Riz Ahmed received his first Oscar nomination last year for his leading role as a drummer losing his hearing in “Sound of Metal.” This year he’s already back with his second nomination, but it’s not for acting. He’s in the running for Best Live Action Short for “The Long Goodbye,” which he co-wrote, produced, and stars in. He’s only the fifth Oscar-nominated actor to also receive a nomination for Best Live Action Short. And he would be just the second to win it.
In “The Long Goodbye,” he plays Riz, whose British-Pakistani family encounters far-right marchers with terrible consequences. He’s nominated alongside the film’s director/co-writer Aneil Karia, but this isn’t the first time Ahmed has worked behind the camera. He was also a co-writer and producer of the feature film “Mogul Mowgli,” and he’s an executive producer of “Flee,” which earned unprecedented triple Oscar nominations this year for Best Animated, Documentary, and International Feature (EPs aren’t counted among Oscar-nominated producers, so Ahmed himself can’t win an Oscar in those races).
The previous four people to earn Oscar nominations for acting as well as Live Action Short were Peter Sellers (acting for “Being There” and “Dr. Strangelove,” Best Live Action Short for “The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film”); Dyan Cannon (acting for “Heaven Can Wait” and “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice,” Best Live Action Short for “Number One”); Kenneth Branagh (acting for “Henry V” and “My Week with Marilyn,” Best Live Action Short for “Swan Song”); and Christine Lahti (acting for “Swing Shift,” Best Live Action Short for “Lieberman in Love”). Of those, Lahti was the only one to win the short film prize, so Ahmed would be the second. Coincidentally, Branagh has a few chances to finally win his first Oscar as well for his feature film “Belfast.”
But those aren’t the only well-known actors who have prevailed at the Oscars for short films. Later star of “The Thick of It” and “Doctor Who” Peter Capaldi won an Oscar for his short film “Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.” Writer, director, and character actor Ray McKinnon, whose on-screen work includes projects ranging from “Deadwood” to “Sons of Anarchy” to “The Blind Side,” won Oscar for his short “The Accountant.” And according to the initial odds of thousands of Gold Derby users, Ahmed is about to join their ranks.
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