Rami Malek will join the cast of Bond 25 as 007’s nemesis, crowning a stratospheric four-year rise from supporting actor to Hollywood star.
The US actor was born in Los Angeles to Egyptian immigrant parents and studied theatre at the University of Evansville in Indiana.
After graduating in 2004 he sought success in Hollywood, but found himself delivering pizza and making falafel sandwiches to make ends meet.
He took a series of small roles in TV shows and movies including a suicide bomber in 24 and a vampire from an Egyptian coven in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
But he grew tired of playing characters he described as “acceptable terrorists” and told his agent to reject roles that portrayed Arabs and people from the Middle East poorly.
More than a decade after leaving drama school, Malek found a break in computer-hacker drama Mr Robot in which he played lead character Elliot Alderson.
The show’s screenwriter Sam Esmail had unsuccessfully auditioned over 100 actors but upon seeing Malek decided to rewrite the part for him.
But Malek made an even bigger splash with his performance as the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody.
Malek’s turn earned him a Golden Globe, a Bafta and an Oscar, making him the first actor of Egyptian heritage to win the Academy Award for best actor.
He thanked Mercury, “the greatest outsider of them all”, as he took to the stage to claim his Bafta at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Earlier that year he had revealed he was working on a podcast series with writer Scott Conroy.
The project – a thriller about a small-town radio DJ who must protect his community from an unknown menace – debuted in March.
On Thursday Malek hinted in a video message he will be playing a villain in the next instalment of the Bond series.
However, he left details scant, saying only: “I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride in this, his 25th outing. See you all soon.”