Rami Malek

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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[2]-American actor. 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[5] who later sold insurance. His mother Nelly is an accountant.[6] Malek was raised in his family's Coptic Orthodox faith.[7][8]

Malek has an identical twin brother named Sami who is younger by four minutes and is a teacher. Malek's older sister, Yasmine, is a medical doctor.

Malek attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he graduated in 1999 along with actress Rachel Bilson,[9] 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.[10]


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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13][14]

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.[13][15]

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.[16][17][18][19][20] After the intensity of filming The Pacific, he chose to leave Hollywood and live briefly in Argentina.[21]

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.[16][17][19]

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.[22][23][24] 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.

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.[25] 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.[26] Papillon premiered September 2017 at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.[27] In November 2016, it was announced that Malek would star as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. The film premiered in London on October 23, 2018.[28][29]

In February 2017 Malek won the Young Alumnus Award from his alma mater, University of Evansville.[30] In 2017 he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[31]



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[32] 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)[33]
2017–2018 BoJack Horseman Flip McVicker (voice) 10 episodes

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2004 Halo 2[34] Additional Voices Uncredited
2014 The Legend of Korra Tahno
2015 Until Dawn[35] 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. ^ Berk, Philip (July 14, 2016). "Rami Malek on how Mr Robot changed his life". Star2.com. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
  8. ^ "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".
  9. ^ "Notre Dame High School 1999 Activ Alumns". ndhs.org. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Local Stars: Film and TV stars who lived and breathed Evansville at some point in their lives". Evansville Living. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "Halo 2 Full Cast & Crew". Internet Movie Database. January 2016.
  12. ^ Moynihan, Rob (January 18, 2016). "How I Got My SAG-AFTRA Card", TV Guide. p. 12.
  13. ^ a b "Interview with Rami Malek of The War at Home". AfterElton.com. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  14. ^ "Interview with Rami Malek of The War at Home". Starry Constellation. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  15. ^ "The Credeaux Canvas". Backstage. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  16. ^ a b "Rami Malek Matures With War Role". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  17. ^ a b "The Verge: Rami Malek". Movie Line. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Interview: Rami Malek – The Pacific". Entertainment Focus. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  19. ^ a b "The Pacific star Rami Malek has friends in high places". Cineplex.com. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  20. ^ "Q&A With Actor Rami Malek – The Pacific". Criticize This!. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  21. ^ Yamato, Jen (September 14, 2016). "Mr. Robot's Mal Heart: Rami Malek on His Existential Crisis". The Daily Beast. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  22. ^ "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.
  23. ^ "Rami Malek Joins Summit's Twilight Sequel Breaking Dawn". The Wrap. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  24. ^ "Rami Malek joins Breaking Dawn". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 6, 2011.
  25. ^ Berkshire, Geoff (September 12, 2016). "Toronto Film Review: 'Buster's Mal Heart'". Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  26. ^ Jr, Mike Fleming (August 3, 2016). "'Mr. Robot's Rami Malek To Play Dustin Hoffman Role In 'Papillon' Remake". Retrieved September 10, 2016.
  27. ^ Harvey, Dennis (September 8, 2017). "Toronto Film Review: 'Papillon'". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  28. ^ ‘Mr. Robot’ Star Rami Malek to Play Freddie Mercury in Queen Biopic, Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  29. ^ "Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)". www.imdb.com. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  30. ^ Erbacher, Megan (February 14, 2017). "'UE's 2017 Alumni Award recipients announced'". Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  31. ^ Rottenberg, Josh. "Motion picture academy opens its doors to 774 new members as push for diversity continues". latimes.com.
  32. ^ Moltke, Laura Poitras, Henrik. "Project X". Field of Vision. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  33. ^ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4158110/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm
  34. ^ https://www.cnet.com/news/rami-malek-picks-up-mr-robot-emmy-honouring-outcasts-everywhere/
  35. ^ Pete Samuels (August 12, 2014). "Until Dawn unveiled for PS4 at Gamescom 2014". PlayStation.Blog.Europe.

External links[edit]