Riz Ahmed stars in new movie 'Sound of Metal'; explores musician having to deal with hearing loss

The new movie 'Sound of Metal' explores how a musician deals with the loss of his hearing; the the whole film is closed captioned so people in both the deaf community and the hearing community can watch the same film.
HOLLYWOOD -- The new movie, "Sound of Metal," tells the story of a drummer who loses his hearing. It's closed-captioned to give all audiences a better understanding of what's happening on screen.

Riz Ahmed stars as a punk metal drummer who, without warning, starts to quickly lose his hearing. Along the way, you hear what he does.

"The sound design is very unique in this film. Sound design process started a couple of years before the shoot started," said Ahmed. "The sound design is made up almost completely from the sounds within my body, you know? A recordist would kind of record the sound of me swallowing, breathing, blinking, and licking my lips. And as you lose your heading in the external, you start to... the internal processes become amplified."

The film's director, Darius Marder, dedicated this movie to his late grandmother, who went deaf after taking an antibiotic.

"She lost the hearing world. She didn't have the deaf world because she wasn't part of deaf culture. So she was really in a limbo state," said Marder. "And she was an alcoholic, an immense and intense intellect and she fought for the rest of her life for open captions because that was at a time when we didn't have them."

"In terms of kind of switching up our experience of watching a film, the whole movie's captioned so that people in the deaf community and the hearing community can both watch the same film. So there's many ways in which he's created a very visceral experience," said Ahmed.

To play this role, Ahmed trained on the drums for months. And then there was the issue of sign language.

"I just felt like it would be offensive to kind of pretend to know how to sign. I felt like I needed to learn. So I spent seven months with my sign instructor, Jeremy Stone, learning how to sign. And that was challenging but it was deeply enriching. I learned so much," said Ahmed.

"Sound of Metal" is playing now in theaters in limited release and will be on Prime Video December 4th.
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