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Rami Malek reveals how he prepped to play the bad guy in ‘No Time to Die’

Nicola Dove

It’s almost time for No Time to Die — the 25th James Bond film is in theaters on Friday after over a year-and-a-half of delays.

Bohemian Rhapsody Oscar winner Rami Malek plays villain Lyutsifer Safin, who masterminds a global catastrophe, and he tells ABC News it was tough at first to identify with the evil nature of his character.

“The villain just has to believe that he’s right, that he’s the hero of his own story,” notes Malik. “And for me, I just tried to put myself in his skin and think, ‘You know what? Make Bond the villain, make Daniel [Craig] the villain every time you see him.'”

Thankfully, says the 40-year-old actor, Craig — making his final appearance as Bond — made the entire cast feel at ease.

“In between takes, you feel him, his concern for everybody on set. He knows everyone’s role, everyone’s name. And when you have that type of integrity, it really drives people to do their best and that’s what he gets out of you,” says Malek. “He is a special type of actor. He’s extremely versatile in his performances, and extremely caring and in his personal experiences with you off set.”

No Time to Die grabbed $119 million in its international debut this past weekend, and Malek hopes the film sets a box office record in North America as well.

“I was just in London, they were walking down the street saying, ‘I can’t see it. It’s sold out, it’s sold out in every theater,'” he recalled. “So I hope that same thing happens here… galvanizing people to come back to the theater and bringing cinema back to people who love it so much.”

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