THE NIGHT OF RIZ

Riz Ahmed Stars in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Ultra Timely, Prescient Video for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done)”

Riz MC rises again.


Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court announced it would review the case for President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven, predominantly Muslim countries in October. In the meantime, the court’s decision allows a limited version of the ban to be enforced, effectively reversing the decisions by lower courts, which overwhelmingly came out against the ban Trump instituted during his first week in office and the revised edition his administration released last month.

It’s into this uncertain context that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical and cultural juggernaut , has released a new video starring actor Riz Ahmedactor Riz Ahmed for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” a take from for “Immigrants (We Get the Job Done),” a take from , has released a new video starring The Hamilton Mixtape. (As the credits roll, there’s Daveed Diggs, the multihyphenate actor and performer who originated the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson roles in Broadway’s Hamilton.)

Ahmed—joining the ranks of rapper-actors like Ansel Elgort, alias Ansolo, and rapping under the name Riz MC—is joined by K’naan, Residente, and Snow tha Product, a diverse crew of rappers delivering their verses in both Spanish and English. The video moves through sweat shops where workers toil away sewing American flags, orange orchards, factory farms, the underbellies of trains and ships transporting refugees, a bunker raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a mine, hit by an explosion—in short, a cross-section of the often unsavory, dangerous, yet necessary jobs and untenable living situations that are all too frequently all that’s available to immigrants to the United States. (“America’s ghost writers, the credit’s only borrowed,” one particularly apt line goes.)

Riz Ahmed—alias Riz MC—performs at Coachella in Indio, California, April 2017.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

Throughout it all, like a pulse moving them forward, the rappers repeat the chorus, “Look how far I’ve come—Immigrants, we get the job done.” The point: The individuals depicted in the video might be among the least privileged Americans, but they’re making it work.

The new video, especially resonant given the recent Supreme Court decision and the uptick in hate crimes against Muslim-Americans since Trump took office, links Hamilton’s historical roots with contemporary issues.

Ahmed, for his part, is a vocal activist—since he ascended to mainstream recognition with The Night Of, Rogue One, and The OA—and also recently penned an essay entitled “Typecast as a Terrorist” for The Guardian, about his own experiences with stereotyping as a British Pakistani, and he initiated an online campaign that raised more than $200,000 to support Syrian refugees.

Plus, he’s also rumored to be in the running to play Alexander Hamilton, the role Lin-Manuel Miranda originated on Broadway, in the West End production of Hamilton—and this seems as good an audition reel as any.

Nicole Kidman, Milo Ventimiglia and 11 More Actors Who Prove that Television Has Never Been Hotter

“In the show I play an abused woman, and I felt very exposed and deeply humiliated. I remember lying on the floor in the bathroom at the end of a difficult scene, and I wouldn’t get up between takes. I was just lying there, basically naked in half-torn underwear, and Jean-Marc Vallée [the director] would come over and place a towel over me. It was very hard.”

Kidman wears a Miu Miu dress and coat.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“As a girl, I was obsessed with the program 20/20—especially with the coanchor Hugh Downs. I thought I was going to marry Hugh Downs for a really long time. He was so dignified. Everything was going to be all right because Hugh Downs was going to tell you the important story you needed to know that Friday night. They just don’t do newsmen like him anymore.”

Marling wears a Prada dress.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“My first crush was Jessica Lange in Tootsie. I was maybe 8 or 9 when I first saw the movie, and I had never felt anything for a girl before that. I was just mesmerized by her. I watched the film over and over again because of Jessica Lange. I’m still not over her. Every time I meet someone, I compare her to Jessica Lange in Tootsie. That’s probably why I’m not married.”

Skarsgård wears a Cleverly Laundry robe; Schiesser Revival shirt.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

The Americans mostly takes place in the ’80s, during the Cold War. Anytime you’re wearing clothes that are unlike yours, it just heightens the moment. When I wear heels and silk shirts, slacks and blouses, it makes me feel like an adult. On the show, I wear a cat eye with black eyeliner, and it makes me feel like a panther. It’s so unlike me as Keri—this tired mom in flip-flops and jeans. And I love that transformation.”

Russell wears a Michael Kors Collection top; Philosophy briefs; Manolo Blahnik shoes; Louis Vuitton bracelet.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“For Homeland, I made an audition tape with a point-and-click camera and sent it in. The ratio was off. It was out of focus. I was also wearing the wrong thing, and I filmed it against a door that they later told me made it look like I was in a mental asylum. The producers were like, ‘Where the hell is this kid?!’ In the end, I did seven separate audition tapes of the same scene. They finally said yes.”

Friend wears an Hermès sweater; Sunspel boxers; his own ring and socks.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“I went to work on The Crown four months after giving birth. The queen didn’t wear a corset, but I did in the beginning. Now, in the second season, I have to wear a significantly padded brassiere. In the first season, it was all my own breast work, but now it’s ‘Ha! Where have they gone?’ The queen would be so ashamed of me.”

Foy wears a Louis Vuitton dress; Messika Paris bracelet.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“I usually get stopped in the U.K. before I board a plane. What’s funny is that Heathrow is in a heavily South Asian neighborhood, and the kids working at the airport are fans of mine. So while they’re swabbing me for explosives, they’re asking me for selfies. While they’re going through my underwear, they’re quoting my raps back at me. It’s quite a surreal experience that speaks to the insider/outsider status I’ve felt all my life.”

Ahmed wears a Bottega Veneta sweater; Jeffrey Rüdes pants.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“Even with the show, I still live at home in Liverpool. I can’t bring myself to leave just yet. My brother is 21 and he’s still at home, too. I said to my mom, ‘We’re going to be 30-, 40-odd years old and we’re still going to be living in the kids’ rooms.’ I’m hoping I will be able to leave the nest at some point.”

Comer wears a Marc Jacobs dress; Jennifer Meyer necklace; Larkspur & Hawk ring.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“During the screen test for Stranger Things, one of the directors came up to me and said, ‘Bzzz,’ over my head. He then asked, ‘Are you ready?’ I was like, ‘For what?’ And he said, ‘To cut all your hair off!’ The next day I got the job and I cut it. My hair was down to here, but it’s only hair. After that, I was called ‘boy’ a lot.”

Brown wears a Balenciaga dress and tights; Chanel shoes; Jennifer Meyer ring.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“I worked at McDonald’s for a few months, and I got a couple of dates from taking orders at the drive-through window. I was enrolled in an acting class, and I would practice different accents. I was really bad, but people believed me. A young lady would say, ‘Oh, I forgot to order the strawberry milkshake’ and ask me about my Italian or Irish or Brooklyn accent. We would go out on a date, go back to the McDonald’s parking lot, and make out. Eventually, I had to break it to them that I wasn’t Italian or Irish or from New York. The girls would usually end it right then and there.”

Franco wears a Prada shirt.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“In playing Albert Einstein, I found out that he was not the archetypal absentminded professor. He was an energetic, slightly rebellious, rakish, sort-of-bohemian poet. And he was quite amorous—he had many lovers. Einstein wasn’t exactly a ‘player,’ but he enjoyed women, and when his first marriage fell apart, he became what you would call a ladies’ man. He gave up on monogamy.”

Flynn wears a Calvin Klein Jeans Established 1978 jacket and pants.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“My dad, Stan Lathan, was one of the first black TV directors. He used to direct Sesame Street, and he blindfolded me once, and when he took the blindfold off, I was on the set. I got to meet Big Bird. It was my birthday, and the whole cast sang to me. That was the biggest thrill of my life.”

Lathan wears a Lanvin coat.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY.

“I’m not a big crier. But family stuff gets to me. Fathers and brothers and children. If I wasn’t on This Is Us, I’d be a wet noodle watching the show. I’d be crying along with everyone else.”

Ventimiglia wears a Current/Elliott shirt; his own chain.

Photographs by Alasdair McLellan, Styled by Edward Enninful; Hair by Shay Ashual at Art Partner; makeup by Diane Kendal for Marc Jacobs Beauty at Julian Watson Agency; manicures by Casey Herman for Dior at the Wall Group. Set design by Stefan Beckman at Exposure NY. Production by Leone Loannou at Pony Projects; retouching by output; Photography Assistants: Lex Kembery, Matthew Healy, Simon Mackinlay, Jeremy Abbott, David Sweeney; Fashion assistants: Dena Giannini, Devon Head; Special thanks to Pier 59 Studios and Soho treasures.
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