Pupils at a Bradford primary school got the chance to carry out their own exclusive interview with a movie star as Riz Ahmed took part in a question and answer session with them on Skype.
The event has been organised by Beckfoot Heaton Primary School to introduce inspiring role models to the children and get them to think about their own futures.
The Star Wars star gave an inspirational speech to pupils telling them to always believe in themselves and pursue their goals before he answered their questions about his life as an actor and a musician and his plans for the future.
Ahmed is a real rising star in the acting world having played one of the leading roles, Bohdi Rook, in the most recent Star Wars movie, Rogue One. He also starred in Nightcrawler and HBO’s The Night Of TV series. He is a rapper performing under the name Riz MC and appeared on TIME magazine’s The Most Influential People of 2017 list.
The chance to talk to a film star face-to-face was organised through a teacher at the school, Khola Mir.
She said: “Part of our school ethos is to aspire to greatness. We really encourage our children to be the best versions of themselves and to have the courage to dream big. Riz is a fantastic role model and has helped to show our children that if you dare to dream and work hard success will be yours.”
Pupils asked Ahmed about what it was like being in a Star Wars film, how he coped with fame and how he overcame challenges.
He told pupils that the biggest obstacle they will face is what they tell themselves. He encouraged the children to believe in their ability to succeed. He was also asked whether he knew what his next step in life would be.
He replied: “I feel like so far I have been working on other people’s projects and acting in other people’s films. I really hope my next step will be to make my own films and tell my own stories and actually one of the stories I want to tell is set here in Bradford.”
He told pupils that if any of them pursued a career in films they might one day work together.
Beckfoot Heaton Primary School Headteacher Zoe Mawson added: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our pupils. We want our children to know they can be great learners, great citizens and have a great future.
“But we also know that some children in our area face many challenges in making this a reality. Many don’t have high aspirations and struggle to envisage what they could achieve in their life.
“We’re aiming to tackle these issues. We want the children to have a real sense of belonging, which builds their confidence and encourages them to aspire for greatness. The hope is that Riz is someone that a lot of our children can identify with and begin to realise that success is not out of reach. We would like to thank Riz for showing our children that their future is in their hands.”