Riz Ahmed, Kumail Nanjiani and Sajal Aly make it to top 10 of Eastern Eye's top 50 Asian Celebrities list
UK based publication Eastern Eye released the latest edition of its 50 Asian Celebrities in the World list which features celebrities based on the impact they have made on the media industry. The candidates ranged from arenas such as Hollywood, the music industry, television and social media. Several Pakistanis made it to the list and some like Riz Ahmed, Kumail Nanjiani and Sajal Aly are in the top 10.
The top 50 list celebrated Asians who left a mark in 2021 through their work and made a positive impact, those who went beyond bounds, were popular among fans or just a source of inspiration in their unique ways. The generated result was based on public input as well as they voted for their favourites on social media. However, although the list says 'Asian', it appears to have focused entirely on South Asia.
British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed came in second for his ground breaking work in Hollywood, which included becoming the first Muslim to get an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. He also starred in the recently released big budget film Encounter. Ahmed is also known for having spoken out against Islamophobia and lack of minority representation in the industry.
Pakistan-born American actor Kumail Nanjiani ranked sixth and really broke the mould by playing a superhero in the movie Eternals.
Sajal Aly came in seventh and is known for the variety of roles she’s played. Her dramas Alif and Yaqeen Ka Safar have received immense love. This year was filled with her working on different projects such as Ishq-e-Laa and Chup Raho. She also acted in her first English language film What’s Love Got To Do With It, which will "break ground for leading ladies in her country," according to Eastern Eye.
Aly called it "a great honour" for her to be included in the top 10. "The challenges Covid-19 brought continued in 2021 but this did not deter me from working hard. In fact, 2021 was one of my busiest years with two films and two dramas back-to-back. As we inch closer to 2022, I would like to take this moment to reiterate my commitment towards my craft and would like to assure my fans around the world there are more exciting projects to witness in 2022,” she said.
The actor also reposted the top 10 list on her Instagram story.
Singer-songwriter Hadiqa Kiani, known for songs like her OST for Zindagi Gulzar Hai, and 'Boohay Barian' ranked number 30 on the list. Kiani is one of the few artists who sings in several languages such as Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto and has won many awards, both local and international. She took to Instagram to express gratitude.
Actor Yumna Zaidi, known for her roles in dramas Pyaar Ke Sadqay and Khushi Ek Roag, is 35th on the list. She's currently starring in much hyped dramas Parizaad and Sinf-e-Aahan.
Actor Bilal Abbas Khan, who won the Best Emerging Talent award at the Lux Style Awards, ranked 39th on the list. Khan also starred in Pyaar Ke Sadqay and recently celebrated the release of his film Khel Khel Mein.
The list was topped by Indian actor Prabhas and it also included notable Indian celebrities such as actors Mindy Kaling, Priyanka Chopra and singer Shreya Goshal.