With tons of behind the scenes drama on the set of the 25th James Bond film, it’s easy to forget the exciting stuff coming on the screen—like the fact that recent Oscar winner Rami Malek is playing the latest Bond villain.
That only happened, though, because the filmmakers agreed to a non-negotiable request Malek had about the character. “I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion,’” Malek explained to the Daily Mirror. “‘That’s not something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out. ’ But that was clearly not [director Cary Fukunaga’s] vision.
Malek is of Egyptian descent so that request implies he didn’t want to help perpetuate any negative stereotypes. The actor got his wish. “It’s another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies,” he said. “But I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders.