The night honoring the best of the best in cinema was punctuated by a lot of humor.
Last night’s BAFTA LA Britannia awards were definitely George Clooney’s time to shine. Except for the prank that actor Sacha Baron Cohen couldn’t help himself from pulling, that is. Clooney and Baron Cohen were both honored alongside a handful of other stars – including Benedict Cumberbatch, Sir Ben Kingsley, Kathryn Bigelow and Idris Elba - for various achievements in film, USA Today reports.
Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the award with grace and... no, not really, but it was pretty funny.
But on to Cohen’s rather startling prank. When the actor went on stage to be presented with the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy, things got very out of hand very quickly. As Baron Cohen accepted the award – a Chaplin-esque cane e from an elderly woman in a wheelchair, introduced as the oldest living actor to have worked with Chaplin himself. In the spirit of the award, the actor did a clumsy little tap dance, during which he tripped, and sent the woman flying to the shock of the attendees. If you’re curious to see the moment, Tune in to the show tonight on BBC America at 9 p.m. ET to see how she fared (she survived, folks, its all good).
After Cohen’s little stunt, things went back to normal for the rest of the night. Benedict Cumberbatch received the British Actor of the year award, as well as a heap of compliments from actors Alice Eve and Ejiofor Chiwetel. Upon accepting his award, Cumberbatch explained that he was “quite flabbergasted,” which was practically the perfect wording, considering his category. The Fifth Estate actor thanked his parents, both of whom are actors, for their support.
Cumberbatch was honored as the best British actor of 2013.
Idris Elba was presented with the Humanitarian Award for his work on the film Mandela:Long Walk to Freedom. The actor received the award from Mandela’s daughter, Zindzi herself, who compared Elba to her father in their shared “passion for the human spirit.”
Idris Elba was awarded for his compelling portrayal of Nelson Mandela.
Then finally it came time for Clooney to accept the Stanley Kubrick Award for Excellence in Film, presented by none other than Julia Roberts. The actor took the stage for a touching little speech and, as is the rule for these things, he started it off with a joke (sort of.) "I rather famously don't have children," Clooney started, to laughter, "but I do have a family. And it's a family of actors and directors and of writers, and, God forbid, agents, and studios and journalists. People who love what they do."
Clooney accepted his award with a touching speech.