In this Screen Tests interview, actor Rami Malek recalls sharing a smoke with, and receiving some key advice from, the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman while they filmed 'The Master.' Plus, he recounts seeing 'The Shining' as a child and being terrified, but also kind of turned on.
Two years ago, I was Prince for Halloween.
I mostly wore women's clothing,
and these purple velvet shoes I found
that were entirely too small for my feet,
which gave me a concept of what it's like
for women going out sometime.
I went there.
It didn't so much change my mood as the people around me.
I felt like I was more accessible to a number of people
that I wasn't in the past.
Oh, some of the best roles I've ever played have just been
in five minute auditions that no one's ever seen.
The amount of times I've gotten, you know,
into my car or on the train after an audition
and just like wanted to scream, or screamed,
or even cried at times, it was just like,
but it's good, I mean, hearing no that many times
really, it builds you a skin that puts you ready
to take on anything in the world.
You know what I loved about Mr. Robot is
that it read like a play.
From the beginning, I was immersed in it, and then,
there were so many layers to this character,
I was like, this guy's a gift for an actor.
It's that thing I call the joker in the hand.
You know, that's the card you want,
and yeah, that's what it was for me.
People definitely ask weird questions all the time.
Most people ask if it's really a show about robots,
and I say, yes, do you like robots,
'cause it's the show for you.
There is like a seminal moment in my life where my,
I was young, very young, and my dad showed me The Shining.
It was so weird 'cause at one point, I was so freaked out,
but I was aroused at the same time,
for like, one of the first times,
maybe the first time in my life,
and I was sitting next to my father.
That all happening at once is kind of etched in my mind
forever in not the best of ways, but it's there.
Don't know that I've seen The Shining since,
so maybe I'm scarred by that.
Who is a royal to me?
That is a great question.
I would say that a king in my book
is Philip Seymour Hoffman, for sure.
You know, there was a moment in The Master
where I was having a hard time,
and I went out, and we were sharing a smoke.
I got to ask Philip Seymour Hoffman for advice
on what to do in the scene, and he told me to
just make Joaquin as uncomfortable as possible,
and I was like, easier said than done, Phil.
My favorite birthday?
I have a twin brother so we've
had a lot of birthdays together.
We were on vacation when we were young, with family,
and he met this girl who was also on vacation
with her family, and she was really cute,
and he kind of started to make out with her one day,
and I got a little jealous.
I asked if that would be okay if I, you know,
got a piece of the action, as it were as well,
and we were really young.
I think we were like, I don't know, or .
So, I put on his clothes and went back
to where he left off with her,
and I started kissing, and somehow,
through the course of kissing her,
she noticed a difference, and I was like,
oh, this sucks, I'm a terrible kisser,
because she's noticing something,
but it was that I had gum in my mouth.
She said you weren't just chewing gum two minutes ago,
so where did that come from, and I just,
I started having a panic attack and ran away.
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Rami Malek on Mr. Robot, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Dressing As Prince | Screen Tests | W Magazine