The Guardian recently interviewed actor and rapper Riz Ahmed who starred in last summer’s HBO hit “The Night Of” and can be seen in the upcoming Star Wars anthology films “Rogue One” (to be released next week).
Here are some snippets form the provocative interview:
— Riz talks about overcoming stereotypes as a Muslim actor: “Stage One is the two-dimensional stereotype – the minicab driver/terrorist/cornershop owner. Stage Two challenges the stereotype. And Stage Three is the promised land, where you play a character whose story is not intrinsically linked to their race. There I am not a terror suspect, nor a victim of forced marriage. There, my name might even be Dave.”
— Riz talks about his often “contradictory” life as a Muslim young man and as an actor: “Every time I get on the plane, I get searched. The last time I came back from LA, I got fully searched and all of that… But this time, I got on the plane and I picked up the inflight magazine and I was on the cover! I was already on the plane.”
— Riz on wanting to keep his faith private: “I’ve done three or four solid films now that became cult classics and everyone’s like, ‘What’s it like being a Muslim?’ That’s offensive. Really, that’s what it is, offensive. What you’re saying is that you cannot see me as creative or an artist or a human being first.”