Rami Malek Credits 'Mr. Robot' for Landing Him His Oscar-Winning Role in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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Rami Malek attributes one project to his current career success.
ET recently caught up with the 37-year-old actor at the Farewell to Mr. Robotpanel during the Tribeca Film Festival, and he gushed about how the series was "exceptionally important" in his rise to the top, which culminated with his Oscar-winningrole as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsodyearlier this year.
"This seemed to propel me into a different space. I wouldn't have gotten the role of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody if it wasn't for this show," he said of his role as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot. "[I] probably wouldn't have had the type of success I'm seeing in my career right now, so I'm so fortunate to this show, especially for giving me this platform, giving me one of the greatest characters that I could ever play, anyone could ever play."
"He's a very very special guy, Elliot Alderson," Malek added of his character, before praising the show's creator, Sam Esmail. "I owe so much of this to Sam Esmail, another incredible human being."
As for Esmail, he called it "a weird thing" to take credit for Malek's success, but had no shortage of praise for the star of his series.
"I remember going up to him at the [Golden] Globes right before his category came up and I just wanted to congratulate him," Esmail recalled. "And I was overwhelmed with emotions and just started crying because it was five years ago when we had coffee right before we came out here to shoot the pilot and we were both sort of in the same spot."
"We both were kind of connected on so many levels," Esmail continued. "We're both Egyptian, our fathers had just passed away and then from there to now to see him go up on that stage and then to go up and win the Oscar, I just couldn't be happier for him."
Despite Malek's career success, Christian Slater, his Mr. Robot co-star, said he's still "the same guy that he was when we started this thing."
"He's still Rami and still hilarious and just a great partner," Slater said. "He's fantastic."
With the end of Mr. Robot fast approaching, Malek said he's trying to "enjoy it."
"It has been a very emotional season thus far," Malek admitted. "It's always emotional because of the ride that Elliot's on and who he is as a human being, but it's exceptionally difficult this season knowing it's coming to an end. I think we're trying to savor every moment and enjoy it as well. Enjoy it but it is difficult sometimes, its really bitter sweet."
Likewise Carly Chaikin, who also stars on the series, said she's "not emotionally ready to say goodbye to anyone," while Slater confided that marking the show's end will "be difficult."
As for the finale, Slater promised it's "mind blowing... very powerful and heartbreaking," and Chaikin admitted to sobbing after reading the "amazing... beautiful" end. Esmail, meanwhile, assured fans that they're getting the ending he originally envisioned.
"I'm emotional, but at the same time, I'm ready to say goodbye because we're reaching that endpoint and we're not adding, not treading water or adding any filler," Esmail explained. "...The original ending that I always envisioned is what's in there. It's intact. And I feel like we've earned it because of what journey these characters have done and also because of the way the actors have sort of developed and changed my mind a little bit on how these characters should react. So I think hopefully fans will be satisfied."