LOS ANGELES — This story was supposed to begin differently, but Rami Malek stole my line.
After spending more than an hour chatting with him on the Fox Studios lot here, I had to ask why he had been so jumpy at the interview’s outset. He had twitched, hugged himself, crossed and uncrossed his legs, scratched his arms and jiggled at a terrific frequency that suggested advanced jitters or vast amounts of caffeine. What had all that been about?
Mr. Malek replied that his nervous energy was par for the course, that it once caused someone to ask, “Is Rami O.K.?” “I have my flourishes,” he continued, then threw me a sly grin. “Rami Malek couldn’t sit still,” he said, in an exaggeratedly stentorian voice. The line wouldn’t have been the greatest way in to this tale, but it would have done, especially since he proved extremely reluctant to dish about himself during the course of our talk.
Attempts were definitely made. Was Mr. Malek, who was raised Coptic and went to Catholic school, still religious? “That’s such a personal issue,” he deflected. How does he decompress during production of “Mr. Robot,” in which he plays the paranoid protagonist Elliot Alderson? “It’s so personal!” Mr. Malek, who is 37, exclaimed, revealing only that he unwound in his “own private way.”
Finally, he offered a scintilla of self-disclosure. Mr. Malek’s pre-existing predilection toward privacy had been strongly reinforced, he said, by his performance as Freddie Mercury, the bombastic and brazenly carnal frontman of the rock group Queen, who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, and whom Mr. Malek plays in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is to be released Nov. 2. “It’s nice to be able to own privacy, some bit of anonymity,” Mr. Malek said. “That’s a Freddie thing.” [More at Source]
Rami Malek, as your mum might say, is being a brave soldier.
We’re in an artist’s loft studio in some bit of New York you’re unlikely to ever visit. It is an airless 89 degrees Fahrenheit, yet Malek entered this fiery hell box wearing a jumper and shirt. He’s ill. So ill that he’s cancelled an interview, a talk-show appearance, and was yesterday sent home from work. However, aware of how far we’ve come to see him, he’s turned up for our shoot. What a guy!
If you don’t know who Malek is, you’ll likely know his face. It’s on his head, at the front, like most faces, but it’s one of the most distinctive in this world we call Acting. Gaunt, grey and wide-eyed, it’s been front and centre of every billboard, trailer, online banner ad, every Amazon Prime Video homepage, promoting his hugely successful show, Mr Robot.
When we meet, Malek, whose name rhymes with Barmy Dalek rather than Jammy Phallic (my rhymes, not his), is shooting the show’s fourth season. His role as mentally ill drug addict Elliot requires affecting a particularly cadaverous junkie chic, topped with a haircut best described as a non-committal Mohican. Today, though, he looks particularly frail, giving a more literal meaning to the word ‘ashen’: pallor aside, it feels as if a puff of wind would scatter his slight frame across the room like a long-extinguished pyre.
Luckily for him, and nobody else here, the only breeze in this furnace of a room comes from the disappointing wheeze of a tall, sluggish antique industrial fan and an asthmatic air-con unit.
“Nice T-shirt,” says Malek, with a smile.
The T-shirt is my grey Queen ‘Japan ’76 tour’ replica. Our four eyes are locked on the main man, Freddie Mercury, who Malek will play in Bryan Singer’s upcoming Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
I explain that he was one of my childhood heroes, and Malek’s smile becomes a little more sheepish.
“I’m beginning to discover that he was a lot of people’s hero,” he says.
I feel bad. It was meant as an ice-breaker; now I’ve taken a man whose internal major organs have apparently taken a dislike to him, and strapped to his back the weight of a million unrealistic expectations. More on that later.
If you haven’t seen Mr Robot, no one will judge you. In the minestrone of mediocrity that is streamable content, finding a perfectly cooked noodle is tough. Mr Robot is, however, al dente.
Set in New York, it sees a ‘hacktivist’ group called fsociety go to war on big evil conglomerate E Corp: a world-domineering company with fingers in every daily-life pie. While fsociety eventually succeeds in its goal, it struggles to cauterise the wound inflicted by pulling the plug on a nation’s infrastructure. [Read More]
Rami was on The Tonight Show yesterday where he talked about the new season of Mr. Robot and how he feels about his upcoming movie Bohemian Rhapsody. Check out the interview then head to the gallery to see the pictures.
Last week, Rami was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where talked about his new movie Buster Mal’s Heart and his experience with Bohemian Rhapsody so far. Check out the photos in the gallery and the released clip of the episode.
Rami made an appearance on December 13 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live where he talked about his Emmy win, his old pizza delievery job and his upcoming role as Freddie Mercury. Check out the video below then head to the gallery for the stills.
With his mesmeric energy and intense eyes, Rami Malek is a unique screen star. He appeared in small but distinctive parts in films like The Master and prestige TV like the miniseries “The Pacific” — where even producer Steven Spielberg took note of his magnetism — before USA’s “Mr. Robot” made the most of an unusual talent. On the show, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe, Malek plays the troubled hacker Elliot Alderson, whose air of mystery suits Malek perfectly. For the Royals portfolio, we paired him with Kit Harington, another largely unknown star who burst into stardom on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” [Source]