Rami Malek won his first Golden Globe award on Sunday night for his critically-acclaimed role playing the late-Queen singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," which was also named the best overall drama film.
Malek, 37, reached new heights with his acting career in 2018, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" made over $740 million in global box office sales on the way to the movie's surprising underdog victory over popular films like "A Star Is Born" and "Black Panther" at the Golden Globes.
But, Malek's acting career got off to an uncertain start more than a decade ago. In his early 20s, Malek was an aspiring actor who had to work part-time jobs delivering pizza and making falafel sandwiches at restaurants in Hollywood in order to make ends meet.
"I dreamed to work in [Hollywood's] studios, not its restaurants," Malek told Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm in a 2015 interview that has been translated into English. (Malek was born in Los Angeles to Egyptian immigrant parents.)
Malek, who moved back to his hometown of Los Angeles not long after graduating from the University of Evansville in Indiana with theater degree in 2003, tried and failed for about a year-and-a-half to land meetings with Hollywood casting directors despite not having an agent to represent him.
"There were times when I was depressed and started losing confidence, especially when I did not receive any responses for the many resumes I sent out," Malek said in the 2015 interview. "Also, working in a falafel shop when I have a university degree was not easy."
At one point, the aspiring actor even considered putting his acting dreams aside to get a real estate license. "When you're young, everything is very hit-and-miss, and it makes you very leery if it's ever going to be stable," Malek told Empire magazine in 2018.