Samantha Morton dedicates Bafta to ‘every child in care or who has been in care’

Samantha Morton has dedicated her Bafta Fellowship “to every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn’t survive”.

The 46-year-old actress and director collected the film awards’ highest accolade from producer David Heyman, who she worked with on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Visibly emotional on stage, Morton said: “This is nothing short of a miracle.

“When I first saw Ken Loach’s Kes on a huge telly that was wheeled into my classroom I was forever changed.

“Seeing poverty and people like me on the screen, I recognised myself – representation matters.”

She said she would tell her younger self: “You matter, don’t give up, the stories we tell, they have the power to change people’s lives.

“Film changed my life, it transformed me and it led me here today.

“I dedicate this award to every child in care, or who has been in care and who didn’t survive.”

There were also tributes from her Minority Report co-star Tom Cruise, as well as collaborators Susan Lynch, Molly Windsor and Daniel Mays, while Heyman described her as a “rare breed and true artist”.

In the winners’ room, she said “money is wasted” in the children’s care system.

The actress, who grew up in foster care and made Bafta-winning TV drama The Unloved about a girl growing up in the system, said: “It costs the taxpayer a huge amount of money to keep a child in care, to take care of them.

“And that money is wasted and spent ridiculously.

“I used to say when I was a kid of many children’s homes, I used to say, ‘It’d be great, why don’t I just go to some fancy boarding school? At least then I get an education’. But that wasn’t on the cards.

“To those kids in care, don’t allow the system to drag you down because it can and it will.”

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