No Time To Die’s Rami Malek Reveals How Bohemian Rhapsody Affected His Bond Villain Performance

Rami Malek in No Time to Die

Need a good movie to look forward to in 2020? Look no further than the return of Daniel Craig’s James Bond in the anticipated No Time to Die, directed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Beasts of No Nation). We’re excited to see Craig back in the role. We’re excited by the return of fan favorites Lea Seydoux and Christoph Waltz. But we’re REALLY excited by the newcomers to the cast, notably Rami Malek as the movie’s mysterious adversary.

When opening up to Empire about the role of Safin, whom Malik will play in next year’s No Time to Die, the actor credited Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury – whom Malek recently played on screen – with forcing him to take an original approach to the time-tested cliché of being a Bond villain. The Oscar winner states:

If I went in there and tried to make a carbon copy of someone, what joy or fun would that be for anybody? I guess that may be a lesson I learned from Mr. Mercury. If it’s not original, then why bother? I’ve pocketed some things from some of my favourites. But I tried to every day imbue this character with something I thought made sense for the character, but might also at the same time be shocking and unnerving.

Which is fantastic to hear. We’d argue that the Bond movies are only as good as the villains against which he plays, which is why Casino Royale and Skyfall stand out as Daniel Craig’s best Bond adventures to date. Remember the chilly Mads Mikkelsen dabbing away tears of blood at the poker table as the menacing Le Chiffre? And who could forget the fey but maniacal Raoul Silva, played to perfection with a balance of camp and anger by the brilliant Javier Bardem?

At the same time, it would be a mistake for Rami Malek to try and copy any of the techniques that these memorable actors brought to their roles. We don’t want to see more of the same. We want to see how Malek will interact with Daniel Craig, trying his best to knock the unflappable 007 off of his proverbial spot.

Rami Malek won’t be the only threat in No Time to Die. We spotted Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld, introduced in Spectre, in the first full trailer for the next James Bond movie. How will he and Safin work together? Will they work together at all? Watch the trailer, and speculate with us.

No Time to Die will open on April 2 in the UK, and April 8 in the U.S. We can’t wait.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.