Didn't want to play religious fundamentalist: Rami

Rami Malek was excited to play a James Bond baddie but the actor said he was willing to walk away from his role of a terrorist if a religion or ideology was attached to the character. (AFP Photo)

Rami Malek was excited to play a James Bond baddie but the actor said he was willing to walk away from his role of a terrorist if a religion or ideology was attached to the character.

The actor, who has often spoken fondly about his Egyptian heritage, said he signed up when director Cary Fukunaga assured him that his character will not be identified like that.

"It's a great character and I'm very excited. But that was one thing that I discussed with Cary. I said, 'We cannot identify him with any act of terrorism reflecting an ideology or a religion. That's not ­something I would entertain, so if that is why I am your choice then you can count me out'," Malek told UK's The Mirror.

"But that was clearly not his vision. So he's a very different kind of terrorist. It's another extremely clever script from the people who have figured out exactly what people want in those movies."

Malek, who won the Best Actor Oscar this year for his role of Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody", has spoken about growing up listening to Egyptian music and films by Omar Sharif.

The actor said playing the villain in "Bond 25" is a huge responsibility.

"I feel a substantial weight on my shoulders. I mean, Bond is ­something that we all grow up with," he added.

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Agent 007 for the fifth and the last time. Returning cast members of the franchise include Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris and Ben Whishaw, while Lashana Lynch and Ana De Armas are new members.

The film, set for release in April next year, has hit the headlines for production troubles.

Initially, Danny Boyle was supposed to direct the film but he left the project due to creative differences with the producers.

Craig, 51, injured himself while shooting for the film in Jamaica and had to undergo a minor ankle surgery.

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