Oscar Winner Rami Malek’s Next Project Is A Thriller Podcast
When starting out, most actors recall scrambling for roles and doing everything from commercials to modelling just to scrape by and wedge their foot into the door of acting. But to win an Oscar is to bid farewell to those days, with leading roles coming in thick and fast.
For Rami Malek, who won multiple awards including the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, his next project is something of a departure from film. The actor will star in an “audio drama” which is, essentially, a fancy way of saying ‘podcast’.
Malek will bring his unique voice to Blackout, a serial podcast that centres on what happens following a power grid going down across the United States. The concept alone is terrifying, given the fact that most of us lose our marbles should the power go out for an evening spell of an hour or two. To have something of this scale occur would see madness descend upon humanity and most certainly lead to a shortage of candles – but that’s just our own speculation.
The actor has signed on to play a small-town DJ in New Hampshire who’s made it his job to protect his family as the world slowly descends into chaos. The character, named Simon, is said to represent “the everyman, someone that we can all relate to,” according to Malek.
Trailer for Blackout, starring and executive produced by Rami Malek. The podcast drama focuses on the aftermath of the power grid going down across the nation and a small-town New Hampshire DJ (voiced by Malek) who fights to protect his family and community amid the chaos. pic.twitter.com/A4r8yXWjb0— Jay (@JayJayIsNotOkay) 13 March 2019
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Malek said of the character: “I think and hope we all have a semblance of him in ourselves, that if there were a crisis like this that took place in our society that you would have a guy like Simon trying to help in whatever way he could. And sometimes he’s flawed, like everyone, but he’s seeking the truth and trying to help his family and society as much as humanly possible under the most dire of circumstances.”
Malek also described the story as “hyper-realistic,” following exactly what would happen if something like this occurred in real life. And it’s not too far removed from reality either, given the recent spate of thunder storms and monsoon rains we’ve had in parts of Sydney these last few weeks.
“The themes that we touch on because of that will explore and delve into how we respond as the most bare human beings that we are. Themes of community versus tribalism will come up, and then you think about this loss of our sense of community and the longing that comes with increasing tech taking over our lives, and just reverting back to a world that now seems so distant, a world of truly listening to one another,” said Malek.
There’s no denying that what was once considered a bit naff in the way of commuter listening is now big business – podcasts have become bigger and better than ever before, attracting a legion of fans who await each instalment with the same anticipation you’d expect of a famed TV series.
As Malek says, “I think more and more people are listening to podcasts now – more than ever. There’s something old school about it, reverting back to stories that unfold over the radio, and there’s that element of this very much ingrained in our podcast, having the radio as the only source of information.”
Blackout will be available for listening on Tuesday, March 19. There will be two episodes to get you started, with an additional six episodes scheduled each week to round out the show.