Anyone who’s seen Rogue One knows exactly how perfect Riz Ahmed is as Bodhi Rook — and also just in general. But the way he scored that role is guaranteed to make you love him even more.
Ahmed knew he wanted the job. So he decided to email director Gareth Edwards a self-filmed audition tape showing his take on the character. Then, he thought to himself, ‘I can do this a different way,’ and he taped that, too, and sent it to Edwards. Then he did it again. And again. Eventually, Ahmed had sent 14 audition tapes, showing the 14 different ways he could play Bodhi, complete with different accents and costume changes.
“I loved Riz Ahmed in Nightcrawler,” co-producer John Scwartz says in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “As we were looking for a character for Bodhi Rook, he made sure to throw his name in the hat. He did a few auditions for us — he kept cranking out different versions of Bodhi.”
In his own interview, sweet, sweet Ahmed admitted he thought he “screwed up” his audition by sending so many tapes.
“I sent him like two or three versions of it,” Ahmed said. “I woke up the next morning and I hadn’t gotten an e-mail back so I thought, ‘Why don’t I send him another two or three more versions of it!’ and then I kind of thought, ‘Oh, you know what? Maybe if he had a different accent or different costumes.’ so I did that again, and I sent him 14 takes of this character over like, two or three days. I was spamming quite hardcore, to be honest, and I’m just really grateful he didn’t take out a restraining order.”
Ahmed continued, “He kind of e-mailed me back and said, ‘Look, Riz, thank you for the auditions, please stop sending me the auditions. We’ll be in touch.’ I was like, ‘Oh, well done. You screwed up! You screwed up just by being a psycho!’”
Riz Ahmed, you keep being you, beautiful man.