Hollywood A-Lister Rami Malek Is a Staunch Defender of New York Pizza
The Academy Award winner used to deliver pizzas topped off with his headshot when he was first starting out as an actor
Before he was earning notoriety for starring in the popular USA Network series Mr. Robot and taking home the Best Actor trophy at the Academy Awards for portraying Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek was collecting tips for delivering pizzas in Los Angeles while trying to score acting auditions.
Malek, who also made ends meet by making falafel sandwiches at restaurants in Hollywood, made the most of the opportunities afforded to him by his part-time position and made it a general practice to slip his headshot into the pizzas he delivered, some of which went to repeat customers including Andy Garcia and George Clooney.
No longer an employee of the pizza business thanks to those headshots paying dividends, Malek, the voice of Absolut’s new “The World of Absolut Cocktails. Born to Mix” campaign, is still a customer and is happy to support his former peers whenever possible.
“I’ve had a lot of food industry jobs. Having done that, I have the utmost respect for people who are day in and day out, minute to minute, delivering us food, especially throughout what’s been going on over the last few years,” Malek tells InsideHook. “I have the utmost gratitude to everyone who’s taking that job up or continuing it because it aided so many of us during this time. Everything going on in the world right now with the pandemic, society and politics is ostracizing a lot of us I think. I guess that can be remedied with a little help from my friends at Absolut.”
And some good pizza, which Malek hasn’t had the easiest time finding at his current location in London, wouldn’t hurt as a remedy for what ails either. As long as a certain spice isn’t anywhere near Malek’s slice. “The place I worked had rosemary bread. I could smell it in my car for days after doing deliveries,” he says. “I have a violent reaction when I smell that bread. I just like pepperoni and cheese. If they wanna throw some garlic on it, why not? I don’t want anything too muddled though. I’m simple in my taste for pizza, but I always get it well done. I can’t handle anything soggy.”
Malek, who used to live in the Lower East Side, also can’t handle anyone denying New York City’s pizza prowess. “Rosario’s on Orchard Street was my favorite place. Unfortunately, that’s changed ownership as a result of what’s happened these last couple of years. I got so sad,” said the 41-year-old. “Roberta’s in Brooklyn is also good. It’s tough to beat New York pizza. I love people from Chicago, but it’s not the same thing. I don’t care. People try to imitate it, but you can never get to the original.”
Rumor is Mulberry Street Pizzeria in Los Angeles attempts to replicate NY-style pizza by flying water in from Gotham to use in the slice shop’s dough. Malek has heard those rumblings and sampled Mulberry’s wares, but he doesn’t think the aqua-makes-the-pie theory actually holds water. “It can’t be true. I’ve done the homework,” he says.
What Malek hasn’t done is switch to gin and tonic despite residing across the pond for a wee spell. “Well, Mr. Mercury would always have vodka and tonic, so I always feel comfortable ordering it here,” Malek says. “If anybody could get away with it, he could. He played by no rules.”
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