English actor and musician Riz Ahmed has gotten the first Muslim to be nominated for the Academy Award’s Best Actor category for his job in the film Sound of Metal.
Ahmed, of Pakistani origins, plays a rock drummer who loses his hearing.
“When you hear your own name, it’s a weird feeling, I just quietly gave thanks and felt some gratitude,” the 38-year-old said after his nomination.
“Everybody on this film was doing it because they wanted to push themselves and go further than they have before. This was all of us trying to see how far could we go.”
Ahmed won an Emmy when he got the prize for lead actor in a limited series or film for The Night Of in 2017.
Around the same time, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for Supporting Actor in Moonlight.
He won a similar prize in 2019 for Green Book.
For performers, this is the most diverse group of nominees ever and a long ways from the all-white acting nods that spawned the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag five years prior.
Nine of the 20 acting nominees are people of colour, including a posthumous Best Actor nomination for Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, just as gestures for Steven Yeun for Minari, Viola Davis for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Andra Day for The United States versus Billie Holiday and Supporting Actor assignments for Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah, Leslie Odom Jr for One Night in Miami and Yuh-Jung Youn for Minari.
Netflix Inc led all outlets with 35 nods following a year in which the Covid pandemic saw movie studios postpone scores of new releases or send them to streaming platforms.
The Oscars will be given out on April 25 of every a service that will happen at both the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and, interestingly, at Union Station in midtown Los Angeles. Neither the type of the ceremony nor a host has been announced.
The late Chadwick Boseman got a first Oscar nod for his last film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom while past champs Frances McDormand and Viola Davis and Britons Carey Mulligan, Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins were likewise nominated.
Eleven entertainers were first-time nominees, including Bulgarian newbie Maria Bakalova for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Andra Day for her lead performance in The United States versus Billie Holiday and Lakeith Stanfield for Judas and the Black Messiah.