Riz Ahmed is having a great few days. Ahmed plays fighter pilot Bodhi Rook in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which premiered Saturday night in Los Angeles to raves from fans and critics in attendance. And now he’s been nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Limited Series for his performance in HBO’s acclaimed The Night Of.
ICYMI, The Night Of is an eight-part crime drama which follows a complex New York City murder case with cultural and political overtones. Ahmed plays Pakistani-American college student Nasir “Naz” Khan whose night begins innocently but turns horrific after he meets a mysterious young woman. In custody and awaiting his formal arraignment, Naz realizes that his survival rests not with his attorney, but with a particular inmate at Rikers Island.
Ahmed, who’s breakout U.S. role was 2014’s Nightcrawler, is no stranger to critical acclaim. He garnered glowing praise for that role and an Independent Spirit Award. His performance in the 2008 urban thriller Shifty won Ahmed numerous awards and nominations. And following critically-hailed turns in the films Four Lions and Ill Manors, he was awarded the Shooting Stars Award for up-and-coming actors at the Berlin Film Festival in 2012.
The Globes’ Best Actor in a Limited Series category has Ahmed up against some stiff competition: Bryan Cranston (All the Way), Tom Hiddleston (The Night Manager), Courtney B. Vanc (The People v. OJ Simpson), and his The Night Of co-star John Turturro. But Ahmed’s high-profile role in Rogue One could sway Globes voters in his direction. After all, The Force Awakens star Oscar Isaac cleaned up in the same category at least year’s ceremony following his Star Wars turn.
In Rogue One, Ahmed plays Bodhi Rook, a pilot from Jedha who flies a cargo ship for the Empire, but turns his allegiance to the newly formed Rebel Alliance.
Rogue One opens on Friday, December 16. The Golden Globes air live on Sunday, January 8 on NBC.