“On The Night Of” Riz Ahmad plays Pakistani-American student who finds himself involved in a murder investigation
British-Pakistani actor, Rizwan ‘Riz’ Ahmed won the best actor in a limited series or a television movie award at last night’s Emmys for his performance “OnThe Night Of”.
Riz Ahmed has made a history to become the first Muslim and South Asian male actor to win an Emmy for his lead acting turn on the limited series “On The Night Of” from HBO.
He is the second Asian performer ever to do so Before Ahmed, only one actor of Asian descent had ever won an acting Emmy: The Good Wife’s Archie Panjabi, who won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series seven years ago.
In the HBO’s mini-series “On The Night Of”, Ahmed plays a Pakistani-American college student who finds himself in a mess at Rikers Island after being accused of murdering his one-night stand, but he can’t remember anything because he was unconscious.
Ahmed beat out fellow nominees Robert De Niro, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Geoffrey Rush, and even his The Night Of co-star John Turturro for the win.
The first-time winner delivered a heart-warming acceptance speech in which he thanked his fellow category nominees and Turturro, saying, “It’s been amazing getting to watch you up close, and I share this with you, brother.”
Ahmed also gave the late James Gandolfini a shout-out onstage, adding that he hopes the series sheds light on the “injustice in our justice system.”
“I think what we’re starting to see is more awareness around how beneficial it can be to tell a diverse range of stories and to tell them in a way that’s authentic,” Ahmed told reporters.
Other actors contending for this award were Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock: The Lying Detective, Robert De Niro from The Wizard of Lies, Ewan McGregor from Fargo, Geoffrey Rush from Genius and John Turturro from The Night Of.
The Primetime Emmy Awards were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Stephen Colbert hosted the prestigious television event.