Rami Malek said he "dropped lines" acting opposite Daniel Craig because of nerves.
"I couldn't handle it," he said.
Malek plays the supervillain Safin in "No Time To Die."
Rami Malek is the latest actor to take on the role of a James Bond supervillain, and the Oscar-winner told "The Graham Norton Show" that he struggled with nerves performing opposite Daniel Craig when he first joined the movie.
"When you see him on stage, on the 007 stage, and he's full James Bond," Malek said of Craig's presence while speaking about his nerves.
"I will say, the second I got out there there were moments I dropped lines and I was like 'Oh, this is because I'm looking straight at James Bond.' I couldn't handle it"
Craig - who suited up as 007 for the last time in the upcoming "No Time To Die" - waved off Malek's insecurities.
"He's brilliant by the way. He's absolutely brilliant, as all of these guys are. They're just stunning in the movie," Craig said of Malek, Lea Seydoux, and Lashana Lynch who joined him on the British chat show.
In "No Time To Die" Malek plays the supervillain, Safin. And earlier this week during an interview with Digital Spy, Malek defended the film's reportedly 2h 43m runtime - which is the longest in the spy franchise - from critics who said it might be too long for a Bond film.
"People have heard that the running time is a little bit longer than most Bond films, but I'll tell you, from start to finish it is a gut punch every second," he told Digital Spy.
"I think when you get out of that theatre, you will be moved, you will be entertained, you'll get everything you want from a Bond film, essentially."
Malek continued on to praise Daniel Craig's final performance as 007. He said: "Daniel's just done a marvelous job, [it's] a great send-off for him."
"No Time To Die" hits UK theaters this Friday after a year and a half of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, a report in The Guardian revealed that theater chain Vue, which is the UK's third-largest theater chain, "had to increase staff numbers by about 10%, adding about 450 new employees to its 4,500 regular workforces" to deal with the consumer demand to see the new Bond film.
"It is going to be the biggest opening weekend since the pandemic began," Tim Richards, the chief executive of Vue, told The Guardian.
"Covid and changing consumer habits mean there are more advance bookings made now than we used to see, notwithstanding that it looks like Bond is going to have the biggest opening weekend here since 'Avengers: Endgame' in 2019."
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