Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed reveals he was so broke he almost quit acting

‘I thought I’d reached the end of the road’: Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed reveals he was once so broke he almost QUIT acting

Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed has opened up about how he was once so broke he almost quit acting as he thought he had ‘reached the end of the road’.

The British actor, 38, who received an Oscar nod for his role in the film Sound of Metal this week, said he nearly gave up on showbiz when he couldn’t afford a plane ticket to an audition in Los Angeles.

Riz revealed that when he was asked to audition for his breakthrough role as Rick in the 2014 movie Nightcrawler, he was so hard up for cash he almost pulled out. 

Oscar hopeful: Riz Ahmed has opened up about how he was once so broke he almost quit acting as he thought he had ‘reached the end of the road’ (pictured in 2019)

Speaking to The Mirror, he said: ‘They asked me to fly to fly to L.A. I was like, “I can’t fly to L.A. I’m broke”.

‘But I had to fly to L.A. – and just bet on myself. I spent that whole flight just running lines. I remember landing and seeing Jake Gyllenhaal in the room and going, “Whoa”.

The Londoner landed the part in Nightcrawler, starring opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and said it ‘opened doors’ for him but came at a time when he was ready to quit. 

He said: ‘It came when I thought I’d reached the end of the road. I wasn’t really making any money, being offered that next tier of roles.’

Breakthrough: The actor, 38, revealed that he was once so broke he almost couldn’t afford a plane ticket to an audition in Los Angeles for his role in the 2014 movie Nightcrawler

Rock-and-roll: This week he made history to become the first Muslim nominated for an Oscar for lead actor for his role in the hit film Sound of Metal as a drummer who loses his hearing

Earlier this week he made history to become the first Muslim nominated for an Oscar for lead actor for his role in the hit film Sound of Metal.  

He won rave reviews for his depiction of Ruben Stone, a rock-and-roll drummer and recovering alcoholic whose life goes into a free-fall when he loses his hearing. 

The US actor Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim to win an Oscar when he was named best supporting actor for Moonlight in 2017, and won the same prize in 2019 for Green Book.  

Ahmed tweeted on Monday: ‘Wow! I’m honoured to be nominated by my fellow actors alongside such inspiring performances, and am grateful to the Academy for their support and encouragement.’ 

‘Wow!’: Riz won rave reviews for his depiction of Ruben Stone, a rock-and-roll drummer and recovering alcoholic in the movie, and tweeted his excitement at the Oscar news on Monday

The actor was praised for his ‘passionate performance’ on Sound Of Metal, which he prepared for by learning drumming and American Sign Language as well as attending Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings.  

He was previously the first Muslim to win a lead acting Emmy in 2017 for his performance in The Night Of. 

Last month, Ahmed told Louis Theroux’s Grounded podcast that he recently tied the knot with his wife Fatima in a ‘super intimate’ ceremony with only a few guests present.

He previously revealed how he met his future wife in a cafe in New York while he was preparing for his role in Sound Of Metal. 

Wedding bells! Ahmed announced on Louis Theroux’s Grounded podcast he’d recently tied the knot with Fatima in a ‘super intimate’ ceremony with only a few guests 

He said he and Fatima, who is a novelist, exchanged vows in a simple ceremony with only a few guests present due to COVID-19 restrictions.

He said: ‘Obviously, kept it super intimate, and socially distanced. There was just like, hardly anyone there really.

‘We did it in a backyard, which is nice in lots of ways. I think the nicest thing about it was you didn’t have 500 aunties hanging around you, pinching your cheeks.’

The Four Lions star joked: ‘No disrespect to the aunties, but Asian weddings are big.

‘You always got these people crawling out the woodworks, who I think are kind of probably impostors. They just smell the kebabs on the street and just wander in.’

Chance encounter: He previously revealed how he met his future wife Fatima (pictured in 2018) in a cafe in New York while he was preparing for his role in Sound Of Metal

Ahmed went onto reveal more about his wife while appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, explaining they met in 2019 while he was preparing to play a deaf drummer in Sound Of Metal. 

He said: ‘She’s an amazing novelist. We met so randomly while I was preparing for this role, for Sound Of Metal when I was in New York.

‘We both sat down at the same table in the cafe where we both turned up to write. We were both jostling over the same laptop plug points, like a very modern way of meeting.

‘And we struck up a friendship and reconnected down the line. But it’s weirdly like one of the many things about preparing for this role that was so special, it just brought a lot of goodness into my life.’ 

Across the pond: Riz, who was born in Wembley, has carved a Hollywood career and won an Emmy for lead actor for his performance in The Night Of (pictured at the Emmy’s in 2017)

93rd Academy Awards: Who are the 2021 Oscar nominees?

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins – The Father

Gary Oldman – Mank

Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman – The Father

Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

 

Best Director

Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round

David Fincher – Mank

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Olivia Colman is up for her role in The Father

Best Music (Original Score)

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul

 

Best Animated Short Film

Burrow

Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You

Opera

Yes-People

 

Best Live Action Short Film

Feeling Through

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers

White Eye

 

Best International Feature Film

Another Round

Better Days

Collective

The Man Who Sold His Skin

Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Sound: Greyhound – a war film starring Tom Hanks – is up for the gong 

Best Sound

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal

 

Best Production Design

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

News of the World

Tenet

 

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

News of the World

Nomadland

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Pinocchio

 

Best Music (Original Song)

Fight for You – Judas and the Black Messiah

Hear My Voice – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik – Eurovision Song Contest

Io Si (Seen) – The Life Ahead

Speak Now – One Night in Miami…

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is vying for the award

 Best Picture

 The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Picture: The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of the eight films nominated

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day – The United States vs Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand – Nomadland

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

 

Best Animated Feature Film

Onward

Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

Best Animated Feature Film:  A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon is nominated

Best Costume Design

Emma

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Mulan

Pinnochio

 

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Father

Nomadland

One Night in Miami…

The White Tiger

 

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Judas and the Black Messiah

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Documentary Feature

Collective

Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher

Time

Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Judas and the Black Messiah is up for the gong

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette

A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

A Love Song for Latasha

 

Best Film Editing

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

 

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