Rami Malek / No Time to Die

Rami Malek knows he can’t say much about his upcoming performance as the villain in NO TIME TO DIE, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final outing as James Bond. But taking on the role of 007’s new nemesis is the kind of challenge that Malek thirsts after. After all, Malek, is inscribing himself into film history in the wake of a distinguished pantheon of Bond villains and the actors who played them.

“It’s a great character and I’m very excited,” Malek said. The 38-year-old actor also admitted that playing a Bond villain carries an added level of responsibility. “I love the Bond films and I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders…The majority of the world has grown up with Bond and it’s become part of our collective fabric and DNA. With this being Daniel’s last outing, I also think audiences are going to find this Bond film more emotional than others.”

After winning the best actor Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, Malek was soon signed on to co-star opposite Craig in No Time to Die. Directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), this 25th instalment in the longest-running franchise in film history promises to raise the stakes in the Bond universe. Although plot details for the film are being largely withheld until the movie’s worldwide release date in April, we do know that Bond is lured out of retirement in Jamaica after receiving a message from an old CIA contact, Felix Leiter, asking 007 for help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist.

This leads Bond onto the trail of Safin, a mysterious figure played by Malek who has developed a new form of technology that threatens the world. Determined to avoid repeated the familiar clichés of previous Bond villains, Malek spent several weeks discussing his Safin character with No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga.

“I had multiple conversations with Cary, and we wanted to come up with someone who would really make people’s skin crawl,” Malek explained. “My Bond villain is quite a unique and complex character…We wanted him to be as original as possible…”

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