Riz Ahmed made historical past Monday as the primary Muslim nominated for the Oscar for lead actor with the popularity for his function in “Sound of Metal.”

Actor Mahershala Ali grew to become the primary Muslim actor to win an Oscar when he took residence the statuette for supporting actor for “Moonlight” in 2017 and gained the identical prize in 2019 for “Green Book.”

Ahmed beforehand was the primary Muslim, and first Asian, to win a lead appearing Emmy in 2017 when he picked up the prize for lead actor in a restricted collection or film for “The Night of.” The 38-year-old British Pakistani actor additionally has been seen in movies equivalent to “Rogue One,” “Venom,” “The Sisters Brothers,” “Nightcrawler,” “Four Lions” and the latest “Mogul Mowgli,” which he additionally co-wrote. He has a profession as a rapper and musician and in 2020 launched the album “The Long Goodbye.”

In “Sound of Metal,” Ahmed performs Ruben, a rock-and-roll drummer and recovering addict whose life is shipped right into a tailspin when he loses his listening to. For the function, Ahmed has been nominated for the Golden Globe, SAG Award, Spirit Award and BAFTA for lead actor. He gained the Gotham Award and quite a few critics prizes.

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Ruben (Riz Ahmed) learns to spell his identify in American Sign Language in “Sound of Metal.”
(Amazon Studios)

Directed by Darius Marder, the movie premiered on the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019, the place it was picked up for distribution by Amazon Studios for release in November 2020.

Ahmed spent months making ready for the function, studying drumming and American Sign Language and attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous conferences. In a latest interview with The Times, Ahmed stated, “When you be taught issues that take you away from your self and your consolation zone — and I imply really be taught them — what it does is convey you residence, again to your self. As an actor, you begin off at this place of separation, and by the tip, it’s loopy, however you need to seize somebody and inform them, ‘This is me!’

“And you don’t need to be an actor to go on that journey. People and interests find you in life so you can work through certain issues. There are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. You just need to discover what that reason is. Ruben’s journey in ‘Sound of Metal’ became my journey too. And it absolutely changed my life.”

The 2021 Oscars will happen April 25 and can air reside on ABC at 5 p.m. Pacific.