Why Rami Malek Found His No Time to Die Villain Compelling

Oscar-winning actor, Rami Malek, reveals what captivated him the most about his villainous character from No Time To Die, Lyutsifer Safin.

Oscar-winning actor, Rami Malek, reveals what captivated him the most about his villainous character from No Time To Die, Lyutsifer Safin. No Time To Die is the 25th film in the James Bond franchise and marked Daniel Craig’s final outing as the iconic titular character. The film boasts a magnificent supporting cast with returning actors Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, and Christoph Waltz. Alongside Malek, Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas were also introduced as the latest additions to the franchise.

The story of No Time To Die centers on Bond who is living a tranquil life in Jamaica after quitting active service with MI6. However, his life of tranquility is short-lived when a longtime friend and CIA agent, Felix Leiter, comes knocking on his door to try and recruit him for a mission involving a kidnapped scientist. After accepting the assignment, Bond finds himself on a perilous path which leads him to a showdown against a deadly foe in possession of dangerous new biotechnology with world-destroying capabilities.


Related: No Time To Die: Safin’s Villain Plan Explained

Now, in a recent virtual discussion on the official James Bond 007 YouTube channel between Rami Malek, acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, and director of No Time To Die, Cari Joji Fukunaga, Malek revealed his thoughts about why he found his villainous character in the latest 007 film, Lyutsifer Safin, so compelling. The actor loved the fact that even though Safin had “such power” in his hands, he was “reserved” and inaccessible, which he found “interesting” to play. Check out his full quote below:

“I think there is an aspect of him where because of what he’s been through, he has nothing to lose. There is such power in that. He had the ultimate technological and scientific ability in his hands the whole time. He didn’t have to be this loud megalomaniac. I loved the idea… I always wanted to keep him as this coiled spring. And he could release himself whenever he wanted to. The way I see villains, I’ve always fallen in love with the ones that are reserved and you can’t really access them and maybe a little bit on the quieter side because you always get this tension of something brewing inside of them and that’s how I felt about him this entire time. He had the ultimate power throughout and it was just up to him as to when to use it. And I found that interesting to play. He never had to raise his voice. It was all about having Bond come to him.”

Most Bond villains in past films have traditionally been known to display their ruthlessness and hatred for the charismatic protagonist for all to see, with the likes of Auric Goldfinger and Ernst Stavro Blofeld being worthy examples. However, Malek’s restrained yet nuanced take on Bond’s adversary marked a welcome change for the franchise. While the response from fans of the world-renowned super spy on No Time To Die‘s villain has been polarizing, it would be hard to argue against Safin as he managed to do the impossible, which is bringing about the demise of James Bond.

The Academy Award-winning actor joined an esteemed list after bagging the villain role in the Daniel Craig era of James Bond that already features a splendid array of talent, including Casino Royale‘s Mads Mikkelsen and Quantum of Solace‘s Mathieu Amalric, along with fellow Oscar-winners Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz who took on the monumental task of playing the 007 big bad in Skyfall and Spectre, respectively. Malek may not have had the screentime in No Time To Die that audiences may have expected, but it’s safe to say that he made the most out of it, making sure that his unsettling performance as Lyutsifer Safin left a lasting impact.

Next: James Bond 26 Needs To Bring Back The Franchise’s Best Villain Twist

Source: James Bond 007

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