Riz Ahmed made history Monday as the first Muslim nominated for the Oscar for lead actor with the recognition for his role in “Sound of Metal.”
Actor Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar when he took home the statuette for supporting actor for “Moonlight” in 2017 and won the same prize in 2019 for “Green Book.”
Ahmed previously was the first Muslim, and first Asian, to win a lead acting Emmy in 2017 when he picked up the prize for lead actor in a limited series or movie for “The Night of.” The 38-year-old British Pakistani actor also has been seen in films such as “Rogue One,” “Venom,” “The Sisters Brothers,” “Nightcrawler,” “Four Lions” and the recent “Mogul Mowgli,” which he also co-wrote. He has a career as a rapper and musician and in 2020 released the album “The Long Goodbye.”
In “Sound of Metal,” Ahmed plays Ruben, a rock-and-roll drummer and recovering addict whose life is sent into a tailspin when he loses his hearing. For the role, Ahmed has been nominated for the Golden Globe, SAG Award, Spirit Award and BAFTA for lead actor. He won the Gotham Award and numerous critics prizes. [Source]
Coverage: Los Angeles Times Actors Roundtable
Impostor syndrome: Everybody feels it, even Hollywood’s most seasoned stars. In a conversation recorded last month, actors Delroy Lindo, Riz Ahmed, Steven Yeun, Gary Oldman and George Clooney copped to the pangs of self-doubt they’ve experienced in their careers and the “jet fuel” that’s helped them power through.
“This idea of the impostor syndrome, it’s real with every actor,” said Clooney, who directed himself as a lone astronomer left on a dying Earth in the sci-fi adaptation “The Midnight Sky.” “Because to be successful at any level in this industry means that you’re beating such huge odds.”
Seeing that a performance can make a lasting impact and even meaningful change is a persuasive counterweight, said Ahmed, who plays Ruben, a drummer losing his hearing in “Sound of Metal.” “It’s a tremendous jet fuel to know that your work might help stretch culture in some way.”
“I think it’s very healthy, this impostor syndrome,” added “Mank” star Oldman, who portrays “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in the period biopic. “If someone said to me, ‘What do you think is your best work?’ I’d like to say, ‘Next year. The best work is the next one.’”
Beaming in remotely for the annual Envelope Oscar Roundtable, held virtually this year due to the pandemic, the quintet vowed to raise a glass when it’s safe to do so. They shared stories and laughs, as well as the sentiment that’s been on their minds now more than ever — gratitude.
Yeun, who stars as a family man chasing his American dream in “Minari,” described the sensation of panic — then faith — that overcame him while in the shower two days before filming. “I was in my hotel room freaking out. I was like, ‘I’m going to do a terrible job. Every Korean American kid is going to hate me because I represented this poorly.’ I was in the shower and I just started sobbing. And the feelings that overwhelmed me were fear, awe, gratitude and submission. It all came together into this feeling of just faith,” he said.
Meanwhile, the devastating COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone around the globe, including our panelists. Lindo revealed that he’d battled the virus back in March — only months before drawing acclaim from audiences and critics alike for his turn as the tormented Vietnam War veteran Paul in “Da 5 Bloods.”
“I was very sick,” he said. “But the fact that I recovered from that is a consistent wake-up call and a consistent reminder to be grateful. Because the alternative could have been very different for me.”
The five actors also took time to remember the late Chadwick Boseman, who died in August after starring with Lindo in “Da 5 Bloods” and filming his final performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
“It’s a crappy year, and we don’t get to be in the same room together,” Clooney said. “And if we were sitting in a room right now, all of us together, there’d be an empty chair for Chadwick Boseman.”
Their conversation here has been edited for length and clarity. [More at Source]
News: Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ Season 13 Line Up
Variety and PBS SoCal announced today the actor lineup and schedule for the thirteenth season of their three-time Emmy Award-winning series Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.
The new season was filmed entirely from the actors’ homes and includes exclusive one-on-one conversations between top acting talent from potential contending movies in this year’s Academy Awards race. The episodes will premiere on PBS SoCal on Friday, March 5 at 8:00 pm, 8:30 pm, 9:00 pm and 9:30 pm. All episodes will stream on pbssocal.org and on the free PBS Video app following their premieres.
Variety’s Actors on Actors issue will hit newsstands on Jan. 20 with clips appearing on Variety.com starting Jan. 19. All Variety.com Actors on Actors videos will be presented by Amazon Studios. This season’s featured conversations are:
Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”) with Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Ben Affleck (“The Way Back”) with Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
George Clooney (“The Midnight Sky”) with Michelle Pfeiffer (“French Exit”)
Tom Holland (“Cherry”) with Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) with Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
Jamie Dornan (“Wild Mountain Thyme”) with Eddie Redmayne (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”) with Pete Davidson (“The King of Staten Island”)
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”) with John David Washington (“Malcolm & Marie”)
Zendaya (“Malcolm & Marie”) with Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) with Steven Yeun (“Minari”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) with Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”) [Source]
News: Riz Ahmed Joins British Vogue As A Contributing Editor
“The Greek word ‘apocalypse’ doesn’t mean final destruction, it means revelation,” Riz Ahmed writes in the September 2020 issue – his first as a contributing editor to British Vogue.
Like many of us, the Emmy winner has spent the last few months contemplating what “normality” should actually look like post-Covid-19 – and making plans to foster long-term changes for the better. “The board has been flipped over by a stray strand of viral RNA in Wuhan, by a brutal viral video from Minneapolis, and something has been stripped away – the facade of it all,” he stresses in a moving feature about his transformative lockdown experience.
Naturally, one of the key issues that Ahmed is keen to tackle moving forward is the lack of diversity within the film and television industry – a microcosm of today’s systemically racist world. “The issues in the industry are just a highly visible reflection of the imbalances in our society at large – and so in order to address them we need interventions at every level, from supporting young people in broadening their horizons and accessing a range of opportunities, all the way through to challenging agencies, studios, and distributors to question the biases they are compounding and take measurable action,” he tells Vogue.
“Change is overdue, and it’s coming with or without the people that have been standing in its way… I’m excited to be a part of the change that Edward’s British Vogue is making to our culture, at this pivotal moment.”
It’s no accident, of course, that Ahmed joins the masthead in an issue devoted to changemakers – particularly activists, whom Ahmed cites as his greatest source of hope. Among those inspiring him now? “Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, the educator and award-winning spoken word poet, who consistently blows my mind with her work and her activism. Jumoke Abdullahi, who is doing amazing work reframing disability with her group the Triple Cripples. Femi Nylander and the team behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign to remove Rhodes’s statue at Oxford University. [More at Source]