Riz Ahmed: ‘Rogue One’ Isn’t A Political Film

Rogue One has made a hugely impressive start at the box office, as it has already grossed close to $300 million in just over three days. While most movie fans have been eager to see the blockbuster a small group of die-hard Donald Trump supporters have looked to hinder its release, starting the #DumpStarWars social media campaign because they believe Rogue One was infused with an anti-Trump sentiment.

But Riz Ahmed, who portrays Bodhi Rook in Rogue One, has insisted that isn’t the case, declaring that the blockbuster wouldn’t use its platform to project such a message because doing so would be both “petty and small-minded.”

Riz Ahmed made this admission to The Wrap, who asked the actor for his thoughts on the social media campaign started by fans of the President-Elect. But Riz Ahmed hadn’t actually heard about their efforts, and after being informed he remarked, “What? That’s weird. I have no idea what they’re talking about.”

Riz Ahmed talks Rogue One

Riz Ahmed remarked that “political turmoil” exists all across the world, and the creative team behind Rogue One weren’t looking to exploit it so that they can comment on Donald Trump or any other controversial political leader. Instead, director Gareth Edwards and writers Chris Weitz and Gary Whitta wanted to make a film that had a universal theme. Plus, Riz Ahmed also noted that their accusations are pretty flat considering that Rogue One’s script was written years ago, while it was filmed over a year and a half ago, too. Riz Ahmed explained.

“It is absolutely to be expected that people will project their anxieties and concerns … onto art. It’s also the role of art to reflect the times we live in. But this film wasn’t made to speak to this particular moment. This is a film that was written years ago, that was filmed over a year-and-a-half ago.”

Riz Ahmed went on to explain how the plan is for Rogue One to resonate with an audience for decades to come, not just be a film of the moment. Ahmed believes that Rogue One will bring people together and that they will unite over just how specularly entertaining it is, rather than dividing them even further. Riz Ahmed continued.

“Our hope is that this film isn’t just resonant now, but in 10 years from now. I don’t think the creators of this film are to be as petty and small-minded as to use something as big and all-embracing as Star Wars to score kind of mean political points. I actually think that in this time that is so divided, a film like Star Wars brings everyone together.”

It has been a rather impressive year for Riz Ahmed.

Riz Ahmed in The Night Of

The 34-year-old British actor not only appeared in the Hollywood blockbuster Jason Bourne as Aaron Kalloor, but he earned rave reviews thanks to his performance as Nasir Khan in the HBO crime drama The Night Of, which recently earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film.

Riz Ahmed can also currently be seen in The OA, the latest drama from Netflix, which also stars Brit Marling, Emory Cohen, Brendan Meyer, and Jason Isaacs. However, Riz Ahmed’s turn as Bodhi Rook in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is set to sky rocket his career up to another echelon, as the film has drawn plenty of plaudits from fans and critics alike to the point that it currently has a score of 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rogue One is now in cinemas across the world, while you’ll next be able to see Riz Ahmed in the British crime thriller City Of Tiny Lights, which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.

[Featured Image by Lucasfilm]