wild Rose in locations across Glasgow, including the city's famous Grand Ole Opry club.

Written by Glaswegian screenwriter Nicole Taylor, Wild Rose was hailed by critics as Scotland's answer to A Star Is Born.

The film, which was shot on location around the city, including venues like the Grand Ole Opry and the Old Fruitmarket, won three honours at the BAFTA Scotland Awards in Glasgow in November, including best film actress for Buckley.

Buckley, who starred opposite Julie Walters, who played her on-screen mother in Wild Rose, returned to Glasgow for its Scottish premiere in February at the city's film festival.

Read more: Interview: Irish actress Jessie Buckley on embracing ‘Weegie mentality’ to convince as Glasgow country singer in Wild Rose

She told at the time how she "worked my *** off" to try to give a convincing performance as a cleaner struggling to make her way as a singer while bringing up two young children after being released from behind bars.

The 30-year-old made several incognito visits to the Grand Ole Opry club - which features in several key scenes - and went drinking with the cast and crew to pubs like The Laurieston Bar and The Ben Nevis to try to get into “the Weegie mentality.”

Buckley, who stars opposite Julie Walters in the new film. said she even tied to dupe shopkeepers around the city by buying cigarettes in her adopted accent.

She said: "The story in the film is really a story of identity, where you are from and the four corners that you are told you are only allowed to dream in. Being a Glasgow girl is so much part of Rose-Lynn’s make-up.

“Honest to God, I love Glasgow so much now. It stole my heart. The people are so open and there is a real humanity behind Glaswegians.

“I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be authentic, but I worked my **** off so that I could get a close to the core as I possibly could.

“I based myself in Glasgow for a month before we started shooting. I was working with a dialect coach and the two of us would go out and I’d speak in a Glasgow accent all day.

“I basically just took to the streets and also went into different newsagents around Glasgow and tried to ask for a packet of fags.

“I took a lot of trips to The Ben Nevis, The Laurieston and all these other joints. They’re pure rust and real life.

“When you fall in love with the city and you fall in love with the people and fall in love with the character who symbolises all that in some way it is kind of scary letting it out.

“I want to do Glasgow proud. It means a lot to me.

“We did a cast and crew screening in Glasgow. I don’t think I took a breath.

“When the film finished a woman turned around and gave me a hug. I literally just burst out crying.”

Only You charts the evolution of a relationship between an office worker and a student who meet in Glasgow on Hogmanay.

Read more: Writer-director Harry Wootliff on her new Glasgow-set movie, Only You

Discussing the movie ahead of its Scottish premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival last year, Wootliff said: "I wanted to write a relationship story – a love story – that felt really intimate and real.

"I wanted to do something that was about the endurance of love through the ups and downs of staying together after the initial falling-in-love phase is over."

Isabel Davis, executive director at Screen Scotland said: “Scottish talent is represented across the BAFTA nominations, notably the writer Paul Laverty for outstanding British film for Sorry We Missed You and Jack Lowden in the rising star category.

"Nicole Taylor’s love letter to her hometown of Glasgow, Wild Rose has rightly been recognised through Jessie Buckley’s tour de force performance. Meanwhile, the phenomenal 1917 continues to steal a march with nominations across many categories and marks another huge achievement for the film’s Scottish writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns.”