This week’s “New Face Friday” introduces you to Rami Malek, who plays Benjamin of the Egyptian coven in Breaking Dawn Part 2. Here’s the Twilight fansites’ interview with Rami.
Have you gotten to see any of your scenes on film yet- and if so what you thought of the special effects?
“Great question I had an ADR* session, I’m sure you guys are familiar with that right?? (ADR stands for Automated Dialog Replacement) So I got to see some of the temporary effects they weren’t quite done but as far as I was concerned they were good enough for me- they really looked brilliant-vibrant and felt very real- I was happy to see that because there were points that I was concerned about- I’m always concerned watching a movie- when something looks as if it was developed from a computer and you can see when it looks generated by a computer it really takes one out of the film so I was happy to see that it really just looks as if I was doing these in reality”
Stephenine has recently released the “The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide” which had a huge backstory between the Egyptian coven and I know we’ve already sampled a little bit of what we are going to see from you-did we get any of that feud with the Volturi history from you guys?
“Well after reading the novel I came to the conclusion that there was going to be a lot of work I had to do because there wasn’t that much said in her novel- so I came up with a lot of ideas and Angela who plays Tia came up with a lot of ideas and we shared them over the course of filming- and when we met Stephenie she was able to give us a real concrete backstory which wasn’t far off from the things that we had created on our own. It was a very special feeling to have that acknowledgement from her that we were on the right track with her story from things that we were coming up with from our own crazy imagination”
Some of us had the opportunity to interview Bill Condon and when we were talking to him he mentioned talking with you about developing your power and you brining ideas to the table and where it emanated from. Can you talk about collaborating with Bill Condon- about the power or just your character in general
“I don’t know if you’ve been told this from anyone else-but when I first met Bill he allowed us to talk with him for a great period of length which is not always the case with every director so we were able to talk about the character just one on one for quite awhile- it really felt like a collaborative effort- whatever I was coming up with he felt like he could trust and what he was saying I wanted to trust as well-because I knew I was in the hands of one of the best of the best so in that regard it was very much a shared effort and then once we were on set- we were really able to come to the conclusion that Benjamin would use his powers- it would be a physical movement rather than the way that Dakota (Jane) might use her powers for instance. We just tried out an number of different physical movements and started to get a feel for what was right. I just kept trying to give him different options so he would be able to use what he wanted and I think he was happy with it.”
More after the jump!
We saw in the trailer the water effect- are we going to get to see Benjamin use all his powers?
“That remains to be seen- I know we shot quite a bit of stuff using different powers so I don’t know what will make it into the end of the cut –the final cut- but-I think there should be some pretty cool surprises in store in regards to manipulating the elements. At least I hope they’re there!”
Rami you have a lot of other cool projects going on one of them being The Master- have you done your work on that yet and if so what has that been like for you?
“I would say The Master was one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever got to work on- I’m very fortunate to have the privilege of working with directors like Bill Condon and Paul Thomas Anderson who I think is one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. And working with Joaquin Phoenix and alongside Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams I just feel privileged to be able to get to work with them on a daily basis. I’m honored and floored by all of that- this experience was really something special for an actor to get to work with people at the top of their game- creatively and as dedicated as they are was something I will cherish for a long time- I think it’s gonna be one hell of a movie- they both are.
Thank you for asking me- and you know what else I really respect that on the websites I know that people have been telling me that people post pictures of the other projects that we are working on – and to see that there is that care that goes across the board- once you’re in a Twilight movie it feels like someone out there has your back through the course of my entire career so thank you guys for all of that- I really appreciate it – and a big thank you to the fans who have been following everything as well”
Speaking of fans- and being obsessed what is something that you are a big fan of or obsessed with right now? Be it TV or film or music or whatever?
“Let me think what will or will not get me into trouble…. What do I like? You have to give me a second- you didn’t stump me I’m just trying to be creative and not give a traditional answer-
Is there any artist you discovered on the Twilight soundtracks that you’ve come to love?
“I do like the Twilight soundtrack- they play them on KTRW every once in a while –which is a Los Angeles radio station – I’ve always liked Iron and Wine – I grew up in Los Angeles but for some reason I’ve always been drawn to Bluesy folky music things that kind of rip into your heart a little bit- I’m the guy that can sometimes play a little too much slit your wrists music – but it excites me- it really does. I like Johnny Flynn he’s a young British guy with a folk sensibility to him- so of you know him already I know that
I like discovering new works of art too- I don’t want to sound goofy but- I like going to art shows. For TV I just started watching “Breaking Bad” and I’m having trouble pulling myself away from that- with the music thing the “slit your wrist type stuff” it doesn’t depress me it actually makes me happier in a weird way- as crazy and sadistic as that sounds- sad music makes me happy”
You were cast early on… a lot of people were really happy right away because we all remember Ahkmenrah- can you tell us if there are any similarities between that character and Benjamin?
“Well they don’t share the same eye color so that’s a good start- they both have a little bit of a nice tan going on in both movies- in Stephenine’s book it says that the Egyptian coven has an olive pallor so it was nice while we were working not to get a lot of that white make up that everyone was wearing because- it’s just not pleasant and I don’t think it made anybody look any better than they did in real life.- but it worked their vampires and its kind of odd being a tan vampire. I loved both experiences but their two entirely different people- they’re both yes Egyptian but… I had a British accent in the Night at the Museum movies and this one I do not – and they come from two entirely different worlds the thing that they do have in common is you can trace them back to ancient times Ahkmenrah was a very old soul and so is Benjamin- I’ll put it that way”
What were some of your favorite moments during filming?- Do you want to talk about the end where they had a dancing scene?
“Yes I’m not the best dancer- so I can’t throw that one down as one of my top moments though it was fun to see Bill’s face light up when we surprised him like that- I don’t know what I’m allowed to talk about in that sense- Favorite moments I would say meeting a lot of this new cast and the old cast and establishing some great friendships. I’m going to see one of the actors right now I’m on my way driving to see one of them-I won’t tell you who it is. I’ve established some great relationships and it’s not often through work that you really hang on to people. It’s funny on a movie set people are always telling one another “I can’t wait to see you and talk to you and keep up this relationship” and I’ve had great experiences- after doing the Pacific I still hang out with all of the boys that we make believe fought a war with- And with this group- I’m not going to say I hang out with everybody but there’s a lot of phone numbers that get used in my little call log and vice versa which is nice I think I will know these people for a long time- most of them.”