Riz Ahmed is a rising star, having just come off the buzzy HBO drama “The Night Of” and soon to appear in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
But that doesn’t stop TSA officials from checking the British actor, also a Muslim, at the airport — even when he’s on the cover of the inflight magazine.
“I mean my day-to-day reality is as contradictory as ever,” Ahmed said in a recent interview with The Guardian.
“Every time I get on the plane, I get searched,” he said, adding, “The last time I came back from L.A., I got fully searched and all of that. That’s as usual. Then the second search. But this time, I got on the plane and I picked up the inflight magazine. And I was on the cover. I was already on the plane.”
The 34-year-old is also a rapper who goes by Riz MC. Through his music and also a recent essay he penned for a book, “The Good Immigrant,” he is speaking out more about inequities Muslims face.
“We’re all suspects so literally, be watching your back/ I farted and got arrested for a chemical attack,” he rhymes on the track “Post 9/11 Blues” on his album “Cashmere,” which features multiple tracks centered on the airport and the challenges he faces when he travels.
“I guess I started basically giving less of a f— and saying what I think more,” Ahmed told The Guardian, then explaining how he’s grown tired of addressing his Muslim background to journalists.
“I’ve done three or four solid films now that became cult classics. And everyone’s like, ‘What’s it like being a Muslim?’ That’s offensive,” he said. “Really, that’s what it is, offensive. What you’re saying is that you cannot see me as creative or an artist or a human being first.”