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Daniel Craig wins `best actor` and Casino Royale `best film` at Empire awards

28-Mar-2007 • Casino Royale

Bond star Daniel Craig has been named Best Actor for his role as 007 - in awards voted for by the public in Empire magazine.

Craig, 39, beat Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen, Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Departed to the title - reports LEP.

Casino Royale, the movie which saw Craig wow critics and audiences alike for his gritty Bond debut, was named Best Film.

The gong is good news for Craig, after he went away empty-handed from the Baftas despite making history by being the first Bond to be nominated.

French actress Eva Green, 26, was named Best Female Newcomer for her role as Bond's Vesper Lynd, while Superman Returns star Brandon Routh, 27, took Best Male Newcomer.

Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, 32, won the Best Actress Empire Film Award for her role in Volver, pipping Oscar-winner Dame Helen Mirren, 61, for The Queen.

United 93, the harrowing story directed by Paul Greengrass of the only plane hijacked on September 11, 2001, not to reach its target, was named Best British Film.

British director Christopher Nolan took the award for Best Director for The Prestige, the story of rival magicians. Pan's Labyrinth, set in Franco's Spain, and the comedy Little Miss Sunshine also won awards.

Empire magazine assistant editor Ian Freer said: "I'm delighted that Empire readers have decided that Casino Royale is the best film of the year.

"We're proud that real cinema-goers have the good taste to do something neither the critics' awards or industry prizes managed to do -- really get behind the reinvention of James Bond as a great British triumph."

Thanks to `Dog Bond` for the alert.

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