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Films

Rami Malek on working with Paul Thomas Anderson

Although Rami Malek is a powerhouse of talent, the actor was not very recognised until his breakthrough role in Mr. Robot and, subsequently, his Oscar win for depicting Freddie Mercury in the Queen star’s biopic Bohemian Rhapsody

Malek had initially only managed to bag more minor roles that did not justify his undeniable talent and versatility. Malek has entered mainstream cinema very recently; he had debuted in Gilmore Girls before appearing in his first feature film alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, called Night At The Museum. After gaining an appreciation for playing Buster in Buster Mal’s Heart, Malek became an instant fan favourite with Mr. Robot before playing the troubled Mercury, securing an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a SAG.

Malek has, however, worked with one of the greatest filmmakers currently in the industry in 2012, albeit in a small role. 

Paul Thomas Anderson called his 2012 film The Master the favourite film he has ever made. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, Malek saw a small role.

The Master saw Phoenix as a war veteran named Freddie Quell who struggles to adapt to the new society after the war. Soon, he finds himself involved in a philosophical moment called ‘The Cause’, which is led by Lancaster Dodd and marks the rise of the Church of Scientology. 

 Sinister and mysterious, the film is a ragged and frenzied portrayal of paranoia, moral ambiguity and degradation of society. Johnny greenwood’s accompanying scores add to the harrowing darkness that looms large over Anderson’s masterpiece

Malek stars as Clark, Lancaster’s son-in-law and a loyal member of the cult who is quite averse to Freddie’s impact on them. He even has a memorable stand-off with Freddie in one of the most epic movie scenes. 

Malek had once revealed what it was like to work with a director of Anderson’s stature and how he was “floored” by how “collaborative he [Paul Thomas Anderson] could be”. 

While calling Anderson “undoubtedly [a] one-of-a-kind” director, Malek said, “I mean he does incredible research and before he begins writing, and that’s something that shows through his work.”

He added, “He is also incredible in the sense that, you know, as connected to his work as he is, he still gives the actors their freedom to take chances and to surprise him, and he lets anybody on set surprise him.” 

Calling the entire process a great “collaborative experience”, Malek expressed how thrilled he was to work with Anderson. 

Watch The Master on Netflix today.