It still might be 15 months to go until the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody comes out, but people are already very, very excited. Not least because the star of the film is a relative unknown, 36-year-old Rami Malek.
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Some of you may know him as the star of really quite good hacker thriller tv show Mr Robot, while others will be looking at his face in complete blackness, thinking ‘goodness me, this definitely does not ring any bells’. So for those of you in the latter camp, he’s a bit of background on the man who’ll be stepping into Freddie’s tight yellow trousers – a role he ended up with after both Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw dropped out of the film.
Born in 1981 in Los Angeles to Egyptian parents four minutes before his identical twin brother who is, would you believe it, called Sami (Sami is now a teacher), Rami is your classic LA kid – he went to the same high schools as Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Bilson before kicking off his acting career in 2004 with a small role in Gilmore Girls. Two years late he appeared in his first feature film playing Pharoah Ahkmenrah in Night At The Museum – later appearing in its 2009 and 2014 sequels. He also climbed his way further up the slippery ladder of fame with roles in Steven Spielberg’s The Pacific and Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and played a suicide bomber in the eighth series of 24 and but his real breakthrough came in 2015, as the star of the cybersecurity show Mr Robot. He’s picked up a million award nominations for his portrayal of hacker Elliot Alderson as well as actual gongs, including the Critic’s Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series as well as the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
As well as all this he also seems like a good guy. In a 2016 interview with The Guardian he said he was the “polar opposite” of his introverted Mr Robot character. “I’m an exuberant person. I thrive on affection. I like chitchat… One of the great things about living in New York,” he says, “is that you meet so many strangers – and I love encounters with strangers. Wait, that sounds odd. What I mean is I love meeting people and hearing their stories.” Fun, right?
Here’s hoping we’ll be seeing a lot more of Rami from now on – now roll on December 2018.