Riz Ahmed has often expressed his admiration for Irrfan Khan.
Riz Ahmed has often expressed his admiration for Irrfan Khan.

Riz Ahmed honours Irrfan Khan in Gotham Awards acceptance speech, quotes Babil

  • Actor Riz Ahmed paid tribute to Irrfan Khan in his acceptance speech at the Gotham Awards, quoting Babil's words, 'surrender to the dance of uncertainty'.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 12, 2021 04:45 PM IST

British actor of Pakistani origin, Riz Ahmed, who won the Best Actor honour at Monday's Gotham Awards, paid tribute to the late Irrfan Khan in his acceptance speech. Riz had also honoured Irrfan upon his passing in April 2020.

According to film journalist Anne Hornaday, Riz in his acceptance speech mentioned Irrfan, "who we lost this year, his words: 'surrender to the dance of uncertainty.' It feels like a wobbly time. If we can wobble together we may find each other dancing."


Riz won for his performance in Sound of Metal, in which he plays a drummer who begins losing his hearing. He was nominated alongside Chadwick Boseman, Jesse Plemons, John Magaro and Jude Law.

Irrfan died after a two-year battle with cancer in 2020. Riz had tweeted then, "Rest in peace one of the greatest actors of our time, Irrfan Khan. I never met him but he was an inspiration and a hero to me and millions of others. His work was consistently transcendent, he was a guiding light for so many of us."

He added, "If you've not seen his work, watch The Lunchbox or The Warrior. A true artist who spanned Bollywood and Hollywood and was acclaimed in both. His words in a letter to a newspaper about his illness are a reminder of his beautiful mind and of life’s fragility. His work will live on."

In a Twitter Q&A, asked about the performances that've inspired him the most in his career, Riz had replied, “Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Irrfan Khan in everything.”

Also read: ‘Irrfan Khan found beauty even in pain’: Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow, Ava DuVernay lead Hollywood in paying tribute

The quote Riz invoked in his acceptance speech comes from the statement Irrfan's wife, Sutapa Sikdar, released after his death. "I asked my children, if possible, they could sum up a lesson taught by their father that has been important to them," she wrote, and their eldest son, Babil, said, "Learn to surrender to the dance of uncertainty and trust your faith in the universe."


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