Rami Malek refused to play villain driven by religion in upcoming James Bond film

The Oscar-winning actor will appear Daniel Craig's final enemy

Rami Malek has revealed that ahead of accepting his Bond 25 role, he insisted his character wouldn’t be a terrorist driven by religion.

The Bohemian Rhapsody actor was confirmed to have been cast as the villain in the upcoming 007 movie earlier this year. In April, he said he will give co-star Daniel Craig “a run for his money” as he portrays the spy’s latest nemesis.

Now, Malek has opened up on the terms he set out before signing up for the project. “I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or religion,'” he told The Mirror.

“‘That’s not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out.'”

Rami Malek and Daniel Craig

Describing his Egyptian heritage as “the fabric of who I am”, the Oscar winner added: “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.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Malek said that he is “very excited” to take on his “great character” while teasing what fans can expect from the new Bond.

“It’s another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies,” he said. “But I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders. I mean, Bond is ­something that we all grow up with.”

Meanwhile, Grace Jones has reportedly quit her role in Bond 25 as she hoped for a bigger role in the film.

In other news, Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge recently joined the project as a co-writer, vowing that the new movie will treat women “properly” even if Bond himself doesn’t.