Eat your heart out ladies. The gorgeous British Pakistani actor, Riz Ahmed is spoken for. Ahmed, made history recently as the first Muslim to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor for his heart-wrenching performance as a heavy metal drummer grappling with deafness in Darius Marder’s “Sound Of Metal.” The role earned him major critical acclaim, as well as countless other nominations— but that is not what people are talking about.
Clearly, it’s the love life of the 38-year-old actor, who is on top of his game, has given him and his fans more reason to celebrate. The actor recently confirmed on Jimmy Kimmel Live and other late shows promoting his Oscar-nominated film that he quietly married Fatima Farheen Mirza during the pandemic lockdown, although he had first mentioned his wife in passing on Louis Theroux’s “Grounded” podcast on Jan. 11.
The actor, who is originally from London, spilled the beans when he told Theroux he chose to stay in California after filming his latest movie because his “wife’s family” is from the Bay Area. Theroux then asked Ahmed if he was married, adding that he didn’t know the actor wasn’t single. Ahmed said: “I think it’s the first time I’ve mentioned it in an interview so congratulations on that incredibly exciting scoop. I don’t really feel it’s generally that relevant, so I don’t delve into my personal life or dating history.” So, of course, we just have to know who is Riz Ahmed’s wife.
Who is Fatima Farheen Mirza?
Mirza is a successful writer. She was born to parents of Indian descent and raised in California. Though she initially wanted to pursue medicine, she switched over to creative writing, eventually earning her a place in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
In 2018, she published her bestselling novel, “A Place for Us,” which tells the story of an Indian American Muslim family as they navigate tensions between tradition and modernity. The story follows the family awaiting their eldest daughter’s wedding, a match made through love rather than through the traditional arranged marriage.
As it turns out, this popular book has a special connection to a certain “Sex and the City” actress. “A Place for Us” was actually the first book that got published by Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth and became a New York Times bestseller when it was published in 2018.
Speaking to The Guardian, Mirza recalls that when she first got the news, it felt “surreal.” She said, “The first thing I remember saying was ‘Oh my God, I recognize your voice going back years.’ I ducked into a McDonalds to escape the noise, and while we spoke, people kept asking to share the table with me. Such a surreal moment. I was stunned during our conversation, because she spoke so thoughtfully about the very scenes that meant the most to me in the book and I felt so comforted that she understood what those scenes meant to the characters, to me.”
How the Couple Met
When Ahmed appeared on “The Tonight Show” in January, he revealed that he randomly met his wife for the first time at a coffee shop in New York—and it literally sounds like it came straight out of a Hallmark movie. He told Jimmy Fallon, “We met so randomly, while I was preparing for ‘Sound of Metal,’ when I was in New York. We just both sat down at the same table in a cafe, where we both turned up to write. We were both jostling over the same laptop plug points, like a very modern way of meeting.”
He continued, “We struck up a friendship and then we reconnected down the line. But it’s weirdly one of the many things about preparing for this role that was so special. It just brought a lot of goodness into my life.” Looking back on his “corny” proposal, Ahmed told Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, the uber talented actor said that he and Mirza were having a picnic in the park during the COVID-19 lockdown when he “popped the question,” while playing Scrabble.
“Yeah, so I think she thought it was a joke … she looked up and was like, ‘you’re joking,’” Ahmed said.”And she — maybe the way that I proposed didn’t, you know, didn’t help because she’s — she’s a novelist. She’s amazing with words. So she loves a bit of Scrabble, so we were actually playing Scrabble. And I did that corny thing where I stole all the correct letters up front, and I spelled out ‘will you marry me,’” he shared.
When did They get Married?
Although the exact date is unknown, Ahmed confirmed that he and Mirza tied the knot in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the couple decided to have a very small wedding. While chatting with Kimmel, he said, “Obviously, kept it super intimate, and socially distanced. There was just like, hardly anyone there really. We did it in a backyard, which is nice in lots of ways. And I think the nicest thing about it was you didn’t have 500 aunties hanging around you, pinching your cheeks.”
Many of the couple’s friends and family only witnessed the small ceremony digitally, which Ahmed described as “weird.” He said, “It’s weird because no one is really sure exactly when they’re on camera. So, you actually get a couple of seconds of people’s unadulterated, unvarnished reactions. It’s kind of cool in a way because you see a very intimate reaction.”
Speaking of his marriage and his career, that is going gang busters, a very happy Ahmed told Kimmel, “Obviously, I met Fatima for the first time and met so many people in the deaf community that have become friends. There’s just something about this whole period around this film that was kind of life changing.”