Rami Malek is nominated for the “Best Actor” category in the 91st Academy Awards. It is his first Oscar nomination, for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
In addition to his quick rise to fame as an A-list actor, Malek has always been known as a family man, and he regularly involves his family members in his life in the spotlight; he is expected to be bringing family to the 2019 Oscars.
Here’s what you need to know about Rami Malek’s family:
1. He Has a Twin Brother, Sami
Rami is 4 minutes older than his twin brother, Sami, who is a teacher. Last month, Sami joined the teacher strike in California, protesting for more public school funding. In support of his brother, Rami tweeted “I know how hard teachers work and how dedicated they are to their students. I support my brother and all other teachers in their fight for the schools their students deserve. #istandwithlateachers.”
On “Jimmy Kimmell Live,” Rami shared a story about a time when he switched places with Sami to help him with a university assignment. Sami asked Rami to perform a Greek monologue for his class to get “the points [he needed] to get [his] degree.” After delivering the monologue in front of his brother’s entire lecture hall, Rami said the teacher “pulls me out of the class, she’s like ‘can you come outside?’ and she goes ‘How did you learn how to do that?’ and I go ‘Oh, it’s just a hobby.'” She then asked him to come back and perform it again for another class. Sami was in the wings during the segment with Jimmy Kimmell, and Rami took the opportunity to poke fun about the increased attention Sami was hoping for from women (as a result of Rami’s Mr. Robot fame).
According to the Daily Mirror, Rami and Sami share a house together in Hollywood Hills.
2. His Father, Said, Passed Away in 2006
The Daily Mirror reports that Rami’s father passed away in 2006, long before Rami’s rise to success as an actor. A source told them “The family are very close and, as twins, Sami and Rami are, of course, extremely close. When their father Said died, they became a very tight-knit group. His death really hit them hard and Rami really looked up to his dad, who always encouraged him to stay close to his family.”
Before immigrating to the US in 1978, Rami’s mom, Nelly, and Said lived in Egypt; Said was a tour guide in Cairo.
3. His Parents Did Not Want Him to Become an Actor
Rami’s brother is a teacher and his sister is a doctor, so his choice to pursue acting was a very different career path in his family. In an interview with Vogue Man Arabia, he said “My parents’ reactions to my career were a result of them caring about me, but at the start they let me know that they didn’t think it was a stable career.”
What he says helped keep him motivated when he was hearing “no” so often early in his career, however, was his father remarking “This boy is tenacious.”
4. His Father Made Sure He Was Connected to His Family in Egypt
Rami was born and raised in the US, but his father kept him connected to his Egyptian roots. They spoke Arabic at home, and according to the Daily Mirror, Said made it a priority for Rami and his siblings to talk to their family members back in Egypt. Rami said “I have cousins, yeah. I always refer to them as my immediate family and my brother the other day was, like, ‘They’re not your immediate family, you just grew up thinking that’. As far as my father was concerned, we were going to know these people.”
5. He Regularly Brings His Family Members on the Red Carpet With Him
Although Rami is currently dating his Bohemian Rhapsody co-star Lucy Boynton, his red carpet dates to award shows have been his immediate family members. Sami and Nelly are Rami’s regular “dates” to his big events, premieres, and ceremonies. He brought Sami with him to the Golden Globes, and is expected to bring him to the 2019 Oscars, too.
His cousin was his date to the 2016 Emmy Awards; on the red carpet, Malek told E! News “Come on, you’re with your family – this is the best way to go through an experience like this.”