Malek was born in Los Angeles, California, to Egyptian parents. He’s also of part-Greek descent. His father was a tour guide in Cairo. Malek has an identical twin brother named Sami; Rami is the older twin by four minutes. He also has an older sister. Malek attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California where he graduated in 1999 along with fellow actress Rachel Bilson. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003 from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
In 2004, Malek began his acting career with a guest-starring role on the TV series Gilmore Girls. That same year he worked voicing “additional characters” for the video game Halo 2, for which he was uncredited. In 2005, he got his Screen Actors Guild card for his work on the Steven Bochco war drama Over There, in which he appeared in two episodes. That same year, he appeared in an episode of Medium, and was cast as the prominent recurring role of Kenny, on the Fox comedy series The War at Home.
In 2006, Malek made his feature film debut as Pharaoh Ahkmenrah in the comedy Night at the Museum and reprised his role in the sequels Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). In the spring of 2007, he appeared on-stage as “Jamie” in the Vitality Productions theatrical presentation of Keith Bunin’s The Credeaux Canvas at the Elephant Theatre in Los Angeles.
In 2010, Malek returned to television in a recurring role as the Egyptian American suicide bomber Marcos Al-Zacar on the eighth season of the Fox series 24. Later that same year, he received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Corporal Merriell “Snafu” Shelton on the Emmy Award-winning HBO World War II mini-series The Pacific.
During filming of The Pacific, Malek met executive producer Tom Hanks, who was impressed with his performance and would later cast him as college student Steve Dibiasi in the feature film Larry Crowne, released in July 2011. In August 2010 it was announced that Malek had been cast as the Egyptian vampire Benjamin in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
Malek plays the lead role in the critically acclaimed USA Network computer-hacker psychological drama, Mr. Robot, which premiered on June 24, 2015. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, a Satellite Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and two Dorian Awards. He won a Critic’s Choice Television Award.
He appears as one of the main characters (Josh) in Until Dawn, a 2015 horror game released on the Playstation 4 on August 25. He lent his voice and was fully motion captured for the game.