Rami Malek thinks the idea of him playing Dr. No in 'No Time To Die' is "exciting".

Rami Malek covers Esquire (courtesy of Esquire UK / Dexter Navy)

Rami Malek covers Esquire (courtesy of Esquire UK / Dexter Navy)

The 38-year-old actor has been cast as the mysterious Safin in the next installment of the James Bond franchise but fans have speculated his character is actually the titular villain from the first ever film in the series, and Rami refused to either confirm or deny the rumours.

Asked if he is Dr. No, he said: "I heard that. Am I? I mean, isn't that an exciting thing to consider all the way up to the release?... There is a resurgence of an Ian Fleming influence on this film."

Rami admitted he's not allowed to say much at all about his role in the film.

He told the new March/April issue of Esquire magazine: "I have to be extremely careful. I can't really talk about the character."

Meanwhile, Daniel Craig - who will play Bond for the final time in the movie - was equally sparse on details about his new on-screen nemesis.

He simply said of Rami: "He's a very complex human being, he played a very complex part, and it was just fabulous to watch."

But Daniel was very impressed with his co-star.

He said: "I have a responsibility on these films.

"All I want to do is make him feel as comfortable as it's possible to be, for him to feel like he's welcome, because it's a huge machine and I don't want it to feel overwhelming.

"There aren't many films bigger than Bond, so I want to make sure that when someone like Rami walks onto set, he can hit the ground running. But he was ready. He was ready to go."

The 'Bohemian Rhapsody' actor joined the movie late so had no time to rehearse for the role.

He recalled: "They were under time pressure. I don't know how much they loved the idea of fresh Rami coming in... Well, not so fresh, I was just finished on 'Mr Robot', but at the same time I'd been thinking about this all along."

He found his work with Daniel "mutually respectful" and "philosophically aggressive" and hoped the results were "fierce".

He said: "I pushed as much as possible without being too much of a nuisance to ensure that we were doing as best as we possibly could to make it a real fierce one-on-one between the two of us."

The new issue of Esquire is out now. Visit https://www.esquire.com/uk/culture/film/a30875686/rami-malek-interview-no-time-to-die/ for the interview with Rami.

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