Keeping Time With Rami Malek

Malek is Cartier’s latest ambassador for the revival of the Pasha de Cartier watch.

By Josh Bozin 04/01/2021

There’s no denying the recent impact of actor Rami Malek—the star of Mr. Robot and the Freddy Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is the first actor of Egyptian heritage to claim a Best Actor Oscar.

Malek’s career is as varied as it is enviable—but the 39-year-old has had to pave his own path in Hollywood, pushing forward despite what must, at times, have been a solid sense of personal struggle.

Now, as Cartier’s latest ambassador for the revival of the Pasha de Cartier watch, endorsing the classic, cultish timepiece, Malek’s exploring the precious commodity that is time. We recently caught up with him to talk about breaking barriers and filmic villainy in light of his anticipated Bond debut in No Time To Die.

It’s been an impressive ride to here—how do you see this journey from, say, Night at the Museum to Bohemian Rhapsody?

I’m just fortunate to have had the opportunity to play such an eclectic collection of characters thus far. Each role has been as much about self-discovery as it has an opportunity to explore human nature, human behaviour, psychology and experience different to your own.

Right now we’re eagerly anticipating the next Bond instalment—particularly its next villain.

Well, it’s a tremendous honour to be a part of the Bond world and I was very excited to create the character of this villain and go head-to-head with my favourite James Bond [Daniel Craig]. It’s a rare honour to be part of something with such a legacy.

What does it mean to be the first Egyptian-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor?

It’s extremely meaningful. I didn’t grow up seeing a lot of actors who looked like me so it’s exciting to think that my presence in the industry could open someone to the possibility that Hollywood doesn’t have to be as exclusive as it may seem. Art is an incredibly powerful tool of representation, so I hope to keep creating that through the roles I play and the projects I’m a part of.

Hollywood can be quite systematic; how do you challenge that environment?

I’m instinctively drawn to projects that feel like new territory. It is important to challenge the status quo in our industry, so that representation never becomes fenced in by habit or tradition. I really hope the conversations that our industry is having right now will prevent the further perpetuation of stereotypes.

As a Cartier ambassador, what does the tagline #MakeYourOwnPath mean to you?

Well, I never imagined that I’d have the opportunity to play characters like [Mr. Robot’s] Elliot [Alderson] or Freddie [Mercury]; they always seemed like the elusive roles reserved for someone else. So, I think making your own path, to me, means fighting to achieve things that you never thought you were allowed to have.

What does Cartier symbolise to you?

Timeless elegance.

The distinct design of the Pasha watch is iconic. How do you relate to it and the spirit of Pasha de Cartier?

I love that Cartier has a way of honouring what is treasured of the past and marrying that with a modern accessibility and twist. It has both delicacy and strength. It’s a beautiful and timeless piece and I genuinely appreciate it more and more every day that I wear it.

cartier.com

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