James Bond Villain Role Took a Psychological Toll on No Time to Die Star Rami Malek

While fans will have to wait for the release of Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie, No Time to Die, for a few more months, the team behind the film continues to promote their project with new glimpses into Craig’s final adventure as Agent 007. In an interview with GQ, Rami Malek, who will play the main antagonist Safin, revealed why the director of the movie had once described his character as a “hyper-intelligent and worthy adversary” who is “More dangerous than anyone [Bond has] ever encountered”.

“When I think about Safin I think about someone who is meticulous but measured, and there is something about that that is really unnerving and unsettling. He’s someone that at times I feel gives you the sensation that you’re being watched and that again is quite unsettling. He asks you to question what you think is right, what you think is wrong and is your interpretation of those two things as accurate as it seems to be.”

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Rami Malek is no stranger to giving complicated performances about complex characters, from his breakout lead role in Mr. Robot to his Oscar-winning performance as Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Yet, when it came to playing Safin, the actor revealed the journey to understanding the character’s mind took a toll on him psychologically.

“I think you start asking questions about what evil is. And with this character especially I find him fascinating because he can detach from empathy in order to meticulously carry out his will and I start to wrap myself up in who that person is psychologically. He’s ruthless and that might be – I’m in danger of giving too much away here – a result of something that’s happened to him. but even acknowledging that taps into the analytical side of him as well. I think the fact that he can still find a way to appreciate his own evil is something that is quite petrifying and psychologically something that was not easy for me to tap into.”

From the sound of it, James Bond will have to contend with a villain who not only tests him physically but psychologically as well. Craig has promised that No Time to Die will be a fitting swan song for his final appearance as Bond, and it seems the movie has nothing to worry about as far as having a compelling villain is concerned.

The big question now is, how long audiences will have to wait to witness Bond and Safin’s battle of wits? There were rumors that MGM was looking to offload No Time to Die to a streaming service. But that rumor ended up getting debunked by the studio. It now remains to be seen whether the movie will be able to keep its new date for an April 2021 theatrical release.

Directed and co-written by Cary Fukunaga, No Time to Die features Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Rory Kinnear, L&éa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Ana de Armas, Dali Benssalah, David Dencik, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, and Rami Malek. This news first appeared at GQ Magazine.

Neeraj Chand

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