I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Rami attending the 2023 MET Costume Institute Gala.
Rami Malek has a super power. I had the demonstration last October, during the last remnants of Paris Fashion Week. We are at the Hotel Le Bristol and in the middle of our conversation, he suddenly turns towards a young woman who is whispering on the phone in the back of the room: she is an assistant of Cartier, a brand of which Malek is a zealous ambassador and reason for the its presence in France.
“Look, I hear everything,” he warns him politely. The assistant turns all red.
“My hearing is insanely perfect,” he smiles, proud of his Superman prowess. «To the point that if the director chews a chewing gum on the set, I look into the camera and say: “Spit it out please”».
So take note. Rami Malek not only has unforgettable eyes that seem to see everything in CinemaScope, but also a very fine ear. After all, precision is an idea that often comes up in our conversation… But first of all, let’s talk about his gaze: impossible to miss, it is the trait-d’union between the disparate and notable roles of the actor, from the tormented sociopathic hacker in the Mr. Robot series, to Freddie Mercury in pursuit of musical perfection in Bohemian Rhapsody, up to the evil James Bond antagonist in No Time to Die. “Does that guy ever blink?” Tom Hanks asked, like all of us, on GQ in 2019, commenting on Malek’s casting for the series The Pacific of which he was co-producer. “Unique” eyes, “wide open and sleepy at the same time”, which made him recruit in the role of the sarcastic corporal Shelton, always ready for a biting joke.
Yet, the Rami Malek who stands before me has nothing of the superhero. Of course, the look is penetrating, but the thought of him slips to his line in a Saturday Night Live sketch in which he had to talk about himself: «It’s as if the soul of a Victorian-era child were trapped in the eyes of a he”».
A joke, but not too much, given that at 41 the actor has an unusually young, almost ageless air. Certainly, a detail that has not damaged his career. Dressed in an understated military-collared shirt, waistcoat, and matching black slacks, Malek, a native of Torrance, California, has the air of a poet, a bohemian Parisian Left Bank artist. And, perhaps not surprisingly, our exchange begins with a decidedly French topic: Jean-Luc Godard, Agnès Varda and the Nouvelle Vague «have redefined cinema and I love when everything is redefined», he says that a quarter of an hour first she posed on the hotel stairs, totally at ease, hyper-professional, very fashion week under the lens of the GQ photographer. [More at Source]
A fearless chameleon with an eye for powerful stories about humans who – like him – favor extraordinary routes, Rami Malek is an innate storyteller. From his lead role as Elliot Alderson in the psychological drama Mr Robot (2015- 2019), to his Best Actor Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and British Academy Film Awards performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), and the super villain Lyutsifer Safin in No Time to Die (2021), 41-year-old Malek has slipped into the skin of many characters, shared multiple compelling narratives – and he’s just getting started. His latest cinematic venture, Amsterdam, a period mystery comedy set to be released this month, sees him with a star-studded cast that includes Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, and Robert De Niro.
Born in California to Egyptian immigrant parents, Malek’s moment of triumph at the 2019 Oscar’s ceremony was a cause for celebration the world over. His Middle Eastern features – large pools for eyes and chiseled face – coupled with his outspoken pride for his heritage make the thespian something of a contemporary Arab icon. Malek still credits his youthful charades for igniting his interest in his career of choice. “I was really shy when I was a child. I had all this bottled-up energy that I did not feel like I could communicate, or that I was comfortable communicating in public. But when I was alone and at ease, all that stored up energy would get channeled into play, into what I would now call ‘characters,’ all with fully developed voices and characteristics. I had such a strong imagination for what kind of people they were.” Malek adds with a hint of nostalgia, “It was instantaneous and powerful, so liberating and just fun. Though it would take me months to develop a character as realized as those now.”
Around the world, acting is rarely perceived as a conventional path, but such a career choice is abhorred by Middle Eastern parents, who always wish for stability and convenience for their children. “I think any parent is frightened when their kid announces they are going to attempt to enter a particularly precarious industry. They had immigrated from Egypt with the intention of creating more opportunities for their kids than they had, but I still do not think ‘I want to be an actor’ fills your heart with relief [as a parent],” says Malek of his family’s initial resistance to his career choice.
With a resolute intention to build a film repertoire peppered with impactful human stories, Malek opted for storylines from various ethnic backgrounds, always conscious to not comply to stereotypical expectations. As a pathfinder for today’s Arab talents who aim to cement their presence in a global industry, Malek believes that his winning formula starts with refusing to be boxed in according to one’s racial identity. “In an industry where you feel lucky just being seen, it is hard to take that first step in setting boundaries, but it is a vital decision, and you will not regret it because your life and dignity are more than this job. And of course, then it changes, or creates the possibility for change for the next person who comes along after you.” On the current generation of thriving Arab creatives, Malek says witnessing the Vogue Arabia curated team of Egyptians working on his cover shoot was “one of the highlights for me this year.” He continues, “I was so inspired by all the artists from my background, who were sharing their unique talents on this scale. Egypt and its neighboring countries have such an expansive history of great art, artists, and extraordinary culture. It was so fulfilling to watch this next generation in action, continuing that legacy.” [More at Source]