Riz Ahmed won the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Award for best male lead on Thursday night

By Alexia Fernández
April 23, 2021 09:54 AM
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Riz Ahmed, Fatima Farheen Mirza
Credit: David M. Benett/Getty; Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Riz Ahmed is happy in love as his career continues to soar.

On Thursday night, the actor, 38, won the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards for best male lead for his performance in Sound of Metal

Ahmed was nominated alongside the late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom), Rob Morgan (Bull), Steven Yeun (Minari) and Adarsh Gourav (The White Tiger). 

"Thank you to the Spirit Awards for this incredible honor," said the actor, while also taking the time to thank the independent film community for helping him "learn the craft" and for its "encouragement." 

"I share this with a lot of people, most of all [director] Darius Marder. I love you man, you're crazy. Thank you for your daring and your genius," he said. 

Ahmed also thanked his family, including his wife Fatima Farheen Mirza, saying, "This is all for you."

Riz Ahmed
Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

"Sound of Metal is about how a health crisis can throw your life off track," Ahmed said, adding, "I wish you peace on the other side of it." 

Ahmed previously won the Gotham Award for best actor. The star could nab his first Oscar this Sunday as he's nominated for Best Actor at the awards show, which is airing this Sunday.

Earlier this week, Ahmed revealed the "corny" way in which he proposed to his wife, who is a novelist. 

"We went out to the park, one of the few things we could do at that point in lockdown, and we kind of had a little picnic and you know, I popped the question," Ahmed told Jimmy Kimmel while on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. "And she looked up and was like, 'You're joking.'"

"Maybe the way I proposed didn't help because she's a novelist, she's amazing with words," he continued.

RELATED VIDEO: The Cast of 'Sound of Metal' Discuss How they Hope the Film will Impact the Industry

"She loves a bit of Scrabble. So we were actually playing Scrabble and I did that corny thing where I stole all the correct letters up and spelled out 'Will you marry me?'" Ahmed explained.

During an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in January, Ahmed revealed he and Mirza had gotten married in a backyard wedding with "hardly anyone there."

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"It was kind of interesting doing it with COVID and everything going on, obviously kept it super intimate and socially distant," he said.

The Emmy winner joked that a benefit to keeping the wedding small was that he didn't have "500 aunties around you pinching your cheeks."

"No disrespect to the aunties, but Asian weddings are big. You always got these people crawling out of the woodworks who I think are probably imposters," he teased. "They just smell the kebabs on the street and just wander in."