Oscar-winner Rami Malek says there was no possibility he was going to turn down the chance to be the villain in Bond’s latest outing, No Time To Die.
Oscar-winner Rami Malek says there was no possibility he was going to turn down the chance to be the villain in James Bond’s latest outing, No Time To Die. Malek, who won the 2019 Best Actor Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, plays Safin in the 25th official 007 film. Safin is a mysterious villain whose face is covered in scars, and who many have speculated is secretly Dr. No, though Malek himself consistently won’t be drawn into confirming or denying the rumors.
Malek appears opposite Daniel Craig’s James Bond in No Time To Die, the fifth and final time the British actor will step into the spy’s gadget-equipped shoes. The movie, directed by Cary Fukunaga, was initially meant to debut in theaters over the summer, but was pushed back twice – first to November and then, when it was clear the coronavirus pandemic would last well into next year, April 2021. The delays have not only disappointed fans who have been waiting since 2015’s Spectre for the next installment in the long-running franchise, but has also been incredibly costly for the studio, reportedly to the tune of $1 million for every month it’s delayed.
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Now, Malek has told GQ that there was no way he would have turned down the role of Safin once it was offered to him. Speaking about the decision to move from playing a leading man in Bohemian Rhapsody to portraying a facially disfigured villain, Malek says that he jumped at the chance to go “toe-to-toe” with Craig onscreen, and that he simply had to be part of the Bond films, as they’re “cinematic history.” He adds that when he’s older, he’ll look back on this role as one that’s “as big as it gets.” You can read his full comments below:
Look, there was no way I was going to say no. It’s a 007 film, man. They’re a part of our cinematic history. An opportunity to go toe-to-toe, head-to-head with Daniel and give them all I got? That’s something I’ll look back on as, as big as it gets.
It’s no surprise that Malek feels that way, as Bond remains one of the biggest and longest running cinema franchises in the world. Sure, the box office numbers pale in comparison to the likes of the Star Wars movies and the MCU, but beyond those two, the 007 movies are easily the most recognizable franchise in the world. For an actor of his stature, following up an Oscar win with a role in a big franchise like this is certainly great for the resume. In fact, it’s becoming something of a tradition, with Javier Bardem playing Skyfall’s villain only a couple of years after winning and Oscar for No Country For Old Men and Christoph Waltz playing Blofeld in Spectre, a role he reprises in No Time To Die, after winning a pair of Oscars for Inglourious Basterds (2010) and Django Unchained (2013).
Of course, Malek wouldn’t have only chosen to appear in No Time To Die because of the prestige attached. He doubtless would have turned down the role if it was badly written, so hopefully that’s also a sign that Bond 25 is a return to form for the franchise, after the disappointment of Spectre, which fans largely hated. And with a talented director on board, and Craig stepping in to ensure the script was polished by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the signs are good that No Time To Die is a solid send-off for Craig’s version of Bond.
Next: James Bond 26: Bond Needs To Be Fun Again When Daniel Craig Leaves
Key Release Dates
- No Time to Die/James Bond 25 (2021)Release date: Apr 02, 2021
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