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Riz Ahmed On Identity, Music, And Magical Realism

Riz Ahmed attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station in Los Angeles, California.
Riz Ahmed attends the 93rd Annual Academy Awards at Union Station in Los Angeles, California.

In his latest film, “Mogul Mowgli,” actor and rapper Riz Ahmed stars as Zed, a rapper diagnosed with an autoimmune disease right before he’s set to go on a major tour.

The film’s subject reflects a bit of a trend. Earlier this year, Ahmed was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in “The Sound of Metal,” another film about a musician dealing with a life-altering medical condition.

But “Mogul Mowgli” is arguably darker – and weirder. The film uses rap, lyricism, and magical realism to tell the story of a man navigating identity, family, and illness.

Ahmed co-wrote the film and drew on elements from his own life – including his music career, as rapper Riz MC and one half of the hip hop duo Swet Shop Boys.

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