Playing a Bond Villain is the opportunity of a lifetime for Rami Malek.

“Look, there was no way I was going to say no,” he tells GQ magazine of the offer to join the cast of “No Time To Die”. “It’s a 007 film, man. They’re a part of our cinematic history.”

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The star plays the villain Safin in the upcoming entry to the James Bond franchise, which puts him up against Daniel Craig. He says, “An opportunity to go toe-to-toe, head-to-head with Daniel and give them all I got? That’s something I’ll look back on as, as big as it gets.”

His co-star shares the same sentiment. “I go up against people. I’m up against him. Rami knows me. He understands the weight of what he’s playing,”  Craig lavishes Malek with praise. “He understands he’s playing a Bond villain – what that means, what it means historically and the kind of Bond villains that have come before. Rami’s really good at his job. I mean, that’s an understatement.”

Photo: Kurt Iswarienko
Photo: Kurt Iswarienko

Craig explains there is a chemistry when working with his co-star on set. “There’s an alchemy that happens when you’re making a movie, which is like you put all these things together,” he says. “When you’re working with Rami, you just know he is aware of all those things. He’s got this big, active brain, so I know he’s pushing all the right buttons.”

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Malek’s new bond villain has fans buzzing with excitement and already crafting theories ahead of the film’s release.

One popular rumour suggests that Safin may be a reincarnation of the famous bond villain Dr. No from the 1962 film of the same name. “That’s interesting. I’m not going to bite on that, but I do think it’s interesting,” the actor says in response to the theory. “They’ll just have to wait and see.”

Malek also admits his favourite Bond villain is Dr. No since watching the film on VHS tape as a child.

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Regardless of whatever theories fans are coming up with, the star is not worried. “Let the rumours fly,” Malek says, “because no matter what you expect from this movie, you will be shocked when you watch the film. I will not add any fuel to that fire.”

“No Time To Die” is set for release in April 2021.