Rami Said Malek was born May 12, 1981 and is an American actor and producer. He is best known for portraying computer hacker Elliot Alderson in the USA Network television series Mr. Robot (2015–2019), for which he received accolades such as the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and as singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), which he received awards such as the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and British Academy Film Award for Best Actor.
He has also received multiple other accolades, and is the first actor of Egyptian heritage to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. Time magazine named Malek one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2019.
Born and raised in Los Angeles County to Egyptian immigrant parents, Malek studied theater at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
He began his acting career performing plays in New York City theaters before returning to Los Angeles, where he found supporting roles in film and television, including the Fox sitcom The War at Home (2005–2007), the HBO miniseries The Pacific (2010), and the Night at the Museum film trilogy (2006–2014). He has done voicework for television and video games, as well as motion capture for the latter.
In 2018, Malek portrayed Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The film premiered in London on October 23, 2018, and became a major box office success, grossing over $900 million worldwide on a production budget of about $50 million. It became the sixth highest-grossing film of 2018 worldwide and the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all-time.Though the film received mixed reviews overall, Malek’s performance was acclaimed by critics.
He won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film. In preparation for the role as Mercury, Malek moved to London where he worked with a dialect coach and a movement coach, and took piano and singing lessons. For four hours each day, he studied videos of Mercury with his movement coach, Polly Bennett.
This included watching the 1985 Live Aid concert video on YouTube at least 1,500 times to perfect his performance for the film. He also had to get used to speaking and singing with a set of false teeth that mimicked Mercury’s overbite. Brian May, Queen’s guitarist who often attended filming, is quoted as saying that Malek’s performance was so accurate that “we sometimes forgot he was Rami”. Malek considers his role as Mercury the most important of his career, saying:
“This is a role I don’t think can be outdone. I think we’re always searching for that next great role, and I guess I’m fortunate that I’ve already been met with it. I’d like to think that there is more out there for me to do, and there is, but I do doubt that there is anything that lives up to how precious this role and this human being have been in my life.”