Riz Ahmed on his new film 'Sound of Metal' and learning ASL

The actor talks to Peter Travers about the making of his new film, "Sound of Metal."
22:25 | 12/07/20

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Transcript for Riz Ahmed on his new film 'Sound of Metal' and learning ASL
Hi everybody I'm Peter Travers and this is popcorn where we tell you what's happening at the movie. Even in a cold it lock. So be on the look out for sound of metal I'm not out drama starring our guest resign met in one of the year's best performances. Like a rock drummer whose world falls apart when he loses this year you can imagine. Born in London two British Pakistani parents Reeves is also an act of this or represent Asian and birth in his work. As a rat resiliency. He won a Grammy. Panel to make a song immigrants. Anyway whether he's starring in HBO's the night out which made him the first Muslim. To win -- team enemy ever history where he's just being sexy and playful with Lena Dunham on girls. Reeves gets the job done like TrailBlazer he has so welcome wrist. 01 hell of a busy guy. What is this pandemic doing T. He's been a strange time hasn't it for adolescent thinking kind of forces you to reassess what really massive. You know it. Feel like I'm on new routines and human activity you need almost finals those who've been taken away from us yet and it. He can shoot. Who you are outside of Lula in away. At me since there is who argued did you decider you are. I don't this I didn't get this. Kind of feel like. How could current UN won't really motivates me mobilized and mean. And he that came in their own work and no concrete easily pleasantly. We've done. You know some music in an Alba and and and being English and his work. Sound of metal and those of Maloney which released the case not you. So its content and she shared openly ratio is weighing on aids is an immune from probably. Archie sort of chatting at the bit aren't do you feel you know you have to get out there again. You know speed in his stall was gonna going crazy diamond rules like you said you know I just a very busy vet Aaron blessings. Have trouble sitting still. But I Chile. The pond and it kind of force means and I know this is in an and one that city as soon as you kind of a bit more are you not just. Getting used to do you and you go she was this I really want to you in a way. Is similar journeys of the one that my character and sound of the bell goes on because he's regressed this guy and Rubin's own drama he's always on the go who. And you know he also faces a health crisis difference in corona virus that he case of crises. That was his team's. Oh in its tracks and sit still and reassess beauty is more recognized him. You say that Rubin end sound of metal is basing some kind of a crisis he is because he's a metal drummer. And then suddenly. Hearing starts to go me it's a movie that is very visceral and that sense. That not only is your character Rubin losing his hearing. But so are we. Know but this sound design the movies extraordinary. It in terms of are experiencing at which you. Yes it really almost I think pretty unique. I'm pros is they went through these dogs are designed to use before Scott really. Labor lawful order muscle departments involved in this. And sound agencies and a technique so thank you said it's kind of almost the first person Lee in this Wednesday crazies you very much inside Rubin's mind. And he's got his perspective so when he's using he's here in using Beulah and then you also kinda. That's distorted or do you know when you landscape. This movie all through each scene allow it. Well these kind of strange. Object against my chest as China's new multi directional crazy microphone from future. Higgins my chest and he'd say. Swallow. And don't pretty. Now hold your breath Saucony haunt me don't leave your licks now opening. And we'll kind of soundscape of the movie is made up from these kind of blood lead insurmountable. Soundscape so you feel like you inside this body as you are watching film. Going into it in an adult drum arms this year what do you know about it. Did you drum. Like anything Nokia music yet and in. And is gaining just want to things are a lot about these jobs gates lends his skill as an in these different lights but not bombs. I don't know Americans and and reached its appalled that the challenge in this role is also all anybody was there. I would have to spend sentinel months. Yang and jobs and learning American sign language every day. I was lucky amazing teaches Jeremy stone it's an instructor. Com he's kind of keep secret and it communion you'll. You became very close eye she named off in maintenance on. Them my drama guy on teacher. Kylie Cox. Kind of drummer and drum teacher sex therapist and not to go two guy's lane kind of swing mean didn't bush league. Or out I'm definitely drums is gonna get. Is getting hit very they're TV if we. Scary is it was it was it was very very enriching in any kind of change mean in Wii in ways really. Well. Jeremy Staunton Hussein's it means you're instructor. That is his stroke in the death convening here in people emotionally repressed. He's in for guys because behind. And sure exactly when until ten unless all due to become an in SO. And realized this when speaking about emotions of eggs in cell. Game rule physically emotionally and lose them. And I would be aegis. You know. Churning out and he's facing he's because you in the team saying. Physically and obesity. In different ways so and so in a way Jeremy in the deaf community and it's only should meaningful. Communication. In what once those islands taken away so early kind of and shifted slamming me. And I had no idea when that within the deaf community to there's this sense that. They haven't lost anything that they gained something by this. And if they have very strong feelings. Yeah and deafness and disability culture and and he. And it's a way of being. This