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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April 2005, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Blethyn looks forward to Baftas
by Caroline Westbrook
BBC News Entertainment reporter

Brenda Blethyn
Blethyn on Belonging: "A play looking at people you wouldn't normally concentrate on"
Actress Brenda Blethyn is up for best actress at the TV Baftas on Sunday.

Blethyn, 59, has been a recent regular on the movie world's red carpet, picking up Oscar nominations in 1997 (Secrets and Lies) and 1999 (Little Voice) and winning best actress Bafta in 1997 for Secrets and Lies.

This year she is in the running for her first Bafta TV award.

Blethyn starred in the 2004 ITV drama Belonging as Jess Copplestone, a woman who is forced to look after her husband's elderly relatives even after he leaves her for a younger woman.

It is a project of which she is particularly proud.

"I'm really, really pleased with the nomination," she says. "I know it's a cliche to say you're pleased to be nominated, but I really am.

Competition

"And I was so happy to be asked to be in Belonging as it was such a good script, particularly as it was a play looking at people you wouldn't normally concentrate on. I thought it was good to do that."

However, she is up against competition from Anne-Marie Duff for Channel 4's Shameless and Anamaria Marinca from Sex Traffic, also Channel 4 - and is remaining non-committal about her chances of winning.

"Obviously I'm in with a chance if I'm nominated," she says, "but I haven't got any expectation of winning. Also, I haven't seen any of the other programmes but I hear people talking about them, about how wonderful they were."

The nomination is the culmination of a busy few months for Blethyn, which have seen her playing Mrs Bennet in the forthcoming film version of Pride and Prejudice, starring in TV commercials for British Gas and even heading the jury of a film festival in Moscow.

Even fitting the actual Bafta ceremony into her schedule has been a problem. Blethyn was due to begin filming a sitcom pilot in Los Angeles the following day.

Exciting

"I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to go, and I'd be gutted if I couldn't. I don't think I've ever been to a Bafta ceremony. I won one once and I couldn't go because I was filming in Scotland. So I really want to be able to go to this one, I hope it works out."

Blethyn is quick to point out the main differences between the Oscars and the Baftas - but admits that both ceremonies are exciting.

"The Oscars get such huge coverage, I suppose people make it like the number one ceremony."

But the Baftas is a wonderful thing and it's up there with it. Apart from being a celebration, it's actually a television show and it has to be dealt with like one, and that's where the Americans get it right. I hope it's not stuffy because you want to get people to watch it."






SEE ALSO
Blethyn's gamble pays off
31 Dec 02 |  Arts
Brenda Blethyn and a pinch of salt
22 Mar 99 |  The Oscars 1999
Brenda Blethyn
31 Jul 07 |  Breakfast

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