Riz Ahmed thinks attending a private school changed his life
The 37-year-old actor attended a private school on a scholarship and later studied philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford University - and he admits that those experiences changed his outlook on life
29 October 2020
Riz - who was born in London to Pakistani parents - reflected: "I don’t think that my horizons would have been as wide if I hadn’t [attended these institutions].
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"So many limitations are insidiously placed on so many of us in society who are from traditionally marginalised communities. Going to that school meant that I could do this amazing school play every year; [going to Oxford] meant that I met a theatre producer who paid for me to go to drama school for a year when I couldn’t afford it. And just learning to be in those spaces in itself is a huge thing.
"It’s the difference between whether you’re able to relax and crack jokes in an interview or audition, you know what I’m saying?"
Riz has starred in a host of big-budget movies in recent years, including 'Venom' and 'Rogue One'.
But he's remained "grounded" by staying close to his friends and family.
He told The Times Magazine: "I guess I didn’t move to Los Angeles or New York. I feel lucky that I have quite a grounded life. Most of my friends I’ve had for like 25 years, since the age of 10. I live 15 minutes away from my family; I go and see them constantly."
But despite his success, Riz's parents would've actually preferred him to have a "steady job".
He said: "My parents wanted me to have a steady job rather than a self-employed one, because they learnt the hard way it can be rocky. But my older siblings paved the way for me.
"My sister became a lawyer and my brother became a doctor, which meant that I could be a bit more of a wild card."