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Actor Mehwish Hayat believes people should focus on Riz Ahmed’s performance than his religion.

“Riz Ahmed being the first Muslim to get nominated shouldn’t be the story,” said Mehwish. “It should be about the performance.”

.@rizwanahmed being the 1st Muslim to get nominated shouldn’t be the story. It should be abt performance. Bt let’s accept in a where we’re fighting 4 fairer representation in mainstream media a Muslim nominated for Best Actor for the 1st time since1929 is one hell of a big deal pic.twitter.com/1ap2s4MQ3j
— Mehwish Hayat TI (@MehwishHayat) March 16, 2021

On Monday, Riz became the first Muslim actor to win the Lead Actor nomination at the 93rd Academy Awards for his performance in Sound of Metal.

“But let’s accept [that] in a world where we are fighting for fairer representation in mainstream media,” said the Chhalawa star, adding that “a Muslim nominated for Best Actor is a big deal.”

Riz played Ruben Stone in the film, a drummer who loses his hearing. The Venom star trained extensively for the role, learning the American Sign Language and drumming. He attended drug recovery sessions as well. Sound of Metal was nominated for the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and Spirit Awards.

Mansha Pasha and Sanam Saeed hailed Riz’s nomination and remarked it will bring about a change in Muslim actors’ representation.

Riz Ahmed! Represent https://t.co/69AF6hfRB1
— Mansha Pasha (@manshapasha) March 15, 2021

Congratulations dosst! Proud moment, you totally deserve it. Go on then keeping making waves and bringing about change! @rizwanahmed
— Sanam Saeed (@sanammodysaeed) March 17, 2021

The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on April 25.

Abdul Gh Lone

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