Rami Malek Only Agreed to Play Bond Villain Once He Knew Character Wasn't Motivated by Religion

Rami Malek had a few important conditions in mind when he agreed to play the villain in the upcoming James Bond 25.

The Oscar-winning actor seemed to know his character would be some sort of terrorist, but for Malek, who was born to Egyptian immigrant parents, it was imperative his evil ways were not linked to a certain religion or ideology.

“It’s a great character and I’m very excited. But that was one thing I discussed with [director Cary Fukunaga],” Malek, 38, told the Daily Mirror. “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.”

Luckily for Malek, Fukunaga had something entirely different in mind, allowing the actor to take the role with no qualms.

“That was clearly not his vision. So he’s a very different kind of terrorist,” he said. “It’s another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies. But I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders. I mean, Bond is something that we all grow up with.”

According to the film’s official plot summary, Malek’s character is “a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.”

The Bohemian Rhapsody star was born in Los Angeles to parents who had recently immigrated from Cairo, and has said his Egyptian heritage and culture make up “the fabric of who I am.”

“There’s no first-generation or second-generation removed. I am Egyptian,” he told the Mirror. “I feel so gorgeously tied to the culture and the human beings that exist there. I am very proud of where my family and I come from.”

Malek confirmed he’d be playing the villain in the as-yet-untitled 25th Bond movie in April with a video shared to the franchise’s official Twitter account.

“I promise you all that I will be making sure Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this, his 25th outing,” the actor said in the clip.

He’s set to play opposite Daniel Craig, who is returning as the suave spy in what is rumored to be his final time.

Filming kicked off in March, though Craig underwent minor ankle surgery in May after injuring himself while filming in Jamaica.

He was spotted last weekend filming scenes in London.

The movie is set to hit theaters in April 2020.

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