Riz Ahmed: 'My Star Wars character is a truck driver at heart'

Riz Ahmed thinks Bodhi Rook, his character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a little bit like a long distance truck driver.

Riz Ahmed's character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has a life story mirroring that of a long distance truck driver.

The 33-year-old plays Bodhi Rook in the forthcoming science-fiction film. The character's status as a pilot for the evil Galactic Empire who turns rebel has already drawn comparisons to Harrison Ford's iconic role as space smuggler turned reluctant hero Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Riz however thinks his character bears most resemblance to someone with an arduous profession here on Earth rather than in a galaxy far, far away.

"Bodhi is a cargo pilot," he told Entertainment Weekly. "In our world, Bodhi would be a truck driver. A long-distance truck driver."

The British actor is also quick to damp down comparisons with Harrison's character by stating that Bodhi is even more down to earth than Han, who was famously proud of his spaceship the Millennium Falcon.

"The feel of this film is quite rough and ready, and so is the mission and so are the characters, and so is the coming together of the characters," he explained.

"So the idea of people having special ships that they spit-shine and say, 'Hey, this is my ship called the XYZ,' that's not of this world. This world is more about 'Grab what you can, and let's roll.'"

He also hints it is not only Bodhi who isn't a straightforward hero in the new movie, which will follow a band of rebel fighters on a mission to steal the plans for the Empire's Death Star space station, the destruction of which was the climax of the original 1977 Star Wars film A New Hope.

"Everyone in this Star Wars movie has got quite a complex past," he revealed. "They have a lot of baggage and history to it. That's part of what makes it an interesting, nuanced movie. It's taking characters with interesting backgrounds, whether it's warrior monks, or ex-assassins, or long-distance truck drivers, and you're assembling this pack of misfits."

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker and Ben Mendelsohn.

It is released in the U.K. and U.S. on 16 December (16).

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