is something you've been realized as he kind of goes on Jim and he in the movie. Note recently institute also realized that means so thinking as loss. And then he realizes actually differences an invitation to culture. Friendships and connections. To new way of being. Actually. Allows him to connect more to himself and not lose them he before. And and you know it's something that. Inside he we are so unaware mountaineering community. Es. Is there is that he's deaf pride. And deaf culture and the richness in this culture. And also just incredible. Tragedy is for us to kind of overlooked he's been sensual friendships and you know it's amazing talent in this community. I hope that the film is in Bela goods into the community and it opens people's eyes and reached in his culture. My biggest cities. In the film is close caption. Saw is is it people watching me besides. What it. Means seeing. This is always been heart yeah who as an actor and probably two in your music as well. Auto you. Represent there is there's even such a thing I saw recently about the risk tests. For. Which you did you play a major part in that. And that was something. Few academics in the UK eighty. Taking inspiration from them back young tests which he's used to assess. You know the representation of women in film back they'll test is something like. All of Amy seems in this film way to remain on talking to China about something and something as simple as you'll be surprised how many films. At. Ten. And so it took inspiration from that and came up with the race tests which he's. Named off to me I guess. You know because I gave a speech in British parliament bow representation. And was in general about the importance attending increasing stories. When where he's kind of movement no video of all of such. You know we're such a crossroads. Every country in the world seems to be asking who all we can be nosy and doesn't how inclusive. And so I think China has really important said. The stories that are player or motive of saying woo. City stories where there is an awesome name was just arts unit in the game. Expand people's idea who Nazis. Chrysler gave a speech in parliament and that they took inspiration and increase testing is tests to see how Muslims are represented in film. A full point test I have nothing to do it setting I think. Can test and and that speech. You know I think. Presentation. Ease. Is something that we all kind of expect from politics and culture we all want to be seen and hood valued. A story mass. I think its highest goal off. C news. Two to allow us to re imagine. In. These categories Austin. You know I don't think it's just as a social political goal in Tedisco I think he's not his eagle. So force us to step outside cells. Into the. And it's it's a laudable goal but at the same time as well it could be a burden sometimes I mean. When you won that any it was there was a lot said in terms of representation news the first. South Asian male and moves on to win a leading actor enemy. So what does that do what is what pressure does what I. I guess it. Every challenges also gift to you could indeed from nineteen. Rubino the challenge of using easy hearing becomes a gift kind of realizing who use outside its. You know. Lisa labels. Trauma boyfriend connect himself and I think for me and fall for any kind of Aussie is so people in the public from marginalized communities. It can be a real good and who knows that there's only one to three who do you out there and so. You'll may carry special residents. You know it may carry a certain way. In representing all community. I think the Sunni you can kind of like should hood and the bats as an artist who. And the reason for that I think can be really paralyzing. Second guess what people expect from you really are created curiosity as an. So while city's most intriguing. And and a real underprivileged minority work may carry a special residents. Inside all in stretching people's creek church handles only in specific communities. Are real privileged. I think it's. Consider the kind of motivational jet fuel. But not good GTX. You GPS test and eat what you want to do is no place. And your jet fuel is knowing that in his. People now days you feel like these workings is media day. Feed something very. Kind of neat in Coachella tootsie kind of stretch people's hearts and minds. And yet you have those very strong feelings are passionate feelings about it your album the long goodbye is basically about your break with. Oh Great Britain right in saying. I don't. We don't get along anymore because I feel some tension some Xena phobia coming from yeah. And arrest all that anger and also asked anger is something that indeed positive about what you Lar. And you've got all those things going for right you have the responsibility you and then you have ability to express your deal a year. Yeah I guess you. Noticing his lead is is is in Houston it is a lot of time all league web from really pleasant place. But my personal experience is tied up in politics know most people saw just want it right. Mare. If you warning to a certain body innocence Hyman is based in new experience is tied up with Rose Garden news headlines. Or walk in. Presidents or presidential candidate saying or you know. So for me and only bought it was a very personal. Very emotional album really is saying. I feel like my country is breaking up would mean he's injecting because I think there. That's an experience long people could relate to right now we're the year in India the United States. Hungry. Old you know whatever country you're really seems day. And all people who. Can relate to this sense that suddenly. I mean this isn't. This in the present these countries are waking up 1 morning an exact change and maybe you don't want me kind of lost and leave. Off the role we've been through Louisiana. And it is an album about hall great because. It's only our breaking beauty care