British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed paid tributes to his “inspiration” Irrfan Khan in his acceptance speech for the best actor honour at the Gotham Awards 2021.
The 30th annual Gotham Awards was a virtual-hybrid event, held in New York on Monday night. Ahmed, 38, won the award for director Darius Marder’s acclaimed drama Sound of Metal, which features him as a drummer who begins to lose his hearing.
During his virtual acceptance speech, the actor said 2020 was the year of a “lot of loss” and quoted Khan’s words, which he “always thinks of.” “I want to mention Irrfan Khan, another great, tremendous actor who we lost last year. Who’s words ring in my ears right now, which I always think of: ‘Surrender to the dance of uncertainty’,” Ahmed, who is billed to be a frontrunner in best male actor categories this award season, said.
Ahmed, who won a lead acting Emmy Award for HBO limited series The Night Of, had previously named Khan, along with late American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, as his inspirations in life.
In his speech, Ahmed also mentioned Chadwick Boseman, who was nominated for his swansong Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He said the Black Panther star led a life of great example and dignity.