Before agreeing to play a terrorist in the next James Bond film, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek wanted a guarantee from director Cary Fukunaga that the character would not be a religious fundamentalist nor Arab-speaking, according to the U.K.’s Daily Mirror.
“It’s a great character and I’m very excited,” Rami, who is of Egyptian descent, is quoted as saying. “But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary. 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.”
Malek also spoke about the responsibility he felt playing a Bond villain.
“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. I mean, Bond is something that we all grow up with.”
The next Bond movie, currently known as “Bond 25” because it marks the franchise’s 25th installment, is slated to hit theaters April 8, 2020.