A James Bond casting director has explained how Rami Malek landed his upcoming role in No Time To Die. Malek plays Lyutsifer Safin, the mysterious new villain in the 25th Bond film, which releases on October 8. No Time To Die is directed via Cary Joji Fukunaga and stars returning Bond actor Daniel Craig in his final turn as the famous British Spy, as well as a supporting cast that includes Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw, Christoph Waltz, Naomie Harris and Jeffrey Wright.
In an interview with EW, Bond casting director Debbie McWilliams, who has cast more than ten Bond films, says it was not easy to track the actor down. After reaching out to his agents and getting no response, McWilliams went to a screening of Bohemian Rhapsody where Malek was in attendance, and went straight to him to discuss the opportunity. The direct approach appeared to work, as Malek hadn’t even heard that the Bond producers were interested in him. The actor was in the Bond offices the very next day and secured the role of the new villain in No Time To Die. Here’s McWilliams full story about nabbing Malek:
Malek joins a considerable list of Bond villains and henchmen from decades past, who hold the same casting esteem as the renowned Bond Girls. The Craig-era Bond films have seen some powerful stars take on the notable villains, including Javier Bardem in Skyfall, Dave Bautista in Specter, Mathieu Amalric in Quantum of Solace, and Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale. Many huge name actors also transformed earlier Bond films, from Benicio Del Toro to Yaphet Kotto, Donald Pleasence, Sean Bean, Jonathan Pryce, and Famke Janssen, among many others.
Little is known with regards to Malek’s character Safin in No Time To Die. While he’s the main villain of the film, he’s also flanked by returning villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, again played by Christoph Waltz, who first appeared in Specter. The trailers for the film suggest that Blofeld and Safin have some sort of association, in spite of the fact that it’s not clear what that is. However, it seems likely the association has something to with Léa Seydoux’s Madeleine Swann. Swann returns in Craig’s final opus as Bond, which seemingly connects to a larger story than started in Casino Royale. It will certainly be interesting to see how the narrative ties these three very different however notorious Bond characters together. All answers will be revealed soon enough when the film finally releases.