Sound of Metal: Riz Ahmed’s Transformative Experience

Riz Ahmed on the “Transformative Experience” of ‘Sound of Metal’


The Golden Globe nominee says the most significant response he’s received for his Amazon film is from the deaf community.

Riz Ahmed is usually based on London, but he was in California on February 3 when the Globes nominations were announced. “It was lovely news to wake up to. It’s a real honor,” says the actor, who was nominated for Sound of Metal, playing a drummer who is losing his hearing.

“This film was so close to our hearts. It was a transformative experience, with people in the deaf and hearing communities spending time together, and the growth and the learning that came from that,” says Ahmed, who was previously nominated for a Golden Globe in 2017 for The Night Of.

Sound of Metal, released by Amazon, took 13 years to make it to the screen, says Ahmed. “All the financing fell through the day before, and director Darius Marder pulled a rabbit out of a hat and managed to make sure we could turn up on set that first day,” he says. “He pulled so many magic tricks along the route. It feels like something we made with a lot of love, against the odds.”

It’s been amazing to hear from drummers, sound engineers and members of the deaf community about how much they relate to the film. “I think the film explores a lot of different subcultures and to have people from those cultures–whether its the culture of recovery or deafness or punk music–reach out and say it resonated with them, it’s a great feeling.”