Riz Ahmed is a great actor and has most recently starred in the acclaimed HBO series, The Night Of. To more general audiences, he’ll soon become recognizable as Bodhi in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Ahmed recently talked about his character and how he defined him in order to portray him onscreen.
“Bodhi is someone who’s been running away his whole life. His planet gets occupied, so he goes, ‘How do I get out of here?’ And the way was by becoming a long-distance cargo pilot. But, of course, that comes with guilt. If you look down and you’re wearing the same Imperial uniform with the same insignia that the people occupying your planet are wearing, it’s guilt and a lot of running away. I had the idea that this character is jittery. He’s jumpy. There’s a restlessness to him. This comes from the trauma and guilt.”
Historically, the Star Wars franchise hasn’t been very diverse. But that is clearly changing and Rogue One has the most diverse cast of any of the films preceding it. Ahmed discussed the diversity of the film and how he believes Star Wars is now leading the way in Hollywood in embracing it.
“I feel like Star Wars is leading the way. I like to think we are all heading in this direction. Some people are kicking and screaming or dragging their feet. Some people are sprinting. It’s really a credit to [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy and the team there that they want to embrace the future and the reality of a global film market. It feels contemporary, it feels global. Culture is a space for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, so why don’t we just have as many different kinds of shoes as possible?”
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters December 16. Tickets go on sale this Monday, November 28.