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Oscar nominations 2021: Pakistani-origin actor Riz Ahmed makes history

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Pakistani-origin Riz Ahmed has become the first Muslim to be nominated for the Oscar lead actor by making history. 

The Pakistani origin, 38 years old Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim to be nominated for the Oscar lead actor despite years of #OscarsSoWhite criticism, however, Monday´s nominations saw multiple diversity landmarks set. 

Steven Yuen became the first Asian-American nominated as best actor for “Minari,” and will compete against Riz Ahmed, the first Pakistani-origin star nominated. 

Ahmed previously has earned the nomination for his role in “Sound of Metal”. He also bagged a Golden Globe nomination for “Sound of Metal” earlier this year. 

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In an interview, Ahmed spoke about his nomination for the Oscar lead actor, he said, “To be honest, I just feel like however people can find themselves in this moment, however they can find a connection to this moment, is beautiful to me,”  

He added, “Some people may connect to the fact that it’s the first Muslim, some people might say British Pakistani, some people might say first person from Wembley in London, what matters to me is that these moments of celebration, these moments of collective recognition, are actually moments where as many people as possible can recognize themselves in it. 

“And so that’s all that really matters to me,” Ahmed said. “And I’m really pleased if this is an opportunity for more people than ever before to connect to a moment like this.” 

Ahmed also has been seen in films such as “Rogue One,” “Venom,” “The Sisters Brothers,” “Nightcrawler,” “Four Lions” and the recent “Mogul Mowgli,”  

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“That’s really what it’s all about. It’s all about trying to shine a light on these films and kind of collectively, as a creative community and as a culture globally, pulling together and saying, ‘Hey, here are the movies that we feel talked to us as a society, as a culture, about who we are and where we’re at and what we’re working through,’” Ahmed said. 

“And particularly I think ‘Sound of Metal’ is something that will really resonate with audiences. And I hope really help them get through this tough time,” he added. “It’s about a health crisis, throwing someone into lockdown, forcing them to do things a little differently when they are cut off from their life and their loved ones. That is something that everyone can relate to. So I hope that this film is something that gives people strength and gives people some support and some inspiration as they’re going through something similar.” 

The 2021 Oscars will take place on 25th April. 

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