Davis, an Oscar winner for Fences as Best Supporting Actress is a four time nominee and in contention this year for Best Actress in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for which she won the SAG award as Lead Actress. Ahmed, an Emmy winner, is a first time Oscar nominee in the Best Actor category for Sound Of Metal. When asked at last Saturday’s press conference if any new additions to the “cast” of presenters would be coming, Soderbergh said they would be announcing two final names but that “logistics” were holding up making it public at that time. One reason may be that voting was still going on until Tuesday at 5PM PT and the Academy may not have wanted to give the selection of two actual nominees any kind of publicity boost by announcing they were also part of the show. Although it is quite common to have nominees also act as presenters in the same year, it appeared Oscar producers were avoiding that this time.
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“We’re thrilled Viola and Riz have joined our cast. Even though they are nominees, we really felt they needed to be a part of our Oscar ensemble,” said Collins, Sher and Soderbergh.
Ahmed and Davis round out the previously announced diverse lineup that includes Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Bong Joon Ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger and Zendaya.
The 93rd Oscars will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and international locations via satellite. “Oscars: Into the Spotlight” will air live on ABC at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and in more than 200 territories worldwide. “Oscars: After Dark” will immediately follow the Oscars show.