Rami Malek insisted his villain in the new James Bond movie was not a religious extremist.
Rami’s parents emigrated to the U.S. from Egypt before he was born, and the star is incredibly proud of his Middle Eastern heritage.
As a result, when he was approached by the 007 film’s director Cary Fukunaga, the 38-year-old made it clear he would not play an Arabic terrorist, or any character that fed into stereotypes about religious extremism in Muslim nations.
“It’s a great character and I’m very excited,” he tells Britain’s Daily Mirror newspaper. “But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary. I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That’s not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out’.”
Happily, the Oscar-winner was satisfied that was not what Cary and James Bond producers mind, and the actor says he’ll be playing an interesting and unique role.
“But that was clearly not his vision,” Rami adds. “So he’s a very different kind of terrorist. It’s another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies.”
Speaking of his pride in his Egyptian heritage last year (2018), the Bohemian Rhapsody star told GQ magazine: “I am Egyptian. I grew up listening to Egyptian music. I loved Omar Sharif. These are my people. I feel so gorgeously tied to the culture and the human beings that exist there.”
Shooting on Bond 25 is already underway ahead of an April 2020 release date.