Heard the story of a little boy whose parents left the sand and pyramids of Egypt for the big city? No, I'm not talking about Mo Salah!
The first time I noticed Rami Malek (the actor) was in 'Mr. Robot'. An incredible show indeed. I watched it for Christian Slater because, admit it, no one knew who Rami Malek was or what a phenomenon he was going to become. But, he grew on me. It's not far-fetched to say, like fine wine, Rami Malek gets better with age.
Before you say it, no, this is not a Rami Malek appreciation piece. Don't get me wrong, he deserves all the praise in the world and I'll probably call him incredible on multiple occasions. But, here, I'm going to introduce you to the other side of Rami Malek. Not the actor. The person.
There's only one song that was going on in my head while writing this and it's fair that you listen to it while reading too. It helps, trust me.
What a weird name. Right? Take it from a guy who has had his name mispronounced more than he can count, it's not the best feeling in the world. Sometimes you correct people and at others, you just let it go. But, life gets better. As you grow older you realise there are more important things in life. Also, if you can't pronounce an Oscar winner's name properly, you're a nobody. Okay, not a nobody but obscure for sure.
For Rami, he used this to his advantage. A little boy, born to Egyptian parents, growing up in Los Angeles couldn't have been easy. Remember, this was the 80s when inclusivity and emotions weren't as important as they are today. Assimilation was a struggle. But, as Rami tells us, “it's something that you fight against until you accept what a beautiful and powerful thing it is to have this history and this tradition running through your genes, you know?”
If you watched his acceptance speech at the Oscar's, you would realise what an important role his family has played in his life and how much he credits them for his success. He didn't give the rehearsed "I'd like to thank the Academy, what an honour this is, blah blah", but straight up, “mom…I love you, lady.” Incredible.
Watching that speech again has left me at a loss for words. You don't see him crying, but you're probably blind if you don't see the years of struggle in his eyes.
Remember 'Night At The Museum? Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson at their comedic best. What about Rami? Did you know he was in the movie too? Yeah, he was the Egyptian Pharaoh. But, even with amazing comedic actors like Ben, Owen, Robin Williams and Hank Azaria, Rami made me want to see more of Ahkmenrah. I could say I knew then that Rami was going to make it big, but I'd be lying. He gave me a few laughs and then I carried on with life. Didn't even bother Googling him. Who cares, right?
Even in the pilot of 'Mr. Robot', I was like "heyyyy it's the Pharaoh!!! Where's Christian?" I really believed he was Mr. Robot. After all, it's Christian Slater, amirite?
That's when Rami entered my subconscious. Not as a Pharaoh, but as an actor. So, when I heard there was a movie being made on my favourite band of all-time, it came as a pleasant surprise that an actor I've heard of is playing the lead. Playing someone who everyone loved so dearly is no easy task. All it takes is for the movie to tank and you'll forever be typecast as the guy who ruined the legacy of Freddie Mercury.
Luckily, little Bubba Rami was meant for much greater things. Killer Queen could have had a very different meaning here. Thankfully, it's just an amazing song with no negative connotations attached. Barring Bryan Singer, of course.
This is not Rami's first taste of success, though. He's already won an Emmy for 'Mr. Robot'. So, it goes without saying that he's used to being the best among his peers. Not that he would ever admit it (as you could see from his speech).
Do I see Rami completing the prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony)? He's already won three of them and he's only 37. He can act. All he needs to do, is venture into theatre and he surely could join the likes of Mel Brooks, Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, and Andrew Lloyd-Webber among others, as an acting legend.
He's going to return for the final season of 'Mr. Robot' soon, so if you haven't watched it yet, start right away. But first, please watch 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. It's worth your time and effort. Even if you're at a work, tell your boss that you're taking some time to appreciate the adversity Rami faced and celebrate his Oscar win by watching/re-watching 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. I'm sure they'll understand.
What are your views on the movie? The Oscars? Who were your favourites to win? Let us know in the comments section.