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​Campaigner Calls For Movie Villains To Stop Having Disfigurements Ahead Of No Time To Die Release

Jess Hardiman

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​Campaigner Calls For Movie Villains To Stop Having Disfigurements Ahead Of No Time To Die Release

Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

A campaigner has called for movie villains to stop having disfigurements, as the new James Bond film No Time To Die - featuring Rami Malek's facially-scarred baddie Safin - is released this week.

Changing Faces campaigner Tulsi Vagjiani says the large number of villains with some sort of disfigurement has had a 'negative' impact on those with a visible difference, arguing that it also stirs up harmful connotations.

Appearing on Sky News today (29 September), Vagjiani said: "Often we get messages saying, 'I've experienced a negative message, I've been compared to a villain in a film', myself included - I got referred to as Freddy Kreuger.

"So the more we heard this, the more we realised we need to campaign for change in popular culture, and film and TV."

Tulsi Vagjiani. Credit: Sky
Tulsi Vagjiani. Credit: Sky

Vagjiani, who is a burns survivor, spoke about how previous efforts to make change have been.

She continued: "Three years ago we launched the same kind of concept: I Am Not Your Villain. And the British Film Institute pledged to say that they won't be funding any further films with a villain with a disfigurement.

"Now here we are - you know, James Bond and yet again the villain has a disfigurement, and it just brings about really negative connotations.

"We need to change this - not just for the generation now, but for those who are really young at the moment and going through their own journey with having a visible difference."

In the new Bond film, Malek stars as Safin, who has scarring across his face.

Speaking to GQ about the role, Malek said viewers could expect to find his character 'unsettling'.

He explained: "When I think about Safin I think about someone who is meticulous but measured, and there is something about that that is really unnerving and unsettling.

Credit: Universal Pictures
Credit: Universal Pictures

"He's someone that at times I feel gives you the sensation that you're being watched and that again is quite unsettling.

"He asks you to question what you think is right, what you think is wrong and is your interpretation of those two things as accurate as it seems to be."

Malek continued: "I think you start asking questions about what evil is.

"And with this character especially I find him fascinating because he can detach from empathy in order to meticulously carry out his will and I start to wrap myself up in who that person is psychologically.

"He's ruthless and that might be - I'm in danger of giving too much away here - a result of something that's happened to him, but even acknowledging that taps into the analytical side of him as well.

"I think the fact that he can still find a way to appreciate his own evil is something that is quite petrifying and psychologically something that was not easy for me to tap into."

Topics: Rami Malek, Entertainment, TV and Film, UK Entertainment, James Bond

Jess Hardiman
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