Britain’s Sally Hawkins has been named best actress at a film ceremony in Los Angeles as Hollywood’s awards season gets going.
Hawkins is best known for playing Mrs Brown in the Paddington films but won the award on Sunday for her role in fantasy romance The Shape of Water.
She received the accolade at the LA Film Critics Association Awards.
It’s one of many ceremonies leading up to the Oscars in March, where Hawkins is likely to be among the contenders.
She has been nominated for an Oscar once before – in 2013 for her role in Blue Jasmine.
The Shape of Water – directed by Guillermo del Toro – tells the story of a mute woman who falls in love with a captured sea creature in a high-security government facility.
Del Toro was named best director at Sunday’s ceremony in LA, while the film also won best cinematography.
Hawkins, who also won a Golden Globe in 2008 for Happy-Go-Lucky, told Deadline she felt “honoured” to work with del Toro.
“He is the most remarkable person, and you feel honoured to be in his presence,” she said. “He inspires everyone he comes into contact with, and everyone who he works with just wants to do the best for him.”
The 41-year said she felt “lucky” to work on the film and expected to be asked to leave at any moment.
“I felt, every day, like I’d have a tap on the shoulder to be asked to leave. As cliched as it sounds, I really felt that was going to happen at any moment. Or I’d wake up from the dream.”
The night’s other main winner was the Italian-American gay coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name, which won three awards, including best picture.
Other British winners included Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who picked up the award for best music/score for the film Phantom Thread.