Following roles in 2014s Nightcrawler alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and the Oscar-winning The Sound of Metal from director Darius Marder, Riz Ahmed has established himself as one of the finest working actors in the industry. Capable of smaller dramatic roles as well as larger theatrical parts, Riz Ahmed recently revealed that following his performance in the Marvel film Venom he realised that he may not yet have the “skill set” for blockbusters.
Playing villain Carlton Drake in the 2018 film opposite Tom Hardy as the titular antihero, although Ahmed delivered a convincing performance, he was not particularly comfortable in the role, as he told Variety. “I’m not saying I don’t like those big movies. I’m saying I had not learned yet how to bring myself to those movies,” Ahmed told the publication.
Continuing, he added, “Those films teach you stamina, technical craft, and it is a skill to be able to eke out your artistry in that setting”. Comparing himself to his acting comrades, Ahmed further noted, “Look at Javier Bardem in Skyfall. I just hadn’t developed the skill set at that point to do the technical thing and the emotional thing”.
Instead of being tempted by the allure of Hollywood, Ahmed now wants to shift his priorities so that he’s focusing more on himself. “More recently what I’ve thought about it is taking masks off,” the actor added, “Of course, if you believe on some deep internal level that you aren’t the right type – the right colour, shape, size, accent – then you will start instinctively wearing masks”.
Concluding Riz Ahmed states, “So it’s been a shift in self-perception for me to say, ‘You know what? I am enough. We are all enough’” and if his most recent projects are anything to go by, it looks as though he has certainly seized this fresh new perspective.
Check out the trailer for his recent triumph, Mogul Mowgli right here.