Harry Potter spin-off triumphs at ceremony

Tom Hiddleston with his Empire hero award.

Tom Hiddleston with his Empire hero award.

J.K. Rowling’s magical Harry Potter spin-off has triumphed at the Three Empire Awards taking home four awards in total.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them picked up best actor, best production design, best costume design and best make-up and hairstyling at the ceremony held at London’s Roundhouse. The film’s lead actor, Eddie Redmayne, beat Benedict Cumberbatch, Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck to win the best actor gong.

The best actress award went to Felicity Jones, while Dave Johns and Anya Taylor-Joy were named best newcomers.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story won best film while its creator, Gareth Edwards, was named best director and Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake won best British film.

Patrick Stewart received the Empire legend award. Best known for playing Captain Picard in Star Trek and Professor X in this year’s X-Men instalment, Logan, the Yorkshire-born star said there was a “sense of unreality” about the prestigious honour.

“It’s the last thing ever in my career that I anticipated, I have literally gone job by job, day by day doing what I’ve loved doing since I was 17,” he said.

“I think I’ll keep this award on my pillow so that when I wake up in the morning, there will be a reminder saying ‘it actually happened, Patrick, there you are, an alleged legend’.”

Patrick Stewart with the Empire legend award at the Three Empire Awards held at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London. Photos: Matt Crossick/PA WirePatrick Stewart with the Empire legend award at the Three Empire Awards held at The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London. Photos: Matt Crossick/PA Wire

As he accepted the prize he was joined by his “friend and brother” Ian McKellen.

Thanking him and the crowd, Stewart said: “Nietzsche said success is an imposter, it conceals the floor, the womb, the fundamental doubt at the core of the artist’s being.

“But Mr Nietzsche you are not right about that tonight – I don’t feel flawed, I don’t feel overlooked, I don’t feel misunderstood, I feel very happy, actually immensely happy.”

Tom Hiddleston picked up the Empire hero award and best TV series for his role in BBC’s The Night Manager. Arriving hours after a long-haul flight, he said: “This is a huge honour. They say never meet your heroes but I am lucky enough that I wouldn’t be standing here if I hadn’t met mine and worked with them, and I dedicate this to all of them.”

Adding his special thanks to the Empire readers who voted for the award winners, he said: “The point of cinema is to connect people and thank you for letting me be part of the conversation.”


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