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Riz Ahmed: Oscar, Emmy & BAFTA Winner

Full Name Rizwan Ahmed
Age 40
Birthday December 1, 1982
Birth Place England
Relationship Married to Fatima Farheen Mirza
Height 5‘ 8"
Net Worth $3 million
Social Facebook

Rizwan "Riz" Ahmed is one of the most talented actors working today. With an Oscar, Emmy, and nominations for two Golden Globes and BAFTAs, he has proven to be a powerhouse on both the big and small screen. Beyond acting, Ahmed is also an accomplished rapper and activist who uses his platform to champion diversity and human rights.

Background and Early Life

Born in Wembley, England to British Pakistani parents, Ahmed gravitated towards performance from a young age. After earning a scholarship to Oxford University, he graduated in 2002 with a degree in PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) and also studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Meteoric Rise as an Actor

After getting his start on British TV, Ahmed broke out in the 2007 indie film Shifty. That launched a prolific acting career spanning thought-provoking indies, blockbuster franchises, and critical darlings.

Some career highlights include:

  • Four Lions (2010) – A hilarious satire about inept suicide bombers. Ahmed won a British Independent Film Award for his performance.
  • Nightcrawler (2014) – He starred opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in this thriller about the dark side of ambivalent journalism.
  • Rogue One (2016) – Ahmed played an Imperial pilot in the first Star Wars anthology film.
  • The Night Of (2016) – His Emmy-winning turn as a wrongly accused college student cemented his status as a leading man.
  • Sound of Metal (2019) – Ahmed‘s piercing portrayal of a drummer losing his hearing earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Throughout his eclectic roles, Ahmed has been commended for his versatility, commitment to diversity, and willingness to tackle challenging material.

Making Music as Riz MC

As Riz MC, Ahmed has crafted a thriving parallel career as a rapper and musician. He‘s released solo albums and EPs that blend South Asian influences into incisive hip hop. Ahmed‘s music explores his complex British and Pakistani identity with depth and originality.

Some musical milestones include:

  • His 2006 debut album Hit the Deck
  • Forming the rap group Swet Shop Boys with Heems and Redinho in the early 2010s
  • Earning a 2017 Grammy nom for his track "The Long Goodbye"
  • Putting out his 2022 album The Long Goodbye tackling themes of displacement and cultural identity

Using His Platform for Good

Ahmed‘s talents aren‘t limited to the screen and the studio – he‘s also tirelessly used his celebrity as a force for good. The causes he has championed include:

  • Refugee Aid – Ahmed has raised funds for Syrian children through UNICEF and partnered with the UN to humanize the global refugee crisis
  • Diversity in Entertainment – He has advocated for more representation in Hollywood and testified about improving diversity on British TV
  • Social Justice – A vocal critic of Islamophobia and racism, Ahmed consistently speaks out against police brutality, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and more.

Whether he‘s performing, creating music, or fighting for justice, Riz Ahmed approaches his work with passion, courage, and principle. He represents the best of what artists can accomplish in entertainment and activism alike.

Riz Ahmed Timeline


Born in England

Riz Ahmed was born on December 1, 1982 in Wembley, England to British Pakistani parents.


Graduates from Oxford

Ahmed graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.


Wins Emmy for The Night Of

Ahmed won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role on The Night Of.


First Oscar Nomination

Ahmed earned his first Oscar nom for Sound of Metal, for Best Actor.

Why We Love Riz Ahmed


He‘s an actor‘s actor

Riz Ahmed approaches every role with an intensity and commitment that makes each performance unforgettable. He‘s a shapeshifter.


He takes creative risks

Whether it‘s his boundary-pushing music or tendencies toward dark material, Ahmed never plays it safe. This boldness makes his art feel fresh and exciting.


He uses his voice for good

In addition to being insanely talented, Ahmed seems like a genuinely good guy committed to justice and representation. His activism makes him even more inspiring.

5 Fun Facts About Riz Ahmed

  1. Riz Ahmed is a trained breakdancer and incorporated his dance skills into preparing for his role in Mogul Mowgli.
  2. He speaks several languages including Arabic, Hindi and Urdu along with his native English.
  3. Ahmed has been married to novelist Fatima Farheen Mirza since 2020 after meeting her randomly in New York.
  4. He‘s passionate about narratives that explore nuanced cultural identities like his own British-Pakistani heritage.
  5. Ahmed survived a near-death swimming accident in college that left him with temporary hearing loss.

Whether he‘s on screen, in the studio, or using his platform to champion social justice, Riz Ahmed is clearly doing impactful work that matters. His talents seem limitless, and fans everywhere eagerly await what he‘ll take on next.