Riz Ahmed: Play a terrorist? I’d rather go broke
STAR WARS’ Riz Ahmed has become a respected actor, but it wasn’t always that way.
In the early days, the British-Pakistani actor claimed he was often typecast because of his appearance.
‘There was a lot of, like, Terrorist No. 3 stuff,’ he told The Hollywood Reporter.
‘I just made a decision I wasn’t going to do it. I thought, “I’d rather be broke.”‘
But Riz did agree to play a terrorist in 2006 documentary Road To Guantanamo and again, in the name of comedy, for 2010 Chris Morris satire Four Lions, before playing with the stereotype in last year’s crime drama The Night Of.
He still thinks diversity has a way to go, though, as his speech to parliament indicated earlier this year.
‘People are looking for the message that they belong, that they are part of something, that they are seen and heard and that despite, or perhaps because of, their experience, they are valued,’ Riz told Channel 4’s Annual Diversity Lecture.
‘They want to feel represented. In that task we have failed.’
Author: Anna Thomson