Riz Ahmed On His Role For In Encounter On Amazon Prime Video

7 Dec, 2021 10:19 IST|Sakshi Post

Riz Ahmed is known for his versatile and phenomenal acting skills all over the world. His on-point dialogues delivery, apt expressions and the movies he chooses to act in are appreciated by people. He is coming back on big screens and on Amazon Prime Video with Encounter, a science -fiction film. The movie is about a decorated Marine who goes on a rescue mission to save his two young sons from a mysterious threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous directions, the boys will need to leave their childhoods behind. Riz Ahmed talks about what made him say yes to the role and how he prepared himself to do justice to Malik and impress the director.  

Riz Ahmed says after reading the screenplay he was immediately intrigued by the character of Malik and impressed by the sophistication of the writing. “It’s quite rare to read a script like this one that’s emotionally engaging and grounded in character while also having the momentum of a chase thriller with sci-fi elements. That combination was very appealing to me.” 

The actor was also a huge fan of director Micheal Pearce’s first film. “Beast is a nuanced character portrait and a film about relationships, but at the same time it manages to play like a mystery thriller, and the script for Encounter pulls off something similar,” says Ahmed. “Not a lot of directors can walk a fine line like that, but Michael is definitely one who can. It was clear to me that he was one of the great directors in the making, so the combination of the script and working with him made this project a no-brainer for me.” 

Determined to convince Pearce he was the right choice for Malik, Ahmed arranged to meet with the filmmaker over coffee and personally lobbied to play the character. “My ultimate goal was simply to put myself in his hands and just trust him, because I believed in him that much.” The character was originally written as a white man, so one of the initial topics of conversation between Ahmed, who is of Pakistani descent, and Pearce was reimagining the protagonist as a South Asian and what that would mean to the overall story. Ultimately, they agreed that seeing a father and sons who looked like the Khan family being chased across the Southwest would significantly raise the stakes of the film. “When you consider all the baggage and preconceptions around a character like Malik Khan, we both felt it could actually increase the potential alienation he felt, and would naturally heighten the tension as he and his kids are being pursued,” says the actor. 

Written and directed by Micheal Pearce, the movie has an ensemble cast starring Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada in pivotal roles. Encounter is set to release on December 10, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video.

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