Riz Ahmed's 'Rogue One' Audition Tapes Prove He Was Always Right For The Role
By now, it's safe to say that Riz Ahmed has gathered quite a bit of momentum in Hollywood. A delightful British export who's been working for years in the film industry, Ahmed was introduced to mainstream U.S. audiences, thanks to his role in the Star Wars franchise. And now, you can watch Ahmed's Rogue One audition tapes on Entertainment Tonight to see why he got the job. But to be fair, it's not particularly difficult to see how an actor as multifaceted as Ahmed snagged the coveted role of Bodhi Rook.
On Thursday, Ahmed cheekily tweeted out a link to an ET video that included his Star Wars audition tapes. Captioning the retweet with "Still got a few more takes to send in if that's cool...?", Ahmed appeared to be in a happy mood about this bit of behind-the-scenes information coming to light. The actor's caption refers to the fact that he created 14 — count 'em, 14 — separate audition tapes for Rogue One director Gareth Edwards' consideration. Talk about dedication.
In his homemade audition tapes, Ahmed is seen in various costumes and looks (for example, sometimes he sports glasses, other times he wears a bandanna) to show the he was willing to approach the characterization of Bodhi from a variety of angles.
Ahmed described to Entertainment Tonight just how keen he was to nail the audition, hence why he made so many tapes. He said,
"I sent him like two or three versions of it. I woke up the next morning and I hadn't gotten an email back so I thought, 'Why don't I send him another two or three more versions of it!' and then I kind of thought, 'Oh you know what? Maybe if he had a different accent or different costumes.' So I did that again, and I sent him 14 takes of this character over like, two or three days. I was spamming quite hardcore, to be honest, and I'm just really grateful he didn't take out a restraining order."
This clip isn't the first time that Ahmed has joked about what a wild audition process he had for Rogue One. While it becomes clear in the Entertainment Tonight report that Ahmed was the definition of "keen" in sending in 14 tapes, it was during his interview with Jimmy Fallon that he described just how Edwards responded.
Back in December, Ahmed explained,
"He made the mistake of giving me his email address. So I sent him one version of the scene and a few hours later I was like, 'Oh, I'll do it another way.' ... He called me a few weeks later — it was a pretty tense few weeks — so I was like, 'I really screwed this up,' and he said, 'I'm not going to take out a restraining order. I'm going to put you in the film'."
Honestly that is such a touch-and-go scenario. I can totally understand where Ahmed may have gotten the creative lightning bolt to want to show more about his take on Bodhi, but he really toed the line, right?
Thank goodness Edwards politely told him to chill out and didn't just throw him into a pile of "No"s. It's hard to imagine what Rogue One would be like without Ahmed as Bodhi in the mix.