Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student…
The talented Pakistani-British actor Riz Ahmed is soaring with high praise for his latest project “Sound of Metal.” In his acceptance speech at the first hybrid virtual Gotham Awards, Ahmed honored his inspiration Irrfan Khan and the late Chadwick Boseman.
Ahmed took home the award for Best Actor at the 30th Gotham Awards held in New York City this past week. In “Sound of Metal” Ahmed plays a drummer in a heavy metal band whose life takes a traumatic turn as he loses his hearing. The Amazon backed film has already created quite the buzz with critics praising Ahmed for his Oscar-worthy performance.
In his virtual acceptance speech, the eloquent actor praised his inspirations as well as his talented peers and recognized the losses we’ve all faced this year. He quoted international actor Irrfan Khan who unfortunately lost his two-year battle to cancer this past year.
“I want to mention Irrfan Khan, another great, tremendous actor who we lost last year,” Ahmed said in his speech. “Whose words ring in my ears right now, which I always think of: ‘Surrender to the dance of uncertainty’,” Ahmed said.
Ahmed has often named Khan as one of his inspirations, as well as the late American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Ahmed also took this time to reflect on the year aptly stating that “It has been a crazy year for all of us. There’s been a lot of loss, a lot of time to reflect. The one thing we learned was that we don’t get anywhere on our own. Our well being is dependent on each other. I feel the same way as an actor. Creativity isn’t a solo sport.”
Ahmed even mentioned “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman who also passed of cancer this past year. Boseman was nominated for Sanson Ma Rainey’s “Black Bottom.”
Speaking of the late actor, Ahmed said, “I found his work to be truly inspiring, the way he conducted himself, with such dignity and humanity, to be an example for all of us.”
Ahmed, a trailblazing actor himself, has been working on not just “Sound of Metal” but also “Mogul Mowgli,” a film Ahmed co-wrote, produced, and starred in. He launched his new production house titled Left Hand Films as well. He has hired former AMC exec Allie Moore to oversee production and development, and they’ve already signed a television deal with Amazon Studios. Ahmed is working with Netflix to create an adaptation of “Exit West” in partnership with Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. Ahmed is also teaming up with the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe for a modern recreation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Clearly, this pandemic has not slowed down the award-winning talent! Here’s hoping there is an endless stream of Riz Ahmed to obsess over in 2021.
Nila is a freelance journalist and Clinical Psychology Doctoral student who was born and raised in New York City. There is very little she loves more than Harry Potter marathons, pizza, 90s Bollywood, bagels, falooda, and her family. She hopes to use her powers for good by spreading mental health awareness and positivity in the South Asian community through her love of writing.