Old Harrodians going head-to-head for Bafta

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Still friendly: Will Poulter and George MacKay Still friendly: Will Poulter and George MacKay

Two young actors who attended the Harrodian School in Barnes together are going head to head for the same Bafta.

Will Poulter, 20, and George MacKay, 21, are both nominated in the EE Rising Star category, which honours actors who had a breakout year in 2013.

While at Harrodian, an independent day school that was founded in 1993, they acted in the same plays and sketch shows and at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Poulter recently starred in We’re the Millers, in which he shares a kiss with Jennifer Aniston, and was in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in 2010, after shooting to fame in Son of Rambow in 2007.

Poulter said MacKay, who starred in 2003’s Peter Pan after being spotted in a school play, inspired him when he was at school. MacKay has since appeared in the Proclaimers musical Sunshine on Leith and How We Live Now.

Poulter denied any tension between the pair ahead of the winner being announced.

Harrodian is famed for its music and drama, describing its drama productions, art exhibitions and musical events as “first rate”.

It has produced a string of stars, including Robert Pattinson, Jack Whitehall and Tom Sturridge, during its relatively short existence.

Simon Parker, head of drama at Harrodian for 10 years, said: “I’ve been very supported by the school and James Hooke [headmaster] has allowed me to do more experimental things that other schools possibly wouldn’t do. We work with students in an organic way, taking classic plays and messing around with them.”

On the two nominees, he said: “They were always very special and unique in their approaches and immediately you knew there was something about them.

“Will was naturally comedic and had people in stitches doing voices, actions and physical comedy. George had a nuanced approach and always wanted to understand things.”

Up against the old Harrodians for the award is Lupita Nyong’o, 30, for 12 Years a Slave, Léa Seydoux, 28, for Blue is the Warmest Colour, and Dane DeHaan, 27, for Kill Your Darlings.

Voting for the EE Rising Star Bafta is open to the public online and will close on February 14.

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