After being nominated for the Best Actor’s category for this year’s Academy Awards, the celebrated actor Riz Ahmed has become the first Muslim and the first actor of Pakistani origin to get nominated for an Oscar in the category of Best Actor for his performance in Sound of Metal.
The film is further nominated for a total of six categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor for Paul Raci, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Sound.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist actor, 38, said this moment was for anyone who can find themselves inspired and connected by it.
“If there’s a way in which people can find themselves in this moment, and can feel inspired and connected on a deeper level, I’m all for it.”In an interview with Deadline, Ahmed said.
“Whether they see me as the first British Pakistani or the first guy from Wembley, you know, there are so many ways to view it,” The Rogue One star said.
“But as long as it feels like an opportunity for more people than ever before to really connect and feel included in this moment, that’s a blessing.”He continued.
While addressing the nomination of nine non-white actors across the four acting categories, Ahmed said: “It’s why we do it, to stretch our hearts and stretch our minds, and in the process stretch culture.”
“We should stretch culture so that it’s big enough and wide enough and expansive enough so that there’s space for all of us to find ourselves in it, to feel that we belong and that we’re included, and that we matter.”He said.
“These changes aren’t just something that’s good politically or socially. It’s something which allows stories and storytelling to get back to its original intention, which is to embrace all of us.”
Earlier, the Venom star had issued a statement about the nomination as well, telling the press: “I’m honored to be nominated by my fellow actors alongside such inspiring performances, and am grateful to the Academy for their support and encouragement.”
“I’m equally thrilled for our visionary writer-director Darius Marder and the brilliant Paul Raci, as well as our editor Mikkel, sound designer Nicolas, and co-writer Abe Marder.”He said.
“These nominations represent the time, generosity, and talents of so many — all of our incredible cast, crew, producers, and in particular I’d like to thank my mentors in the drumming, addiction recovery, and D/deaf communities,” he added.
“Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can cut you off from your life and loved ones, and force you to grow in unexpected ways. In a challenging year for so many, I hope this story can inspire us to forge new and deeper connections with ourselves and others.”He concluded.
The Oscars will air on Sunday, April 25 on ABC at 8pm ET.