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Riz Ahmed wears a grey suit and mauve tie to a red carpet event.

Riz Ahmed Becomes the Oscars’ First Muslim Best Actor Nominee

Riz Ahmed has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Sound of Metal – and it’s a PRETTY BIG DEAL!

He’s the first Muslim performer to be nominated in the category …ever.

Sure we’ve had Muslim performers nominated and even win other categories before (hello to the brilliant Mahershala Ali who’s won the Best Supporting Actor award, twice.)

But this? This is a first. In the awards’ 93-year history.

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Speaking to Deadline, Riz reacted to the big news:

“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. Whether they see me as the first British Pakistani or the first guy from Wembley, you know, there’s so many ways to view it. 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.”

 

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A post shared by Riz Ahmed (@rizahmed)

He also shared a message on Instagram explaining how honoured he is to be nominated and thanked his fellow cast and crew who helped bring an important story to life:

“Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can cut you off from your life and your 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.”

 

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A post shared by Riz Ahmed (@rizahmed)

Riz is nominated alongside Steven Yeun who’s making his own history by being the first Asian-American nominee in the Best Actor category, as well as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and the late Chadwick Boseman. 

You can see the full list of nominees HERE.

(Feature Image Credit: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com)

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