Rami Malek

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rami Malek
SXSW 2016 - Rami Malek (25138464364) (cropped 2).jpg
Malek at South by Southwest 2016
BornRami Said Malek
(1981-05-12) May 12, 1981 (age 37)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
EducationNotre Dame High School
Alma materUniversity of Evansville
Years active2004–present

Rami Said Malek (born May 12, 1981)[1] is an Egyptian-American actor.[2] He won a Critics' Choice Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his lead role as Elliot Alderson in the USA Network television series Mr. Robot. He also received Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and TCA Award nominations.

Malek has acted in supporting roles for other film and television series including the Night at the Museum trilogy, The Pacific (2010), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), and the dramatic film Short Term 12 (2013), among others. In 2018, Malek portrayed musician Freddie Mercury in the biographical drama Bohemian Rhapsody, earning critical acclaim for his performance.[3]

Early life[edit]

Malek was born in Los Angeles, to Egyptian immigrant parents, and is also of one-eighth Greek heritage.[4] His father was a tour guide in Cairo who later sold insurance.[5] His mother Nelly is an accountant.[6] Malek was raised in his family's Coptic Orthodox faith and grew up speaking Arabic at home until the age of four.[7][8][9] Malek has an identical twin brother named Sami who is younger by four minutes and is a teacher.[10][11] Malek's older sister, Yasmine, is a medical doctor.[12]

Malek attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he graduated in 1999 along with actress Rachel Bilson,[13] Kirsten Dunst also attended but was a year younger, though the two shared a musical theater class. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003 from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, which later honored Malek with the 2017 Young Alumnus Award.[14][15]


2004–09: Early work[edit]

In 2004, Malek began his acting career with a guest-starring role on the TV series Gilmore Girls. That same year he voiced "additional characters" for the video game Halo 2, for which he was uncredited.[16] 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.[17] That same year, he appeared in an episode of Medium and was cast in the prominent recurring role of Kenny, on the Fox comedy series The War at Home.[18][19]

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).[3]

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.[18][20]

2010–15: Breakthrough[edit]

While shooting the Night at the Museum films, Malek returned to television in 2010 in a recurring role as the suicide bomber Marcos Al-Zacar on the eighth season of the Fox series 24. Later that same year, he received critical acclaim[improper synthesis?] for his portrayal of Corporal Merriell "Snafu" Shelton on the Emmy Award-winning HBO World War II mini-series The Pacific.[21][22][23][24][25] After the intensity of filming The Pacific, he chose to leave Hollywood and live briefly in Argentina.[26]

During the 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.[21][22][24]

After this period, Malek acted in supporting roles in many major films. In August 2010, it was announced that Malek had been cast as the "Egyptian coven" vampire, Benjamin, in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.[27][28][29] In 2013 he played Nate, a new employee of a group home for youths, in the indie film Short Term 12, opposite Brie Larson. He appeared in two Spike Lee films during this time, the 2012 remake of the South Korean film Oldboy in a part that was cut, and later in the crowdfunded Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. He also had minor roles in Battleship, Oscar-nominated The Master, and Ain't Them Bodies Saints.

He appeared as Josh, one of the main characters, in Until Dawn, a 2015 horror game released on the PlayStation 4 on August 25, 2015. He lent his voice and likeness to the character and was fully motion captured for the game.

2015–present: Mr. Robot and critical success[edit]

Since 2015 he has played the lead role in the USA Network computer-hacker, psychological drama Mr. Robot. His performance earned him nominations for the Dorian Award, Satellite Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as wins in the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and was the first nonwhite actor to win an Emmy for that category since 1998.[30] Speaking about being an Egyptian-American actor in a main role, Malek said, "People didn’t know where to place me with my ethnicity, and never was I ever up for leading anything. The fact that Rami Malek got to play the lead character, called Elliot Alderson, in Mr. Robot was somewhat of a coup, I think. I never saw that possibility when I was younger."[7]

Buster's Mal Heart, the first movie in which Malek plays a starring role, premiered in September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews. In it Malek plays one man with two lives, Jonah and Buster.[31] John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a positive review writing : "Fans of Mr. Robot won't be disappointed in the least by this vehicle for Emmy-winning series star Rami Malek, which both fits in with Mr. Robot's delusion-prone paranoia and lets the charismatic actor stretch out in his first feature lead."[32] In August 2016 it was announced that Malek would co-star with Charlie Hunnam as Louis Dega in a contemporary remake of the 1973 film Papillon and it premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[33][34]

In 2017 he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the push for diversity continues among its members after the criticism regarding lack of diversity of the 88th Academy Awards.[35][36]

In November 2016, it was announced that Malek would star as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. To prepare for the role of Mercury, Malek moved to London where he had a dialect coach, a movement coach and took piano and singing lessons.[7] For four hours each day, he studied videos of Mercury with his movement coach which included watching the 1985 Live Aid concert video on YouTube at least 1,500 times to perfect the performance for the movie.[7][37] He also had to get used to singing and speaking in a set of false teeth which mimicked the singer's overbite.[7] The film premiered in London on October 23, 2018 and as of November 18, 2018, Bohemian Rhapsody had grossed $127.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $256.4 million in other territories (including $37.8 million in the UK), for a total worldwide gross of $387.9 million, against a production budget of about $52 million.[38][39][40] His performance as Freddie Mercury has received much critical acclaim including winning the Breakthrough Performance Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival two weeks after the movie's release.[41]



