Rami Malek Refused To Play An Arabic Terrorist In The Next Bond Film

Alfie PowellAlfie Powell in Entertainment, Film
Published 03.07.19

Rami Malek revealed that when he was cast the new Bond film, he refused to take part if he was playing an Arabic-speaking terrorist…

The new James Bond has got a lot of people excited. Almost nothing, but the stellar cast, is known about it and we all want a fitting send off to perhaps the best Bond yet, Daniel Craig.

Back in the day when Bond films were coming out every couple of years, the writers would usually fall back on what they knew, taking advantage of the Cold Wars and such and making the antagonist some kind of nondescript Russian who has it in for western society.

Obviously there were exceptions, like in Live and Let DieGoldfinger and Moonraker, but Russians were usually at fault for the peril because that’s what British and American audiences feared back then.

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All things considered, there’s still a fair amount of fear in that regard, but these days – especially since 9/11 – the focus seems to be on Arabic terrorists.

For good or bad (mostly bad, since it perpetuates stereotypes), most spy dramas these days have people overcoming various terrorist plots, fronted by emotionless Arab antagonists and lately, that’s been attracting a lot of disdain from the acting industry.

Not too long ago, Arab actor Amrou Al-Kadhi wrote an article for The Independent explaining that he was fed up with being propositioned with terrorist roles and building on that, Rami Malek made it clear that he wouldn’t entertain such a role.

rami malek arabic speaking villain

The Egyptian born actor said that he met with director Cary Fukunaga when he was being groomed for the role and made it abundantly clear that he refused to be any part of the film if he was going to be playing an Arabic-speaking terrorist.

He told The Mirror:

It’s a great character and I’m very excited, but that was one thing that I discussed with Cary Fukunaga.

bond daniel craig rami malek

I said, ‘We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. 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 his vision. So he’s a very different kind of terrorist.

Thankfully, that was seemingly never in the plans of the people behind Bond25, so Malek can and will be appearing as the main villain of the piece on what sounds like a pretty good film.

rami malek bond refuse

Going further into his Egyptian heritage, Malek explained that it’s: “the fabric of who I am.”

I am Egyptian. I grew up listening to Egyptian music. I loved Omar Sharif. These are my people. I feel so gorgeously tied to the culture and the human beings that exist there.”

Images via MGM, Getty