Barmaid wins Bafta after film set in her pub

Julie Speers shows off her award for the part in gritty movie Wyld. Picture: contributed
Julie Speers shows off her award for the part in gritty movie Wyld. Picture: contributed
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IT’S the Bafta-winning performance that proves the best art really does imitate life.

Barmaid Julie Speers has walked off with the Bafta New Talent acting performance gong for her debut role in gritty drama Wyld – set in the same Port O’Leith pub where she is usually seen pulling pints.

The 23-year-old mum-of-one said the film – directed by co-worker Rory Stewart and telling the tale of a barmaid fighting to put the past behind her – contained enough real-life parallels to make the shoot less daunting than it might have been.

She said: “Finding out I had won was bizarre, surreal. Wyld is a very realistic, community drama.

“Whenever Rory expected me to act as a barmaid and interact with the other actors, I certainly made use of my own bar experience. It came in really handy and the role came very naturally to me.”

Ms Speers was one of a number of Edinburgh winners announced during Tuesday’s event, with city-based artists landing a haul of eight awards in categories ranging from photography to sound design.

“I think there’s a can-do attitude in the city just now,” she said.

“There are a lot of younger people that are coming in just now, which I noticed on the set of Wyld. And I think it’s the younger generation that maybe wants to pick film up and really pursue it.”

The quality of work submitted for consideration by this year’s judges has been hailed by Bafta leaders.

Jude MacLaverty, director of Bafta Scotland, said: “The British Academy Scotland New Talent Awards reflect the sheer breadth of up-and-coming talent in Scotland, across film, TV, games and animation, and it has been wonderful to encourage and applaud emerging talent tonight.

“Congratulations to all of our very worthy winners.”