Stephen Rea to receive lifetime achievement award at IFTAs

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A Lifetime Achievement Award is to be Presented to Stephen Rea by the Irish Academy

The Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) announced on Wednesday that Stephen Rea, a celebrated Irish actor known for his roles in Oscar-nominated films such as The Crying Game, Michael Collins, and Greta, will be recognized with the Irish Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

This prestigious award acknowledges Rea’s remarkable contributions to both the Irish and international film industry.

On Saturday, April 20, at the Dublin Royal Convention Centre, Rea will receive the recognition in front of his loved ones, acquaintances, and peers from the industry during the 21st IFTA Awards ceremony.

The event will be emceed by Baz Ashmawy, a well-known television figure in Ireland.

Rediscovering the Irish culture

According to Rea, a significant portion of Irish culture has been rediscovered and reinterpreted, including music, language, literature, and theatre. He also notes the addition of cinema to this list, thanks to the unique contributions of John Boorman, who produced the first film of Neil Jordan, “Angel.”

So much of Irish culture has been recovered and reimagined. Music, language, literature, theatre.

Stephen Rea

To Rea’s surprise, this film also marked his own debut in the film industry, as Neil handed him the script and a saxophone, thrusting him into the world of cinema. This marked the beginning of a newfound confidence in Irish cinema, with one truly original film leading the way.

Furthermore, IFTA praised Rea for collaborating with acclaimed directors like Mike Leigh and Robert Altman, and sharing the screen with popular stars such as:

– Emily Blunt

– Daniel Craig

– Natalie Portman

– Liam Neeson

– Cillian Murphy

– Ralph Fiennes

– Julianne Moore

– Isabelle Huppert

– Martin Sheen

– Annette Bening

– Robert Downey Jr.

– Kate Beckinsale

– Paul Dano

– Lily James

– Maggie Gyllenhaal

– Colin Firth

– Julia Roberts

– Colin Farrell

– Helena Bonham Carter

– Andie McDowell

– Forest Whitaker

– Jim Broadbent

– Laura Linney

– Kathy Bates

– Maggie Smith

– Miranda Richardson.

According to IFTA, in 1992, he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Fergus, an IRA member struggling with his morals in the movie The Crying Game. The storyline is set in London during the Troubles, and Fergus is caught up in a complicated romantic relationship.

His nuanced portrayal of an Irish Republican shed light on the complexity of the violence that was taking place in Ireland and was well-received by a global audience.

Moreover, he has also been featured in both successful movies and television shows, including popular hits like V For Vendetta, Underworld: Awakening, and War & Peace.

And has played roles in critically acclaimed TV series like The English and The Honourable Woman. Despite his unwavering dedication to theatre, his passion has endured.

Out of nine total nominations, Rea has been the recipient of three IFTA Awards. Additionally, he has been recognized with three nominations for the BAFTA TV Awards and was awarded a BAFTA in 2015 for his role in The Honourable Woman, earning him the title of best supporting actor.

The CEO of IFTA, Áine Moriarty, praised the achievements and efforts of the star. She commended Stephen for being a trailblazer in his field and acknowledged the lasting impact he has made on the industry. Moriarty also highlighted his exceptional talent and skill, describing his performances as intelligent, intuitive, and sincere, with a distinct Irish resilience.

According to the head of IFTA, the actor has achieved a high level of admiration and affection in Ireland. His dedication to his profession and our society has solidified his place in the history of Irish movies, stage productions, and television.

On Thursday, March 14, the nominations for the 2024 IFTA Awards will be revealed.

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