Malek has acted in supporting roles for other film and television series including the Night at the Museum trilogy, The Pacific (2010), The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), and the dramatic film Short Term 12 (2013), among others.
Malek portrays musician Freddie Mercury in the biographical drama Bohemian Rhapsody (2018).
Malek was born in Los Angeles to a family of Egyptian immigrants of Coptic Christian faith; he is also one-eighth Greek. His father, Said Malek (1942-2006), was a tour guide in Cairo who later sold insurance. His mother, Nelly Abdelmalek (b. 1946) is an accountant. Malek was raised in the Coptic Orthodox faith.
Malek has an identical twin brother named Sami, younger by four minutes, who is a teacher, and an older sister, Yasmine, who is a medical doctor.
Malek attended Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, where he graduated in 1999 along with actress Rachel Bilson. Malek attended high school with Kirsten Dunst, who was a grade below and shared a musical theater class with him. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003 from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
2004-09: Early work
In 2004, Malek began his acting career with a guest-starring role on the TV series Gilmore Girls. That same year he voiced "additional characters" for the video game Halo 2, for which he was uncredited. In 2005, he got his Screen Actors Guild card for his work on the Steven Bochco war drama Over There, in which he appeared in two episodes. That same year, he appeared in an episode of Medium and was cast in the prominent recurring role of Kenny, on the Fox comedy series The War at Home.
In 2006, Malek made his feature film debut as Pharaoh Ahkmenrah in the comedy Night at the Museum and reprised his role in the sequels Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014).
In the spring of 2007, he appeared on-stage as "Jamie" in the Vitality Productions theatrical presentation of Keith Bunin's The Credeaux Canvas at the Elephant Theatre in Los Angeles.
While shooting the Night at the Museum films, Malek returned to television in 2010 in a recurring role as the suicide bomber Marcos Al-Zacar on the eighth season of the Fox series 24. Later that same year, he received critical acclaim[improper synthesis?] for his portrayal of Corporal Merriell "Snafu" Shelton on the Emmy Award-winning HBO World War II mini-series The Pacific. After the intensity of filming The Pacific, he chose to leave Hollywood and live briefly in Argentina.
During the filming of The Pacific, Malek met executive producer Tom Hanks, who was impressed with his performance and would later cast him as college student Steve Dibiasi in the feature film Larry Crowne, released in July 2011.
After this period, Malek acted in supporting roles in many major films. In August 2010, it was announced that Malek had been cast as the "Egyptian coven" vampire, Benjamin, in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2. In 2013 he played Nate, a new employee of a group home for youths, in the indie film Short Term 12, opposite Brie Larson. He appeared in two Spike Lee films during this time, the 2012 remake of the South Korean film Oldboy in a part that was cut, and later in the crowdfunded Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. He also had minor roles in Battleship, Oscar-nominated The Master, and Ain't Them Bodies Saints.
He appeared as Josh, one of the main characters, in Until Dawn, a 2015 horror game released on the PlayStation 4 on August 25, 2015. He lent his voice and likeness to the character and was fully motion captured for the game.
2015-present: Mr. Robot and critical success
Since 2015 he has played the lead role in the USA Network computer-hacker, psychological drama Mr. Robot. His performance earned him nominations for the Dorian Award, Satellite Award, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as wins in the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
Buster's Mal Heart, the first movie in which Malek plays a starring role, premiered in September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews. In it Malek plays one man with two lives, Jonah and Buster.
In August 2016 it was announced that Malek would co-star with Charlie Hunnam as Louis Dega in a contemporary remake of the 1973 film Papillon. Papillon premiered September 2017 at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. In November 2016, it was announced that Malek would star as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, to be released in late 2018.
In February 2017 Malek won the Young Alumnus Award from his alma mater, University of Evansville. In 2017 he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
|2006||Night at the Museum||Pharaoh Ahkmenrah|
|2009||Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian|
|2011||Larry Crowne||Steve Dibiasi|
|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2||Benjamin|
|2013||Ain't Them Bodies Saints||Will|
|Short Term 12||Nate|
|2014||Need for Speed||Finn|
|Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb||Pharaoh Ahkmenrah|
|Da Sweet Blood of Jesus||Seneschal Higginbottom|
|2016||Project X||Co-narrator||Short film|
|Buster's Mal Heart||Jonah / Buster|
|2018||Bohemian Rhapsody||Freddie Mercury||Post-production|
|2020||The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle||Chee-Chee (voice)||Filming|
|2004||Gilmore Girls||Andy||Episode: "In the Clamor and the Clangor"|
|2005||Over There||Hassan||2 episodes|
|Medium||Timothy Kercher||Episode: "Time Out of Mind"|
|2005–2007||The War at Home||Kenny Al-Bahir||21 episodes|
|2010||24||Marcos Al-Zacar||3 episodes|
|The Pacific||Merriell "Snafu" Shelton||6 episodes|
|2012||Alcatraz||Webb Porter||Episode: "Webb Porter"|
|The Legend of Korra||Tahno (voice)||3 episodes|
|2014||Believe||Dr. Adam Terry||Episode: "Pilot"|
|2015–present||Mr. Robot||Elliot Alderson|| 31 episodes|
Also producer (season 3)
|2017–2018||BoJack Horseman||Flip McVicker (voice)||10 episodes|
|2004||Halo 2||Additional Voices||Uncredited|
|2014||The Legend of Korra||Tahno|
|2015||Until Dawn||Joshua "Josh" Washington||Also likeness|