Since Sound of Metal was released, the film from writer-director Darius Marder has been getting tons of acclaim and awards season buzz — and it received even more shine on Wednesday morning when star Riz Ahmed earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama for his role as punk drummer Ruben who is slowly losing his ability to hear and is forced to adapt to a new life.
“It’s a lovely feeling to have people shine a light on work that you feel good about on a project that’s close to your heart more than anything,” Ahmed told Deadline in a reaction to his nomiation. “I hope it brings more and more attention to the film.”
He continued, “I love everyone we made it with. It was very much a family affair. It was a small, independent film and to see the way it landed and resonated with people is beautiful so I feel overjoyed. I hope people get to see the film for the film itself. The story carries quite a timely message for us right now.”
Ahmed, who stars in the film alongside Olivia Cooke and Paul Raci, has already received Best Actor accolades from critics and film organizations including the National Board of Review, Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, London Critics’ Circle Film Awards, New York Film Critics Online, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards, and San Diego Film Critics Society — and now he can add Golden Globe to his list. If he wins this, he can add the trophy to his mantle which also includes an Emmy for his incredible performance in The Night Of. The Golden Globe nom can very well be a forecast for the Oscars as the film is continuing to forge ahead.
Ahmed has always been socially minded and an advocate for representation and inclusion in film and TV. Sound of Metal puts the deaf community in the spotlight and gives us a different story about the underrepresented community. As a Pakistani and Muslim, Ahmed stepped into a role of another community in the margins. He said this type of storytelling is powerful and can help broaden the horizons of Hollywood and in turn, broaden the horizons of people in the public.
“It allows you to recognize yourself in ‘the other’ and it can stretch our idea of who we are as people and as individuals,” he said. “There was so much that I learned from the deaf actors on set as a human being and as an actor in terms of what listening really is — communication being something you do with your whole body. There’s such a wealth of experience, talent and perspective that we can be drawing from.
In regards to the value of awards ceremonies he said, “They can often be an important way to shine a light on some of the smaller films and hidden gems that might normally be overlooked. This year, in particular, has been really interesting…some of the bigger films are being pushed and there has been more time for voters to check out films. Hopefully, it brings a wider range of movies in front of audiences.”
Ahmed will continue his relationship with Amazon Studios, which backed Sound of Metal. The actor’s production banner Left Handed Films recently inked a first-look deal with the company.