British Pakistani rapper Riz Ahmed on playing the protagonist in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Riz Ahmed who plays Changez in the film The Reluctant Fundamentalist admits to “stalking the project”. Talking over phone, the British Pakistani rapper says, “As soon as I read the book, I was like, I love this book. I found out the publisher and I was like, can I have the film rights. I couldn’t get an audition for it as I hadn’t done many romantic roles. Mira was like I don’t know I need a romantic lead…I had given up all hope until I got the last minute call to go and see her and we clicked.”

Riz describes adapting the book as a “five-year journey. It is a tricky situation. A book is different, it excites the imagination. A movie puts your head in a slightly different place.”

The actor says there were many memorable moments during filming. “It was a physically demanding role. It was amazing and intense. It was like a roller coaster, shooting in four different cities. There is such a different vibe in each one of them. The shoot took three months.”

Future projects for the 30-year-old include “Close Circuit, a thriller directed by John Crowley. The film has Rebecca Hall in it.” Riz is open to Bollywood films. “I would like to work in a Hindi film as they resonate,” he says.