Malek, this year’s recipient of the Best Actor prize at the Oscars, is signed up to play the villain in the as-yet-untitled James Bond movie, which returns Daniel Craig to the iconic leading role.
Little is known about the specifics of Malek’s character, but in a new interview he has revealed one trait he absolutely refused to play – and for good reason.
The American 38-year-old – who was born to Egyptian parents – confirmed that his character will not be a terrorist.
He told press including Digital Spy, when asked if the character will hail from Egypt: “No, absolutely not.
“Another thing that I discussed with Cary [Fukunaga, director]; 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.”
He added: “But that was clearly not his vision.”
In the same interview, Malek addressed reports that suggested the movie’s scheduling was in crisis because he and Craig were not available to film at the same time after Craig’s injury.
“The key scenes is something that was fabricated,” he explained. “But the thing is, Daniel was injured, so they are shooting what they can.
“I talked to Cary yesterday and the schedule has been altered. I know that.
“But with a franchise like this, I think they have it together. They have it figured out by now.”
Craig is, according to Naomie Harris, believed to be back at work now.
The star, 51, sustained a nasty ankle injury and was ruled out of filming for several weeks – although Fukunaga continued working with other talent.
Other problems have included an on-set explosion, and alleged lateness on Fukunaga’s part – though the latter has not been confirmed or denied by producers.
The release date remains locked-in despite the setbacks.
James Bond 25 is out on April 8, 2020.