Riz Ahmed recently revealed that he sent different 14 audition tapes to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” director Gareth Edwards, but once he booked the role, Edwards completely changed the character.
“He changed the character’s name, his job, his relationship to the other characters, when we meet him, his backstory,” Ahmed revealed in an interview with TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell. “I don’t know whether it’s because my versions gave him ideas or whether he thought, ‘We gotta get this kid away from this character, he’s going down a wormhole, he has a weird obsession.'”
Ahmed plays Bodhi Rook, a cargo pilot who actually gives the rebellion ship its name of “Rogue One.” But the actor admitted that that plot detail was almost an afterthought that arose during the production’s now-notorious re-shoots earlier this year.
“It was like the last day, my last scene in the last day of re-shoots and it was such a last-minute addition,” he said. “I assumed they were trying it in different scenes … They just kind of threw it in.”
Ahmed, who just picked up Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations for his starring role in HBO’s limited series “The Night Of,” said he was “really proud of [the film]” — which he first saw at the Skywalker Ranch on his birthday.
“It was the ultimate present,” he said. “It just feels edgy and gritty. It feels like a war movie … It’s got its own flavor.”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” features a very diverse cast — a source of pride for Ahmed, a British actor of Pakistani descent. The film stars Chinese actor Donnie Yen, Mexican actor Diego Luna, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and fellow Brit Felicity Jones as rebellion leader Jyn Erso.
“It just makes sense, right?” Ahmed said.
“Rogue One” takes place between the prequel and original trilogies and depicts Erso’s efforts to steal the plans for the Death Star, the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Empire, which has terrorized children everywhere since the first “Star Wars” in 1977.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in theaters on Friday.
Watch the video above.