Riz Ahmed thanks God, family and wife for big Oscar win

British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed won his first Oscar for the critically acclaimed live-action short film The Long Goodbye, which he co-wrote with Aneil Karia. Riz was nominated last year for his performance in the film Sound of Metal.

Now, the Emmy-winning artist has taken to Instagram to pen a heartfelt note. “When you spend your life code-switching you learn to never bring all of your raw, unfiltered self to the table. But this film was just that – our families and fears, the music and the message, Urdu and English – holding nothing back.”

He went on to add, “Winning an Oscar for THIS film of all films? It’s a lesson to make the thing you think you shouldn’t.”

Joking about the accolade itself, Riz shared, “Also, Oscar’s are seriously heavy. Carrying one for 12 hours feels like your shoulder is dislocating.” He then reflected, “And maybe that was a lesson too – that the weight you carry is the reward, the pain is the poetry, your gift and curse are the same. Confront your adversity, embrace it, and share it – it will elevate you. That’s what we did with this film. We put our nightmares on screen and they turned into a dream.”

The Nightcrawler actor then extended heartfelt gratitude. “Thank you, God, for teaching me.” He further shared, “Shout out to everyone who has helped carry that weight as we made this film – Aneil, you are a genius and one of the great filmmakers of your generation, Caroline Reason you’re my sister and have been holding me on this journey for so long thank you, Astrid Ferguson, you’re a G and there’s seriously nothing you can’t do, DJ Bradfield you’re an artist’s dream.”

Riz didn’t forget to thank his wife and family for the big win. “Thank you to my family and to my wife, Fatima Faheem Mirza, for being my torch in the darkness.”

In his acceptance speech earlier, the actor spoke about all those who “feel like they don’t belong”, honouring his immigrant roots. Riz shared while accepting the Oscar, “You know, in such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us that there is no us and them, there’s just us. This is for everyone who feels like they don’t belong and anyone who feels like they’re stuck in a no man’s land, you’re not alone, we’ll meet you there. That’s where the future is.”

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