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Night at the Museum Pharaoh Ahkmenrah
2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
2011 Larry Crowne Steve Dibiasi
2012 Battleship Lt. Hill
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Benjamin
The Master Clark
2013 Ain't Them Bodies Saints Will
Short Term 12 Nate
Oldboy Browning Deleted scenes
2014 Need for Speed Finn
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Pharaoh Ahkmenrah
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Seneschal Higginbottom
2016 Project X[42] Co-Narrator Short film
Buster's Mal Heart Jonah / Buster
2017 Papillon Louis Dega
2018 Bohemian Rhapsody Freddie Mercury
2020 The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle Chee-Chee (voice) Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2004 Gilmore Girls Andy Episode: "In the Clamor and the Clangor"
2005 Over There Hassan 2 episodes
Medium Timothy Kercher Episode: "Time Out of Mind"
2005–2007 The War at Home Kenny Al-Bahir 21 episodes
2010 24 Marcos Al-Zacar 3 episodes
The Pacific Merriell "Snafu" Shelton 6 episodes
2012 Alcatraz Webb Porter Episode: "Webb Porter"
The Legend of Korra Tahno (voice) 3 episodes
2014 Believe Dr. Adam Terry Episode: "Pilot"
2015–present Mr. Robot Elliot Alderson Main role
Also producer (season 3)[43]
2017–2018 BoJack Horseman Flip McVicker (voice) 10 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Halo 2[44] Additional Voices Uncredited
2014 The Legend of Korra Tahno
2015 Until Dawn[45] Joshua "Josh" Washington Also likeness

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ "Rami Malek's Biography "
  2. ^ "Rami Malek is the Leading Man the World Needs".
  3. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (14 October 2018). "Rami Malek: 'Being offered the part of Freddie Mercury was a gun-to-the-head moment'". The Observer. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  4. ^ Willmore, Alison (August 26, 2015). "The Hacker Heartthrob From Mr. Robot Who Owned Summer TV". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Drumming, Neil (August 28, 2015). "Looking Back on Mr. Robot and a Season of Hacker Drama". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Hughes, Sarah (July 14, 2016). "Mr Robot's Rami Malek: 'The world is in chaos – and all we do is hyperconsume'". the Guardian. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e Al-Sayyad, Yasmine (2018-10-23). "Walking Through the Whitney Museum with Rami Malek". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  8. ^ Berk, Philip (July 14, 2016). "Rami Malek on how Mr Robot changed his life". Star2.com. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "For a long time I thought maybe that would be it," says Rami Malek, the American actor of Egyptian descent, of the stereotypical roles to which he was limited early in his career".
  10. ^ "Celebrity twins: 8 stars you didn't know had a sibling". BBC. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  11. ^ "Rami Malek, Catching Mercury". New York Times. 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  12. ^ "THE MANY MYSTERIES OF MR. ROBOT". Interview Magazine. 2015-08-26. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  13. ^ "Notre Dame High School 1999 Activ Alumns". ndhs.org. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  14. ^ "Local Stars: Film and TV stars who lived and breathed Evansville at some point in their lives". Evansville Living. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  15. ^ Erbacher, Megan (February 14, 2017). "'UE's 2017 Alumni Award recipients announced'". Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  16. ^ "Halo 2 Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. January 2016.
  17. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 18, 2016). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 12.
  18. ^ a b "Interview with Rami Malek of The War at Home". AfterElton.com. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  19. ^ "Interview with Rami Malek of The War at Home". Starry Constellation. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  20. ^ "The Credeaux Canvas". Backstage. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  21. ^ a b "Rami Malek Matures With War Role". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  22. ^ a b "The Verge: Rami Malek". Movie Line. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  23. ^ "Interview: Rami Malek – The Pacific". Entertainment Focus. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  24. ^ a b "The Pacific star Rami Malek has friends in high places". Cineplex.com. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  25. ^ "Q&A With Actor Rami Malek – The Pacific". Criticize This!. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  26. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 14, 2016). "Mr. Robot's Mal Heart: Rami Malek on His Existential Crisis". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  27. ^ "Breaking Dawn Casting News: Rami Malek To Play Benjamin". Hollywood Crush. MTV.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  28. ^ "Rami Malek Joins Summit's Twilight Sequel Breaking Dawn". The Wrap. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  29. ^ "Rami Malek joins Breaking Dawn". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  30. ^ Hairston, Tahirah (2016-09-19). "Rami Malek is the Emmys' first non-white Best Actor in a Drama in 18 years". Splinter. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  31. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (September 12, 2016). "Toronto Film Review: 'Buster's Mal Heart'". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  32. ^ DeFore, John (September 20, 2016). "'Buster's Mal Heart': Film Review TIFF 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  33. ^ Harvey, Dennis (September 8, 2017). "Toronto Film Review: 'Papillon'". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  34. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (August 3, 2016). "'Mr. Robot's Rami Malek To Play Dustin Hoffman Role In 'Papillon' Remake". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  35. ^ Rottenberg, Josh. "Motion picture academy opens its doors to 774 new members as push for diversity continues". latimes.com.
  36. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2016-01-23). "Academy Promises 'Historic' Changes to Diversify Membership". RollingStone Magazine. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  37. ^ Bucklow, Andrew (2018-10-18). "How Rami Malek transformed to play Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'". News Corp Australia. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  38. ^ "Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  39. ^ ‘Mr. Robot’ Star Rami Malek to Play Freddie Mercury in Queen Biopic, Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  40. ^ "Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)". www.imdb.com. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  41. ^ "Rami Malek to Receive Breakthrough Artist Award at Palm Springs Film Festival". Entertainment Tonight. CBS Television Distribution. 2018-10-16. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  42. ^ Moltke, Laura Poitras, Henrik. "Project X". Field of Vision. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  43. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4158110/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm
  44. ^ https://www.cnet.com/news/rami-malek-picks-up-mr-robot-emmy-honouring-outcasts-everywhere/
  45. ^ Pete Samuels (August 12, 2014). "Until Dawn unveiled for PS4 at Gamescom 2014". PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

External links[edit]