Rami Malek opened up to People TV about his early acting days and what he resorted to doing in order to be noticed

By Joelle Goldstein
January 28, 2019 08:09 AM
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Rami Malek may be an award-winning actor, but there was a time when he was just a struggling artist hoping that his temporary job would land him a gig.

On Sunday, Malek won the award for outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role for his turn in Bohemian Rhapsody at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Shortly after delivering his acceptance speech, the actor, 37, spoke to PeopleTV and revealed that he would do whatever it took to jumpstart his acting career and get noticed in the industry — even if that meant delivering pizzas with a creative twist!

“I used to tape my headshot and resume to pizza boxes and if anyone seemed even remotely involved in the industry, I was taping them up and sending them out for years,” said Malek. “I was dying to get a role as an actor. This is more extraordinary than I could ever have expected in my life.”

He echoed his onstage sentiments as well, telling PeopleTV, “I never thought I would be in a position, to have one of my boxes on camera, on television, have my face next to all of those extraordinary actors.”

Malek elaborated on his method in the press room, telling reporters that he handed out his resume like that for “years” — until “someone finally called my card and on that day I went into her office and got the job later that night. I woke up and I was about to be a part of SAG the very next day.”

Of course, the tactic paid off in the long-term too, as Malek has now earned several accolades for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic.

Prior to heading up on stage to accept the prestigious SAG award on Sunday, Malek shared a sweet kiss with his girlfriend and Bohemian Rhapsody costar, Lucy Boynton.

Once on stage, the actor immediately honored his fellow nominees — Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) — noting that he was in disbelief to be in their company.

“This just seems extraordinary to me when I look at those actors I’m nominated with, truly,” he shared. “I never in my wildest dreams thought I could be in a category with these men and I’m so proud to be one of your peers… It’s an honor I’m taken aback by.”

Rami Malek
| Credit: Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Malek, a previous three-time SAG Award nominee, also took time to thank Queen and their frontman.

“I get some power from him that is about stepping up and living your best life, being exactly who you want to be and accomplishing everything you so desire,” he explained. “And I feel that, and he allows us all to feel that, and this is, again, for him.”

The actor, who won a Golden Globe Award earlier this month for the role, initially believed taking on the part of Queen frontman would kill his career.

Speaking to an audience at Cinemacon in April 2018, Malek revealed, “When I got this role, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this could be a career-defining performance.’ And about two minutes later I thought, This could be a career killer.”

RELATED VIDEO: Rami Malek Kisses Lucy Boynton After Winning Best Male Actor In A Leading Role

The Mr. Robot star wasn’t kidding either, adding, “You don’t get this right and it’s trouble.”

The movie chronicles Queen from 1970, when Mercury teamed with Brian May and Roger Taylor, until the band’s performance at Live Aid in 1985, six years before the singer died of complications from AIDS.

Since its release in November, the film has racked up over $900 million in the world box office.

The 25th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was broadcast live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on TNT and TBS.