Riz Ahmed

British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed is political, passionate and undeniably talented. The native Londoner first roamed the posh halls of Oxford as a student of philosophy and politics before training at the University of London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Under the alias Riz MC, he released the satirical rap single "Post 9/11 Blues" in 2006, the same year he made his film debut as Guantanamo Bay detainee Shafiq Rasul in "The Road to Guantanamo." Keenly aware of his Pakistani heritage, Ahmed nevertheless sought out a diverse array of roles. He played the title drug dealer in "Shifty" (2008); a wanna-be suicide bomber in the terrorist satire "Four Lions" (2010); and a complex, controlling hotelier in "Trishna" (2011). But Ahmed wasn't content confining his creativity to just the screen. He parlayed "Post 9/11 Blues" into a successful career as Riz MC, which saw him honored as a BBC Introducing artist four years before the release of his 2011 album, MICroscope. His portrayal of a tough council estate drug dealer in "Ill Manors" (2012) capped off a string of roles that found the intelligent, articulate actor bring his explosive talent to new heights.