Who is Riz Ahmed's wife, best-selling author Fatima Farheen Mirza?

The pair, who got married in a low-key ceremony last year, made their red-carpet debut at Sunday night's Oscars

He may not have won the Oscar for Best Actor at Sunday night's ceremony, but Riz Ahmed won many hearts with his sweet gesture to his wife as the couple made their red-carpet debut.

Ahmed and his wife, Fatima Farheen Mirza, made their first public appearance together at the 93rd Academy Awards, but the Sound of Metal star showed he was well-versed in red-carpet-husband protocol, asking photographers to wait for a second as he tenderly swept Mirza's hair into place behind her shoulders.

After helping his wife fix her hair, he joked: “I’m the official groomer.”

If there was an award on the night for cutest red-carpet moment, he would have taken it.

The couple have kept their relationship low-key since getting married in 2020. And while Ahmed is a rising star, becoming the first Muslim to be nominated in the Best Actor category at Sunday's ceremony for his role as a drummer who loses his hearing in the acclaimed Sound of Metal, Mirza's career is equally as impressive.

Who is Fatima Farheen Mirza, Riz Ahmed’s wife?

Mirza is an award-winning author, releasing her debut novel, A Place for Us, in 2018. The book, published under Sarah Jessica Parker's imprint, SJP For Hogarth, became an instant bestseller, earning her a place in the 5 Under 35 Honourees list by the National Book Foundation.

The book tells the story of an Indian-American family, which Mirza said in an interview with The Guardian was "a long love letter to the life that was mine right until I started writing it".

"It's through the novel that I can understand that dynamic between the individual and their greater community with so much more complexity than when I was in it. It’s helped me understand where I’ve come from and who I am and what is important to me," she said.

The author was born in California in 1991. Her father is from Hyderabad, India, while her mother is from Birmingham, England, born to British-Indian parents.

How did they meet?

Ahmed may be a movie star, but his personal life also sounds like something straight out of a film. The British-Pakistani actor, 38, recently opened up about his meet-cute with Mirza.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Ahmed explained how the couple first met in a Brooklyn coffee shop, close to where Mirza lived.

"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 explained.

“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.”

Their backyard pandemic wedding

While the pair have not said much about their pandemic wedding, Ahmed did reveal a few details about the “intimate” ceremony in an interview earlier this year.

"I guess because we live in a social-media age, if you don't get on the megaphone about stuff, it's like it's a secret? But I never know how much is oversharing," Ahmed said on The Tonight Show.

"It was kind of interesting, doing it with Covid and everything going on, obviously kept it super-intimate and socially distanced. It was just hardly anyone there, did it in a backyard, which was nice in lots of ways. I think the nicest thing about it was, you didn't have 500 aunties hanging around you, pinching your cheeks.

"No disrespect to the aunties, but Asian weddings are big, and you've always got these people crawling out of the woodwork."