I, Daniel Blake star Hayley Squires celebrates Bafta nomination with a pizza


I, Daniel Blake star Hayley Squires has said she is marking her first Bafta nomination with a celebratory pizza in a break between play rehearsals.

Hayley, 28, plays a young mother scraping by on benefits in Ken Loach's powerful drama, which won the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival.

She will now compete against likely Oscar nominees Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Michelle Williams in the best supporting actress category, alongside Lion star Nicole Kidman.

Speaking in a break from rehearsals for Jamie Lloyd's production for The Pitchfork Disney, she told the Press Association: "I keep laughing to myself. It was an odd start to the day, but wonderful and very unexpected. I'm so grateful and I've treated myself to a pizza from the place next door."

Daniel Johns, Hayley Squires and Ken Loach attending the British Independent Film Awards, at Old Billingsgate Market, London.
Hayley with co-star Dave Johns and director Ken Loach (Ian West/PA)

The actress, who will be attending the ceremony for the first time, added: "I've been watching the Baftas for I can't think how many years. It's going to be very strange but it's such a dream come true.

"I think there will be quite a few starstruck moments, and probably some people I won't be able to make eye contact with.

"I played it cool in Cannes but I don't think I will be able to at the Baftas, just the idea of being in the same room as Meryl Streep."

Meryl Streep poses in the press room with the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards
Meryl Streep (Jordan Strauss/AP)

Hayley added that she hopes the five nods the film received, including best film and outstanding British film, and best director for Loach, give it new life to find a new audience.

She said: "The film is unapologetic in its view and Bafta have championed it.

"This brings a second life to the film, the importance of the story doesn't go to the back of people's minds.

Hayley Squires attending the Evening Standard Film Awards at Claridge's, Brook Street, London.
(Ian West/PA)

"All of the stories they have picked to recognise are about human struggle and connections with one another allow you to recognise how to make it through life."

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who is in the running for a best supporting actor gong for his role in Tom Ford's thriller Nocturnal Animals, a part that has already scored him a Golden Globe, said he is particularly excited to be recognised on home turf.

He will compete against Dev Patel for Lion, Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins, Jeff Bridges for Hell Or High Water and Mahershala Ali for Moonlight for the prize.

He said: "It's always nice to feel love from your home town! This is a fantastic honour. I'm deeply grateful to Bafta for the acknowledgement and extremely proud of my friends Tom Ford and Jake Gyllenhaal (his co-star).

"It's because of them that I am even being considered for such a recognition. I'm genuinely humbled to be in the company of Dev, Hugh, Jeff and Mahershala. Can't wait to celebrate back in good ole Blighty!"

Dev, who plays an adopted young man trying to find his long-lost family in Lion, said: "Thank you so much to the Baftas for your support.

"Ever since I was a kid growing up outside of London, I've watched the Bafta awards with my family. It was a tradition of ours and served as an inspiration to me as I decided to embark on my journey as an actor.

"Since Lion is a film about identity and finding 'home', this Bafta nomination today truly means so much to me...I can't wait to celebrate this achievement with my peers and fellow Bafta nominees at the ceremony that holds such a special place in my heart. My family is literally freaking out right now!"