Riz Ahmed Explains Why Turned Down Big Money To Make Sound Of Metal

The Star Wars and Venom actor says he could have made big money and bought a house, but he chose a different path--and it paid off.


After starring in the box office smashes Rogue One and Venom, actor Riz Ahmed had a choice to make: continue to pursue big commercial projects and make a lot of money or try something else. He chose the latter and went on to star in Sound of Metal, and now he's explained some of his thinking and why it was ultimately the right decision for him and his career.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ahmed said he had a strong gut feeling about Sound of Metal, in which he plays a drummer who begins to lose his hearing.

"'Why are you doing this when you could go off and get paid, finally?'" Ahmed recalled about his thought process. "There was an opportunity to do bigger, more commercial projects and make money and buy a home and all these things. But I thought, 'Here's your chance.' My gut feeling about it was so strong. And for whatever reason, I felt really hungry for something like that, to go all in and just fucking go there."

It worked out for Ahmed in the end, as he was praised for his performance in the film and it led to further opportunities down the track. Ahmed has already finished filming Amazon's sci-fi movie Invasion with Octavia Spencer, and Amazon believes in the actor so much that it signed a deal with Ahmed's production company, Left Handed Films.

In addition to that project, Ahmed is working with Barack and Michelle Obama on the Netflix movie Exit West from Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo's ABGO banner.

Also in the interview, Ahmed confirmed he won't return for the Venom sequel because, as should be obvious to anyone who saw the film, his character is very much dead. "I think I'm done in Venom," he said. "It's pretty conclusive. Dude got blown up in a spaceship."

There is a rumored Rogue One prequel, too, but Ahmed can't or won't say anything about that. "I just haven't heard of that, to be honest," he said.

You can read the full interview here at The Hollywood Reporter.

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