Riz Ahmed: My relationship with Britain is 'complicated'


Riz Ahmed's relationship with Britain is "complicated".

The 37-year-old star's new album, 'The Long Goodbye', focuses on his complex relationship with his home country, with Riz describing the record as "an emotional exploration" from someone "who finds themselves on the front line of this new, traumatised, confusing reality".

Riz - who was born in Wembley, London, to a British-Pakistani family - explained: "I want people to know what this feels like. People who haven't really maybe understood how it feels, I want [them] to step into this feeling of heartbreak that a lot of us feel right now."

Asked whether he's been dumped by Britain, Riz told the BBC: "I don't know if we've really fully broken up. I just know that it's complicated.

"A lot of people are feeling like the terms of the relationship are changing, or that we're somehow reneging on the vows that we exchanged.

"Like any relationship, I don't know if there's a specific moment where things all fell apart, or if there's an accumulation of small breaches of trust that get you to this point."

Despite this, Riz still considers himself to be British.

He said: "Of course I describe myself as British. If I'm not British, who is?

"I guess I feel that, in the midst of kind of rising xenophobia or a narrowing of people's minds around what Britishness can look like or sound like or taste like, it's all the more important for those of us with complex identities to stand up and defiantly and triumphantly declare ourselves as British."

Riz - who has starred in a string of Hollywood movies, such as 'Rogue One' and 'Venom' - subsequently clarified: "This isn't me coming out and telling the world I'm no longer British and I've got nothing to do with Britain."