Rami Malek’s ‘Overnight’ Success Story Is All the Motivation You Need Right Now

With Mr. Robot on its way out, Rami Malek is one of those actors that seems to have blown up overnight. As the lead in last year’s award-winning film, Bohemian Rhapsody, Malik quickly became one of America’s sweethearts. But, his “overnight success” story is actually a long time in the making.

Rami Malek’s first role was in ‘Gilmore Girls’

Rami Malek walks the red carpet for Mr. Robot
Rami Malek walks the red carpet for ‘Mr. Robot’ | John Lamparski/WireImage

Way back in 2004, Malek’s first acting credit was as “Andy” on the long-running show, Gilmore Girls (yep — the one that also starred This Is Us heartthrob, Milo Ventimiglia).

It was a one-time gig so if you blink, you may have missed him. You’ve got to start somewhere and this wasn’t a bad place to start. Once the acting ball got rolling, Malik found himself in projects like Night at the Museum, 24, The Pacific, and BoJack Horseman before landing the ultimate gig as Elliot Alderson on Mr. Robot.

All in all, Malik’s resume covers many more areas that recent success will have you believe.

“It’s been a very slow burn for me career-wise and I think that’s kept me very steady,” Malek told E! News ahead of Mr. Robot’s fourth and final season premiere. He credits his family and co-stars for keeping him humble, particularly Carly Chaikin who plays his Mr. Robot on-screen sister.

“From the beginning, we became very close and very brother and sister,” Chaikin said. “He is still him and I always tell him — he knows, ‘I don’t give a s**t if you won an Oscar.’ I think it’s nice for him to have us around, that have known him before that, that just see him for him.”

As far as Malik becoming a household name, you can thank his epic performance as Queen frontman, Freddy Mercury, for that. While Bohemian Rhapsody was his breakout role in terms of major accolades, Malik laid the groundwork with his talents for years.

The Emmy, Oscar, and Golden Globe winner may not think of himself as anything more than a working actor, but to watch him in action is an experience in and of itself. That “slow burn” a Malik calls it set the stage for all his successes now.

Rami Malek’s work on ‘Mr. Robot’

On USA’s Mr. Robot, Malik’s character, Elliot, is a cybersecurity engineer and hacker who battles with a social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. Not only that, but Elliot also suffers from dissociative identity disorder and was a drug addict.

His voiceovers may be unreliable at times, as he becomes an important player in a game of global dominance. Elliot and his allies work in the shadows to take down the corrupt corporation they work for.

The Sam Esmail creation took off in 2015 and the buzz remains as solid as it was when the series began. With Mr. Robot’s fourth and final season airing Oct. 6 on USA, Malek reflected on his time as Elliot.

“It’s a been a phenomenal time in my life,” Malik said in the same E! News interview. “I mean, I don’t even know how you can properly articulate what’s happened, but it’s extraordinary.”

He continued: “Just to have a moment right now where you see where it all began about five years ago, beginning this show, not knowing quite how it would be received by the audience, by America, by the world at large.”

Malek concluded the response has been “astonishing,” and honestly, he’s not wrong.

Here’s what Rami Malek says about his ‘overnight success’ story

Oftentimes, a name suddenly catapulted into the limelight has been working behind the scenes for years — like Malek. As for why he took on the iconic Freddy Mercury role, he felt a make or break scenario in his career.

“Kind of the gun-to-the-head moment,” he told The Guardian ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody’s release. “What do you do? And I like to think if it’s a fight or flight situation, I’m going to fight. The scariest endeavors that I’ve chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. And this has proven to defend that equation.”

In Malek’s winning Oscar speech for Bohemian Rhapsody, he acknowledged he wasn’t the “obvious choice” but added he’s “forever in their debt.”

In that same speech, Malek spoke of his humble beginnings, confessing his lifelong struggle with identity as the son of immigrants from Egypt. ” I’m a first-generation American. But my story is being written right now and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of you and everyone who believed in me.”

Malek’s rise was not overnight, just as most top-earning celebrities weren’t. If anything, his story of perseverance and taking chances is the one thing you might need today to make your own dreams a reality. Here’s to you, Rami Malek.