about is on care about is. And as a suddenly you know I'm British and and so did the feeding. All of Sunday. Realizing what you welcome me or you know you to notice plays well when his future viewed in a country the core of is heartbreaking one so. There's some from the very constant and emotional place. But it's inevitable that's tied up in. In what some people might seem to be policing cool. You grew up in London. Parents up from Pakistan. What. Where you first experiencing. As a kid. I doubt the world you live in how you work hard and how you were separate from. You know you don't question your place in society and so someone questions if we've there's little I think. You know it was very police and in my life and I always. Been that way I think he's realized. You know when you from a minority Julio woman who you know from their OG BC communion. You know demy just being moments in your life we unionize so people have problem would be just for existing. And I think you know there's a heart operation that was also some. Resolve them conform. You know. You cool from the experience in the media thinking is it was resolved that formed in needs to just. To go into those spaces that people might feel a deep middle you know whether that was. Going to oaks in US EU windows stock in a working in the film industry. That is seeking UK which used you know. It's very particular challenges zillow. Alone. I actually kind of just took it upon myself to kind of wanna. Knock on those who was and it was an into trying to come down in. And and so it's kind of been. So they're kind jet fuel for me and kind of motivation for me again ball from a personal grace rather than from a kind of illegally. How do your parents and your family. React. To what you do. And your success and anyone else's bullet aimed and anyone else's blues you know like. You know it's it's interesting I understand it is kind of tradition is kind of ideas like. Immigrant parents kind of one unique institute. Have a stable income I think that's really sensible you don't familiar. And that's also something that many many parents welcoming Keyes he just wanted kind of stable. Life and that my parents assumed the support is seen by logging. Kind. Yet have a ways kind of like. But to me you know quietly anxious as any parent would be winning cases I wanna do something days like inherently unstable of the huge. None of a career choice. Oh. And we worry you know I'm sure you worry about your parents with this that we're living in now not just the politics of the left but. The protest. The pandemic and what it does to us that you're that you lost. Two relatives recently up co. And so we all live with this roundup tests. And how do we stay ourselves and how do we didn't do something creative. As much as you. Yeah I mean he. Is challenging time and I think we need to think a little may have bow. I think we need to reassess what kind of well will all worth while use of time days. Keynote I think we kinda don't derive an almost self left from his idea being of productivity. And and actually I think. It is pandemic and in this year of Croat says this year upheaval has been shown us is that. And all the stuff we filmed I'd really doesn't. Look this stuff the fund DeMint who was all. Off. All well being we just in to connect it. Off family a health and and these rescue things we seem to value least in our society. In connection seems to dean goes on by social media health care means Sony Open can influence in Ahmanson's it was seeking to stay. So long. Seems. I think this pandemic is kind of laying bare and all of the it cracks in our society you know rationing just days soul. We're really just kind of exposing the lie and Indonesia isn't you know individually individually is amazing and solve our problems in the face of being used. Challenges number comments in Canada as a community is a global community. There's hunger for that and a no I don't how the world's gonna change when we can get back together and some. Fundamental way but we can't I know my time is up now I wanted to ask you about. To express something about what your feeling down through your music because it's so essential to year to you give me. Just a little bit back in what you did we knew where reason and seeing now reason I met. And whatever because to express yourself musically. Is a whole different way. Communicating. She recorded a track that maybe al-Qaeda direct people who need to check in now on line is cold and misty. Nine. And this year these media bowel exactly what no weeds will be met today we choose. In Oakland's example is upheaval how we didn't influence how it and reassess who we now what performed too much of it but the final lines and the. A law. You know. Dull the lone wolves didn't. You know in the future is the ace. So Ole miss the boss. Known as this is Charles who don't base. And I really think that these charts for us to reassess and reevaluate who we are and how we youthful is again an open come at least aside. Yeah a little bit more can you didn't. Yet finding a way for its communities and it's cool and this year needs its own mind you she humans programs companies. Suppose and I wrote in the wake of my uncle and Mann's death from Cody. And meat is asking these questions of how we me shortened its name. I am. When we use is suffering its for us the kind. Change. Sounds like exactly the thought that meet meet going in artists through this so risk thank you so much for you. Rate let them be protecting its exceptional acting people seeing this are going to. SeaWorld I don't want to use the word learn all the time because it's not it's not a lessened but it's an experience that we can deal. And it's that feeling that council met and that feeling it's what you do as actor as an activist. Wrap thank you so much free time. So much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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