Riz Ahmed reveals how his ‘Rogue One’ character changed during shooting

Ahmed appears in the acclaimed 'Star Wars' spin-off film as Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial pilot who defects to the Rebels.

Riz Ahmed has revealed that his Rogue One character changed name and grew more important to the story during shooting.

The British actor appears in the acclaimed Star Wars spin-off film as Bodhi Rook, a former Imperial pilot who defects to the Rebels. However, the role he was originally asked to play was far smaller.

“I signed up for the movie not having read a script or knowing where the character sat in the movie. I’ve got to be honest, the character was a different character at that point,” Ahmed told Vulture. “He had a different name and a different relationship to the rest of the team, and he really evolved once I signed on and once I started shooting, even.”

Ahmed continued: “They decided to start expanding the role and introducing him earlier and he became more integral to the story and the rest of the team. It’s interesting, looking back, that I signed up knowing nothing, but ultimately I’d sign up for a Star Wars movie to make tea, just to be around that level of creativity.”

Explaining that Rogue One was a more fluid shooting experience than people might expect, Ahmed added: “People talk about blockbuster movies being really stiff and like a big machine, and there is a lot of infrastructure around these stories and how people tell them, but you’ve also got a lot of people who are willing to unpick stitching that doesn’t work, rather than just embroider it.

“That takes guts, man. That takes balls, that takes heart. Things kept evolving, and they weren’t afraid to go back and change it or try to make it better.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which has made a storming start at the box office, also stars Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker and Diego Luna. Read the NME review here.