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Pedersen, Queen’s Gambit win AACTA prizes

Schitt’s Creek’s Eugene Levy accepts the award for best comedy series

Aaron Pedersen has won the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) International award for best actor in a TV series for his performance as a detective in Bunya Productions’ Mystery Road.

Meanwhile, Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit was named best TV drama series and its star, Anya Taylor-Joy, collected the prize for best actress in a TV series.

The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy

Presented virtually on March 6, the awards are determined by the AACTA International chapter, comprising 150 Australian screen professionals, many of whom are members of Bafta or the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

This year the organisation introduced prizes in four TV categories, recognising drama, comedy and acting. Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek was named best comedy series, while the streaming giant’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 was recognised for writer and director Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay and for Sacha Baron Cohen as best supporting actor in film.

The other nominees for best actor in a series were Jason Bateman for Ozark, Hugh Grant for The Undoing, Daniel Levy for Schitt’s Creek and Paul Mescal for Normal People.

Pedersen said of Mystery Road, which was commissioned by pubcaster the ABC: “I am so proud a First Nations series is the top-rating drama on Australian television.

“What can I say about my contemporaries nominated for this award except they are some of the greatest actors on the planet, in some of the best shows ever made?

“Finally, I want to thank my brother Ivan Sen for conceiving of my Mystery Road character, Detective Jay Swan. It is the role of a lifetime.”

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