Rami Malek pushed Daniel Craig as much as possible filming 'No Time To Die'

Gregory Wakeman
Rami Malek in No Time To Die

Rami Malek made sure to push Daniel Craig as much as he could without being a nuisance during production on No Time To Die.

The Oscar winning star of Bohemian Rhapsody, who is playing the mysterious villain Safin in the latest James Bond film, made that admission himself, before then insisting that he found working alongside Craig both “mutually respectful” as well as “philosophically aggressive.”

“I pushed as much as possible without being too much of a nuisance to ensure that we were doing as best as we possibly could to make it a real fierce one-on-one between the two of us,” Malek told Esquire in a wide-ranging profile piece. 

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Malek actually started work on No Time To Die rather later into filming, which meant he didn’t have any time to rehearse with Craig.

Malek admits that because “they were under time pressure,” he wasn’t sure “how much they loved the idea of fresh Rami coming in” and incorporating the endless stream of ideas that he had about the role. 

Daniel Craig as James Bond

Craig didn’t have any complaints about Malek, though, as he told Esquire. “I have a responsibility on these films. All I want to do is make him feel as comfortable as it’s possible to be, for him to feel like he’s welcome, because it’s a huge machine and I don’t want it to feel overwhelming.” 

“There aren’t many films bigger than Bond, so I want to make sure that when someone like Rami walks onto set, he can hit the ground running. But he was ready. He was ready to go.”

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Both Craig and Malek refused to reveal any details regarding who Malek is actually playing in the film, even though there have been many rumours that Safin is actually Dr. Julius No, who was James Bond’s foe in the very first 007 movie from 1962. 

Anthony Chinn and Joseph Wiseman wearing decontamination suits in a scene from the film 'Doctor No', 1962. (Photo by United Artists/Getty Images)

“I heard that. Am I? I mean, isn’t that an exciting thing to consider all the way up to the release,” remarked Malek.

We’ll find out who Malek is playing for sure when No Time To Die is released on 2 April.