Riz Ahmed has to fight for film roles

29th Nov 16 | Entertainment News

British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed has compared winning film roles to hacking his way out of a forest.

The European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

The London-born star has been acting for over a decade, but 2016 proved to be his break out year thanks to his star turn in hit U.S. TV show The Night Of and being cast in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits cinemas in December.

He may now be getting recognised more than ever, but that doesn't mean finding work is any easier for Riz.

"There wasn't a ready-made conveyor belt for someone who looks like me, so I kind of feel like I have to fight my way through the forest," he shrugged to GQ. "Maybe it would be different if I were a different person and I held a different shelf space in the culture, but that's not my experience. My experience is, like, out there in the bushes with a machete trying to find a part."

Riz often discusses how his Pakistani heritage impacts his Hollywood career and everyday life, recently telling The Guardian that in 2006 he had been racially profiled and assaulted by British intelligence officers when he returned to London after celebrating his film The Road to Guantanamo's Best Director win for Michael Winterbottom Mat Whitecross at the Berlin Film Festival.

"Returning to the glamour of Luton Airport after our festival win, ironically named British intelligence officers frogmarched me to an unmarked room where they insulted, threatened, and then attacked me," he told the publication. He was advised to sue but instead chose to highlight his story in the media.

Riz can next be seen in BBC Films thriller City of Tiny Lights, which hits screens in April.

© WENN Newsdesk 2016

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