Riz Ahmed felt under pressure to "people-please" at the start of his career
The 37-year-old actor has admitted he spent years trying to "contort [himself] around other people’s expectations", but he's now slowly learning to trust his gut instinct
29 October 2020
He explained: "It’s something I’m still learning to do. If you grow up wearing different masks and code-switching, then your survival is premised on your ability to contort yourself around other people’s expectations and to people-please.
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"That’s why I feel like I’ve been able to play a range of different roles, because I’ve had to live that range of different versions of myself. But what it can sometimes rob you of is a clear handle on your core, what your core values are."
The London-born actor - who stars in the drama films 'Mogul Mowgli' and 'Sound of Metal' - feels he's going through a "process" as someone who's becoming more confident in his own ideas.
Riz also feels like he's starting to "embrace" his true self, having tried so hard to please other people earlier in his career.
He told The Times Magazine: "I was reading this interview with Vincent Cassel about how as a young actor you’re trying to escape who you are, and as an older actor you start to embrace it.
"I think maybe it’s just a process, because now I’m in a place where I’m saying, ‘Yeah, let’s do 'Mogul Mowgli'. We’ll use my music, we’ll take elements of my life, let’s make that. OK, let’s do 'Sound of Metal'. I’m going to create from the most personal place I have; I want to learn the drums every day.’
"As opposed to, like, stepping into a mould of someone else’s making."