Samantha Morton Receives Richard Harris Award

Samantha Morton, who captivated audiences with her portrayal of Mary Lou Barebone in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is the latest Wizarding World alumni to be honored with the Richard Harris Award. Morton received the award on December 4 at the 25th British Independent Film Awards in London.


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The Richard Harris Award is given to actors whom the academy feels have highly contributed to British film throughout their careers. The award’s namesake is, of course, the great Richard Harris, who played Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. Morton acknowledged the legacy of the late Irish actor in a remark to the Evening Standard.

Independent cinema is my true home, the reason for my art, and Richard Harris was my first teacher.

Harris seems to have returned this respect, having been a fan of Morton herself. His sons, Damien, Jared, and Jamie Harris, confirmed as much, referencing her outstanding performances in Under the Skin (1997), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), Jesus’ Son (1999), and Morvern Callar (2002) in a joint statement.

After having worked with Samantha on This Is [t]he Sea, Richard was as impressed with her work as I had ever seen him. He told me ‘If you ever get the opportunity to work with her, grab it. She is the real effing deal.’

Morton is in good company, with former honorees including some truly outstanding Potter alumni. Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore in the last six movies), John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander), David Thewlis (Remus Lupin), Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney), and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) have all been honored since the award’s introduction in 2003.


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