Riz Ahmed quotes Irrfan Khan in acceptance speech on winning Best Actor trophy at Gotham Awards: Surrender to the dance of uncertainty

Actor Riz Ahmed took home the top honours at the Gotham Awards, as he won the Best Actor trophy for his performance in ‘Nomadland’. Humbled by the honour, the actor delivered a moving acceptance speech, in which he quoted late Bollywood star, Irrfan Khan.

In the award show that was live-streamed, Ahmed accepted his award saying, “It’s been a really crazy year for all of us. It has been a time to reflect that we don’t get anywhere on our own. Our wellbeing is dependent on each other and I feel the same way about this project.”

Thanking all other nominees for their work and inspiration, he said, “In particularly, Chadwick Boseman, I found his work to be truly inspiring. The way he conducted himself with such dignity and humanity; he set an example for all of us and the actors of our generation.”

He ended his speech, by quoting the late Bollywood star. “I also want to mention Irrfan Khan, another tremendous actor who we lost this year. His words ring in my ears in these uncertain times. His words were, ‘Surrender to the dance of uncertainty.’ It feels like a wobbly time. If we can wobble together we may find each other dancing,” Riz said.

These words by Irrfan were brought to light in his wife, Suttappa’s moving written tribute. In her lengthy note, she said, “I asked my children, if possible, they could sum up a lesson taught by their father that has been important to them; Babil: ‘Learn to surrender to the dance of uncertainty and trust your faith in the universe’.”

This wasn’t the first time that Riz paid tribute to the late star. In an interview with Vanity Fair, he picked Khan as one of the late stars who inspired him.

Speaking about Irrfan, Riz said, “I think he’s just a towering talent, whose work will live on for so many years. And I think about some of his wise words, about acting, but also about life, where he said, ‘Surrender to the dance of uncertainty.’ And I think there’s just such a profoundly wise kind of statement. And I think, I try and let those words guide me as an artist, and also in how I live.”