Rami Malek thought emails from Robert Downey Jr were a hoax
Rami Malek was convinced he was at the receiving end of an email prank when he was first contacted by Robest Downey Jr. to co-star in new movie Dolittle.
The Bohemian Rhapsody star was really caught off guard by the message from Iron Man, and it took him a little while to realise it was no hoax.
The new pals recalled the start of their friendship in an interview on Tuesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, on which Downey, Jr. served as guest host.
"I was such a fan of (Malek's breakthrough TV show) Mr. Robot, I basically emailed you, and I was serial texting you and I was trying to FaceTime you and you didn't let me weird you out, and now we're friends," Downey, Jr. smiled.
"I couldn't even believe it was you," Malek revealed. "For a second, I got the email from Robert and I thought, 'Okay, somebody's playing tricks on me.' And then they kept coming and they were so witty..."
"It got to the point where I thought it could be no one else but you," Malek explained.
And the 38-year-old insisted there was no hesitation when he was offered the job: "Of course, this usually goes through a number of agents and whatnot, but when RDJ calls you, it's like, 'Yeah, sure, I'll come do it.'"
Malek voices a gorilla named Chee-Chee in the new film, based on author Hugh Lofting's beloved children's character Doctor Dolittle, with Downey, Jr. starring as the eccentric titular character.
Malek went on to admit getting to work with Downey, Jr. was a real treat for him, having admired his career for decades.
"I have a big crush on you," he shared. "Thank you for everything you've done for film and cinema. All of these roles from Chaplin to Dolittle now, Iron Man. Everything that you've done has not only been something that we as actors look up to and admire, but you have taken so many of us under your wing and I am so appreciative."
Dolittle, which opens this week, also features Emma Thompson, Marion Cotillard, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Holland, and Kumail Nanjiani, as well as the voice talents of Octavia Spencer, John Cena, and Selena Gomez.