Picture this: last Sunday, you won an Oscar for deep portrayal/ nuanced lip sync of a legendary performer. Before that, you played a misunderstood man in a hoodie, and before that a mummy in a Ben Stiller movie that may have been one Her Campus writer’s sexual awakening. (It was me. That writer was me.) What exactly do you do next?
If you’re lab-rat-turned-man-in-freak-accident Rami Malek, you shoot this video for the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain. And you stare deeply into the camera and tell each and every one of us about things you are a fan of.
Let’s unpack this a bit. Rami is wearing a purple suit buttoned all the way up. His normally beady eyes (that he makes great use of as a hacker in Mr. Robot) are more relaxed and content. He- seemingly unprompted- is delivering a list of things that he is a fan of, things that definitely solidify his image of being a gentle boy who sleeps inside a floral Kleenex box. The silence as he moves from favorite to favorite is deafening. The whole thing is very unsettling.
Rami is a fan of chamomile tea- the drink that presumably enables him to keep his demeanor no higher than a 6 at all times. He’s a fan of Freddie Mercury, of course. He just played him in a film that I did not think was very good but enjoyed very much. He’s also a fan of “mischief.” Like a villain from a 1960s cartoon.
Now that I’ve critiqued this artistic international commercial I am far too American to understand properly, let me make two things very clear: first, Rami Malek reminds me a lot of Randall from Monster’s Inc. (The purple suit doesn’t help AT ALL.) Secondly, I am very attracted to Rami Malek.
Lots of people are. And you know what? I love it.
I love that there isn’t one type of man who can be a collective cyber-crush. I’m glad that we’re seeing diversity of race, persona, and body type in our Hollywood leading men. It’s hard to picture an American movie star of Egyptian-Greek descent known for his fashionable suits and slow, articulate delivery fifteen years ago. I’m glad this is happening. There’s room for everyone in my fixate-y, selective heart.
I’m a fan of Rami Malek. (Heheheh.)
Finally, I would like to reference a second time PRINCE AKMENRAH IN NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. Here you go.