Riz Ahmed walking the red carpet at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on February 26, 2017. (Photo by Sthanlee Mirador) *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***
If the Doctor Who Powers That Be are looking to make a big splash with their announcement of the person playing Thirteen, they couldn’t do much better than Riz Ahmed. This talented British actor made a big splash recently playing Bodhi Rook in a popular little film called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but that was hardly his first great part. (Even if we all maybe didn’t know about them at the time.)
Ahmed recieved Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for his performance in 2016 HBO miniseries The Night Of. Over the past couple years, he also appeared in Netflix series The OA, as well as HBO’s Girls, the Jake Gyllenhaal drama Nightcrawler, and the latest Jason Bourne installment. So, he’s kind of everywhere at the moment. What better way to build buzz around the next Doctor than by casting someone who’s already something of an “It Guy” in the role? And, given that many fans are clamoring to see a more diverse casting choice for Thirteen, Ahmed seems a perfect pick on multiple levels. (Of course, he’s also very dreamy looking, which never hurts.)
To his credit, Ahmed himself also seems pretty fantastic in real life. And very progressive in his own right. He delivered the Channel 4 Diversity lecture to Parliament, which focused on the need for greater ethnic representation in the media. In the past, he spoke about the difficulty of finding work in the UK as a non-white actor. And he wrote essays about race and immigration. In short: He seems kind of incredible. Ahmed would be the best kind of ambassador for Doctor Who globally, particularly a Who that’s moving and looking toward the future.