Rami Malek will forever be able to say he’s an Oscar winner thanks to his portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. While the actor has made waves in the film industry since the movie was released in November 2018, he had to work hard to get to this point.
Malek, 37, landed his first acting gig in 2004 with a brief cameo on the hit WB television series Gilmore Girls. The following year, he booked a two-episode arc on the FX show Over There. “I had a really good time working on that show,” he recalled to onscreen little sister Francia Raísa at the 2019 Golden Globes.
The Los Angeles native made his feature film debut in 2006 when he acted alongside the late Robin Williams and Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum. He also appeared on TV shows such as The War at Home, 24 and Medium, but it was his role as PFC Merriell “Snafu” Shelton in the 2010 small-screen miniseries The Pacific that left an impact.
The war series was so intense that Malek had to leave America to get his thoughts in order. “I went to live in Argentina,” he told The Daily Beast in September 2014. “I thought I was going to live there. I thought, ‘I’m done — I’m living here until I fix my head again.'”
He eventually came back to the States and entered the young adult movie world in 2012 when he played Benjamin in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2. Malek’s big break, however, came in 2015 after he landed the lead role of Elliot Alderson on USA’s Mr. Robot. In 2016, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work.
Malek was also nominated for Best Actor – Television Series Drama in 2016 and 2017, and for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the SAG Awards the same years.
The final 12 episodes of Mr. Robot are slated to air this year, but it’s highly unlikely that Malek will slow down in the near future.
Watch the video above to revisit some of the best moments from his booming acting career so far!