Rami Malek is having a good hair day. “This is the best his hair’s been since February,” says the young woman twirling scented oil through Malek’s strands while the actor stands obediently still, slightly bashful, like anyone who is being publicly oiled. His hair looks exactly the way it does in every episode of Mr. Robot, which is at the tail end of shooting its final season here in Brooklyn. The hair is worth mentioning because it has spawned a mini men’s version of the Rachel, Jennifer Aniston’s hair on Friends, in that it is easily identifiable and widely imitated. “It’s a two on the sides that’s faded to a one and a half,” says the young woman with the oil, in case anyone wants to memorize that and take it to the barber. “And it’s disconnected from the top to the sides and faded up to the parietal ridge.”
“This is GQ, not National Geographic,”Malek says. “Disconnected is appropriate, though.”
It is. Malek had been acting for more than a decade when he got the part of Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot, which came out in 2015 on USA, of all networks, and immediately generated a robust Reddit presence and an ardent audience of people for whom a dystopian but sensitive thriller felt appropriate in an age of deep fakes and flourishing conspiracies. Elliot works as a cybersecurity technician who gets embroiled in a hacktivist scheme to wrest financial justice from an evil corporation. He has a rocky relationship with humanity but a lucid one with the technological reality of the world we live in. You get the sense, in watching, that if you knew what he did, you’d microwave your SIM cards and self-medicate with morphine, too.
For three years Malek’s fame gently increased as the show’s influence grew. In 2016 he won an Emmy. Then he starred as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, which became the highest-grossing music biopic of all time, and he swept awards season, receiving a Golden Globe, a SAG Award, a BAFTA Award, and, of course, an Oscar, for which he gave a graceful acceptance speech that touched on his status as the son of immigrants. Next year he’ll play the villain in the new James Bond movie with Daniel Craig. Descriptions of his rise often involve violent metaphors (catapulting to stardom, exploding into the zeitgeist), which is inadvertently appropriate for someone who physically falls down as much as Malek. [More at Source]
Feature: Rami Malek for GQ September Issue
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