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Riz Ahmed
Also known as: Rizwan Ahmed
Born: December 1, 1982 in England, United Kingdom(Great Britain)
Popularly known as Riz Ahmed, Rizwan Ahmed is a British TV and film actor and rapper, known for movies like Shifty (2008), Four Lions (2010), Nightcrawler (2014), and Jason Bourne (2016). His portrayal of Nasir Khan in the television crime drama The Night Of earned him a lot of critical acclaims.

Early Life
Born into a British-Pakistani family in London, Ahmed did his schooling Merchant Taylors` School, Northwood and went to Oxford University for his graduation in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He then attended the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London.

Movie Career
Riz Ahmed started his cinematic journey in 2006 with the docudrama The Road to Guantanamo. The movie opened to positive reviews but the controversial subject of the film got the lead actors in a lot of trouble. Ahmed was retained by at the London airport for an hour, apparently and the officers of the law questioned about him becoming an actor to promote the concept of jihad, interrogating him on his opinions of the Iraq war. They also verbally assaulted him. After two years, in 2008, Ahmed starred in British crime thriller Shifty, where he played the titular character. Although, a low budget film, the movie got immense critical acclaim, with a 96% rating on RottenTomatoes. For his brilliant portrayal of a local drug dealer, Riz bagged the Geneva Cinema Tout Ecran Award for Best Actor and got nominated for Best Actor at the 2008 British Independent Film Awards.

He then appeared in films like Rage (2009), Four Lions (2010), Centurion (2010), and III Manors (2012). In 2012, he alongside Kate Hudson did a starring role in Mira Nair`s political drama The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The movie chronicles the story of a Pakistani man in the post 9/11 America and features Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, and Liev Schreiber in supporting roles. Riz next essayed the role of Nazrul Sharma in John Crowley`s Closed Circuit in 2013. In 2014, he starred along with Jake Gyllenhaal in the crime film Nightcrawler. For his performance, Ahmed was nominated for London Film Critics` Circle Award for Supporting Actor of the Year.

His 2016 releases include films like Jason Bourne, Una, and City of Tiny Lights. He also played a prominent role in Rogue One, the first film in a new Star Wars anthology. The movie was a huge success, becoming the top grossing film in the US and earning two Oscar nominations. In 2017 he earned an Emmy award for his role in the HBO series The Night Of, making him the first South Asian male to win an acting Emmy. Other ventures include the Marvel superhero film Venom (2018) and Sound of Metal (2020), the latter of which won him wide praise and several awards.

Television Career
Riz Ahmed has been a part of TV shows like The Path to 9/11 (2006), Wired (2008), Dead Set (2008), and The Fades (2011). In 2016, he appeared in a television miniseries The Night Of, where he portrayed Nasir Khan, an American-Pakistan college student framed for a girl in New York. The eight-episode crime series garnered critical acclaim, with an IMDB rating of 8.5/10.

Music Career
As a rapper, his single 9/11 Blues, releases in 2006, attracted a lot of negative publicity because of the lyrics hurting the sentiments of the Americans. He was selected as a BBC Introducing artist in 2007, playing the Glastonbury Festival and the BBC Electric Proms.
Peers & More
Meesha Shafi
Felicity Jones
Ben Mendelsohn
Diego Luna
Popular Movies
View All
Venom 2-Film Collection
Sound of Metal
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (3D)
Jason Bourne
City of Tiny Lights
Closed Circuit
The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Did You Know? (2)

  • Riz Ahmed auditioned for Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire but failed to get a part in the film.
  • Rajkummar Rao wasn't Hansal Mehta's first choice to play the role of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. The director initially wanted to rope in British actor Riz Ahmed, who is best known for movies like Nightcrawler (2014), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and Jason Bourne (2016).
  • Personal Quotes (1)

  • "“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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