Actor Riz Ahmed
Actor Riz Ahmed

Riz Ahmed opens about why he said yes to Micheal Pearce's 'Encounter'

ANI | Updated: Dec 06, 2021 23:26 IST

Washington [US], December 6 (ANI): Hollywood actor Riz Ahmed has opened up about what appealed him to work with filmmaker Micheal Pearce and why he said yes to the role for the upcoming movie, 'Encounter' on Amazon Prime Video.
'Encounter' is a science-fiction movie about a decorated Marine who goes on a rescue mission to save his two young sons from a mysterious threat. As their journey takes them in increasingly dangerous directions, the boys will need to leave their childhoods behind.
Riz talked about what made him say yes to the role and how he prepared himself to do justice to his portrayal of Malik and impress the director.
The actor said that after reading the screenplay for the movie he was immediately intrigued by the character of Malik and impressed by the sophistication of the writing. "It's quite rare to read a script like this one that's emotionally engaging and grounded in character while also having the momentum of a chase thriller with sci-fi elements. That combination was very appealing to me."
Riz also divulged that he was also a huge fan of director Micheal Pearce's first film. "Beast is a nuanced character portrait and a film about relationships, but at the same time it manages to play like a mystery thriller, and the script for Encounter pulls off something similar," said Ahmed.

He further added, "Not a lot of directors can walk a fine line like that, but Michael is definitely one who can. It was clear to me that he was one of the great directors in the making, so the combination of the script and working with him made this project a no-brainer for me."
Determined to convince Pearce he was the right choice for Malik, Riz arranged to meet with the filmmaker over coffee and personally lobbied to play the character. "My ultimate goal was simply to put myself in his hands and just trust him because I believed in him that much," he said.
The character was originally written as a white man, so one of the initial topics of conversation between Ahmed, who is of Pakistani descent, and Pearce was reimagining the protagonist as a South Asian and what that would mean to the overall story. Ultimately, they agreed that seeing a father and sons who looked like the Khan family being chased across the Southwest would significantly raise the stakes of the film.
"When you consider all the baggage and preconceptions around a character like Malik Khan, we both felt it could actually increase the potential alienation he felt, and would naturally heighten the tension as he and his kids are being pursued," said the actor.
Written and directed by Micheal Pearce, the movie has an ensemble cast starring Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada in pivotal roles. 'Encounter' is set to release on December 10, 2021, on Amazon Prime Video.(ANI)