2016 has taken a lot of people from us. I say 'has taken' instead of 'took' because there are still 3 days left and honestly, everything is fair game at this point. This year also reminded us about how easy it is for people to vote against their own self interests in favor of lofty promises and a side of racism, sexism, and xenophobia. As the world is riding a wave of populism I'm holding onto one of those foam noodles people use in water aerobics classes for dear life while watching interviews of my favorite celebrities being smart, charming, and funny.
1. Watch this conversation between Dev Patel and Octavia Spencer. Go about your day then watch it again. Feel happy that there are people like them living amongst us and wonder why you don't have a bigger crush on Dev Patel. If you have a chance to see Lion, Dev's new movie, bring a lot of tissues and a loved one whose hand you can squeeze during the movie's most emotional parts. His performance in it is very 'leading man worthy' and Sunny Palwar (who plays a younger version of Dev's character) is wonderful.
2. Watch Childish Gambino's (I think first) live performance of a song off of Awaken, My Love! Unsuccessfully think of something he can't do. Donald Glover created one of the best albums and tv shows of the year and he doesn't even brag about it. Also remind yourself that he landed a role in the next Star Wars movie.
3. If it seems like Riz Ahmed has also been everywhere doing everything this year it's because he has been. Why would I disagree with anyone over this? Riz was in Jason Bourne, The Night Of, Star Wars, and the OA. HE IS A GEM.
Riz speaks openly about his identity as a first generation Pakistani kid growing up in England; and as a person who has had to navigate through different cultural spheres and identities in both personal and professional realms. In an essay for the book The Good Immigrant, Riz writes:
"Since I was a teenager I have had to play different characters, negotiating the cultural expectations of a Pakistani family, Brit-Asian rudeboy culture, and a scholarship to private school. The fluidity of my own personal identity on any given day was further compounded by the changing labels assigned to Asians in general."
But Riz communicates these ideas through music too, as Riz MC, since 2006. This year he released and album with the rapper Heems (Himanshi Suri) called Cashmere. LISTEN (!!!!!!).
5. OK I KNOW Mr. Robot came out in 2015 but I couldn't not include Rami in this. Plus he got nominated for a Golden Globe this year (as has everyone else in this list). He seems like a really cool, smart guy in real life. He might be reaching Tom Hiddleston/Benedict Cumberbatch internet boyfriend status so hurry??