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bukky bakray

The Baftas EE Rising Star and leading actress nominee romances at Boxpark and gets her burger fix at Oowee Vegan

Home is…

Lower Clapton with my parents and three brothers. Well, one’s in and out because of university.

Which shops do you rely on?

If I want trash grub, there’s a vegan burger shop called Oowee Vegan in Dalston. And I love Zara or Weekday for some clean garms. And Pret! There are a lot of memories with Prets in central London for me and my friends. We used to think we were so classy and get our non-dairy milks and just sit on the chairs by the window.

Oowee Vegan

Best thing a cabbie has said to you?

Recently, I was having a conversation with a cab driver and he said, ‘Well, not everyone’s like you.’ He made me feel like an individual in that moment, like I wasn’t just a replica. It made me feel like maybe I am unique.

Last play you saw?

It was either Death of England: Delroy or Small Island, both on at the National Theatre and I watched both virtually. Small Island was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. Gershwyn Eustache Jr and Leah Harvey, the leads in that play: I have no words.

Small Island

Where do you go to let your hair down?

Maybe the park, there are some lush areas in Stratford. But to be fair, in normal times I just chill a lot at my friends’ houses — Precious, Ketia, Honour, Destiny, Kosar [Ali, Bakray’s Rocks co-star] — and order insane amounts of food. I turned 18 during lockdown and me and my friends had been saying summer 2020 was going to be absolutely nuts. That obviously didn’t happen, so I think this year is going to be times 10.

Where do you stay in London?

During the Rocks journey, we went to a hotel where the Spice Girls filmed the video for ‘Wannabe’: the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. I didn’t
do the dance on the stairs, but I did nearly fall down them.

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I’m currently in Birmingham filming a really exciting series. I’m not allowed to talk about it but it’s really, really exciting and it’s got a sick cast. I was also speaking to Kosar the other day and we agreed we need to do something else together. I said, ‘I don’t think anyone’s going to cast us in something together again,’ and she said: ‘If somebody else doesn’t, then I will.’

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would listen, for once, to what the people say. I would then pay NHS staff accordingly. I feel like energy’s transferred: when NHS staff are paid correctly and people who are saving lives feel okay and feel they’re being treated properly, the energy can transfer to the surroundings. They’re the glue for all of us.

Where do you work out?

I sometimes run to the Olympic Park, but I usually work out in my local park: Hackney Marshes . I ran every single day during the first lockdown but I also love
lifting weights — you can feel the transformation.

Hackney Marshes

Where would you recommend for a first date?

It depends on the person, but I think Shoreditch because you have space to walk around. I think Boxpark is a nice place for a first date. It doesn’t always have to be Mayfair.

Public voting for the EE
Rising Star Award is open at ee.co.uk/bafta. The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on 11 April