Riz Ahmed

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Riz Ahmed
Riz Ahmed
Worked like:
Born:
December 01, 1982
Country:
Awards:
2 wins & 13 nominations.
Position in rating:
Some Facts
Inspired equally by jungle and hip-hop, Ahmed first got involved with music directly in his mid-teens, cutting his teeth on pirate radio and in battle-rap competitions, of which he won many. He was selected as a BBC Introducing artist in 2007, playing the Glastonbury Festival and the BBC Electric Proms.
Since graduating from Oxford in 2004 he has worked consistently in theatre, film and television, starring in award-winning dramas The Road To Guantanamo, Shifty and Four Lions.
Was nominated for 2012 Shooting Stars Awards, which is held every year at Berlin Film Festival. The award is given to Europe's leading young stars. Previous winners include Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Kelly Macdonald and Carey Mulligan.
Graduated from Oxford University with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and later enrolled into London's Central School of Speech and Drama.
Also known by his hip-hop alias Riz MC. He released his first hip-hop single in 2006, Post 9/11 Blues: a controversial satire that was temporarily banned from British airplay. It caught the attention of notorious satirist Chris Morris who cast him in his Bafta-winning movie, Four Lions.
Personal Quotes
I'm not in a "starry" position to be able to pick and choose, but I am interested in telling stories of substance with great directors - that's my only guiding principle.
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Post 9/11 Blues is an observational satire about the surreal circus of fear at that time. It's a generational thing.
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[Oxford University] is socially unrepresentative of the real world. The first person I met, I asked to borrow a phone charger. She looked at me, laughed in my face, and told me with no irony or malice that I looked just like Ali G.
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What's interesting about the UK is that it celebrates an alternative voice. It's up for telling new stories. Within that fresh range of stories, there are quite a lot of interesting roles out there for young actors... if you seize every opportunity to do the best you can then, just like any freelance profession, word can spread and you might get wider opportunities.
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[on representing the Asian community] I try and say that in terms of my intentions, that is to represent myself. But in terms of an awareness of it, like, you know, you're aware of the fact that you do represent more than yourself if there aren't a variety of representatives. It's the same as, like, the dad in East is East is just a character that someone has written, but if there's only one Asian dad on TV for five years then that figure becomes archetypal - you extrapolate from that to represent every Asian dad, for example. And if there aren't that many faces on the screen then the faces that are on screen carry extra weight. So I'm aware of that and I don't think putting my head in the sand is fair really because I think we're in the business of trying to articulate... Some times it's healthy to be indulgent and try to articulate your own thoughts, but trying to articulate collective thoughts of us as Asians, particularly if you're a social group that doesn't have much access or platform to voice your own... I'm not saying you should basically represent minorities or disenfranchised people how they want to be represented - how do they want to be represented? That's patronising in itself - but, yeah, I am aware of that.
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