Being a hugely popular and recognizable celebrity seems like it would be incredibly uncomfortable sometimes.
What a chore to be accosted everywhere, especially if you’re as famous and beloved as Rami Malek, who accrued a massive amount of fans while playing the titular character in Mr. Robot and who now is starring as Freddie Mercury in the controversial Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
As such, Malek appears to have had a particularly awkward run-in with an admirer that’s taken on a life of its own as a meme on Twitter: the fan tried to take a video with Malek, who wasn’t having it. He prefers pictures.
Look, this is likely just a case of bad timing. Malek was probably cranky and in a sour mood after doing hours and hours of challenging press for his new movie, and wasn’t in the right headspace to record a cheery video message for strangers. Would you be? The poor man must be completely drained!
But the damage has been done. Malek is on camera saying “nope, but we can take a picture,” when a young woman asks him if he could say hi to her friends. People have taken the awkward exchange and hit the ground running. Wild accusations are flying everywhere: Rami Malek is video-phobic. Rami Malek doesn’t like interacting with his fans. Rami Malek is a radical self-care icon.
Rami Malek, I feel for you, because even the wisest among us are vulnerable to the terrifying maw of the swiftly-executed meme cycle.
Fame is a curse; a heavy cloak of responsibility you can never take off, and no person on earth should be obligated to be unflinchingly polite every second of every day for the rest of their lives. That being said, this meme is hilarious.