The Empire Awards 2003 The Empire Awards 2003












The Eighth Annual Empire Awards

The flash of cameras, the cheer of crowds and the glare of spotlights tracing across the sky marked a very special occasion taking place on London's Park Lane tonight. The Dorchester Hotel was the seat of all the action as Hollywood's best and brightest joined a choice selection of British movie-making talent for the 2003 Empire Awards.

Hugh Grant, Dustin Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Benicio Del Toro, James Van Der Beek, Natascha McElhone, Danny Boyle, Steve Coogan and half the cast of The Lord of The Rings were among the many faces lit up by the paparazzi as they joined the Empire team and other honoured guests for this year's ceremony. The evening's host - none other than Richard E Grant - kicked off the proceedings as the stars were seated for the very best nibbles money can buy. As the coveted awards were revealed, ready to be bestowed upon the winners - as voted for by you, the Empire readers - tensions were high and, as the first envelope was opened, it was Die Another Day star, Rosamund Pike, who nabbed the first award of the night: Best Newcomer. Fellow nominee, Cillian Murphy, did his best to hide disappointment as Pike took to the stage, gushing over her gong.

Next up was the award for Best British Actress and it was Samantha Morton's part as a shaven-headed psychic in Minority Report that won the vote.

Three of the nominees for Best British Actor waited on tenterhooks as the winner was announced but, to the dismay of Andy Serkis and Steve Coogan, it was Hugh Grant who had the winning ticket, claiming the second Empire Award of his career for a stellar performance in About A Boy. "I'm genuinely very pleased because I don't win any prizes - least of all for my acting." The film didn't quite make the cut for the Sky Movies Best British Film Award, however and it was Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later that came out on top, with the gong itself gratefully accepted by Boyle, Andrew MacDonald, Alex Garland and stars, Cillian Murphy and Naomi Harris.

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