Rami Malek now has the distinction of starring in the two highest-grossing biopics of all time: Oppenheimer and Bohemian Rhapsody. As of today, Oppenheimer has grossed more than $912 million worldwide, while Bohemian Rhapsody ended its run with a worldwide take of $910 million.
In Oppenheimer, Malek plays David L. Hill, a nuclear physicist who helped create the Chicago Pile — the world's first man-made nuclear reactor — and calls out U.S. Atomic Energy Commission member Lewis Strauss (Robert Downey Jr.) toward the end of Christopher Nolan's movie. In Bohemian Rhapsody, Malek plays Queen singer Freddie Mercury, a performance that earned Malek the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Rami Malek Is a Scene Stealer in Oppenheimer
In an interview earlier this year with GQ, Malek teases his Oppenheimer role. “Considering that it is a story about the construction of the atomic bomb, hats off to Christopher who is able to tell it in an elegant way,” says Malek. “It could have been, as they say… not a little elegant… I can’t find the term, maybe it comes to mind later, what agony. I’d like to tell you more about the movie, but I’m d–n good at keeping a secret.”
In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, Malek talks about his decision to accept the part of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. “[It was a] kind of the gun-to-the-head moment,” says Malek. “What do you do? And I like to think if it’s a fight or flight situation, I’m going to fight. The scariest endeavors that I’ve chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. And this has proven to defend that equation.” When asked if he feels any spiritual connection with Mercury, Malek says, “This may sound odd or hokey or cheesy, but to me there’s a relationship that now exists. And that may be some figment of my imagination. Some notion I enjoy entertaining in my own head. But for me… it’s nice.”
Malek is an Egyptian-American actor whom Time magazine named one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019. In addition to his biopic roles in Oppenheimer and Bohemian Rhapsody, Malek is known for playing the villain Lyutsifer Safin in the James Bond movie No Time to Die and computer hacker Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot. In yet another example of Malek playing a historical figure, he plays real-life U.S. Marine Merriell “Snafu” Shelton on the HBO war-drama miniseries The Pacific, which takes place during World War II.