Riz Ahmed is so proud to be the first Muslim to be nominated for the Best Actor Oscar.

The 38-year-old actor is up for the Oscar for his role as drummer Ruben Stone in 'Sound of Metal', who slowly loses his hearing after playing in a rock band – and hopes both the Muslim and deaf communities will appreciate his appearance at the ceremony later this month.

Riz said: "What matters to me is, as many people as possible can find themselves in this moment.

"So some people really connect with the idea that I was the first Muslim nominated for lead actor, that's beautiful and I support that.

"If some people are overjoyed to see it's a film that focuses on deaf representation, which is something really lacking in cinema and they connect more with that, then that's beautiful."

The 'Four Lions' star added: "If for some people they're rooting for the fact that it's someone from Wembley ... then that's cool."

Riz believes that his history-making recognition from the Academy is down to society moving forward as this year's Oscars features the most diverse group of nominees to date.

He told the BBC: "But I think what's really important is looking at the whole field of nominees and seeing there are so many firsts.

"Steven Yeun is the first Asian-American actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins is the oldest, Chadwick Boseman's posthumous nomination – first time for a black actor in that position.

"So I just think it is nice to be part of a moment where we all seem to be moving forward together as a culture."

Riz – who has earned critical acclaim as a rapper - also revealed that he will be wearing ear plugs at gigs in the future having seen the effect that hearing loss had on his character.

He said: "It's certainly made me realise I need to take ear plugs with me into venues.

"It's something I started doing years ago when I realised friends of mine, DJs, had started, kind of sadly, losing bits of their hearing. It's very, very common within music."