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Rami Malek recalls working with Robin Williams: 'He would light up the world'

The actor starred in the "Night at the Museum" films with Williams.
Malek played Ahkmenrah and Williams portrayed Teddy Roosevelt in the three "Night at the Museum" films.
Malek played Ahkmenrah and Williams portrayed Teddy Roosevelt in the three "Night at the Museum" films.Courtesy Jason LaVeris
/ Source: TODAY

Rami Malek had the chance to work with the late Robin Williams on three movies before he died in 2014, and the actor says it was an experience he'll never forget.

During an interview on "The Tonight Show" this week, Jimmy Fallon told the 39-year-old that his daughters can't get enough of "Night at the Museum," a trio of films Malek and Williams starred in between 2006-2014.

"It's the biggest thing. My kids love you," the talk show host said.

Malek, who stars in a new thriller called "The Little Things," was flattered and proceeded to share some details of his experience working with Williams on the set of 2014's "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb."

"On the third one, we're shooting at the British Museum at night and we have the place all to ourselves. And Robin, you could tell something was happening with him," the actor said. "He would go on these riffs every once in a while and light up the world and you'd be like 'Oh my God, who are you?' and then dip back down into this other place."

Malek, who also starred in the film "Bohemian Rhapsody," recalled how Williams would always watch his co-stars and crew members as they sat with their noses buried in their phones and get a bit discouraged that people weren't talking to each other. He also remembered one comedic interaction he had with the acting legend.

"I see him kind of veer off and he walks off alone and he's just kind of staring at this massive rock in the British Museum. And I'm like 'Oh man, what's going on with him? Is he alright?'" he recalled.

As it turns out, Williams was just enjoying one very special historic artifact and soaking up the moment.

"So I walk up to kind of say 'Is everything OK?' and he looks at me just kind of slightly over the shoulder and he goes 'How often do you get to be alone with the Rosetta stone?'" Malek remembered.

Fallon loved the story. "That's the best story I've ever heard in my life." He then inserted his own sense of humor into the moment, saying "And you were like 'Apparently not enough 'cause I just interrupted you.'"

While reflecting on his time filming the movie series, Malek also revealed that Ben Stiller made his experience quite memorable. After auditioning for the role of Ahkmenrah, a fictional Egyptian pharaoh, Malek felt like the directors weren't very impressed with his performance. But Stiller certainly was and he helped push the young actor through for a second audition, even when it seemed like they were considering going in a different direction.

"Stiller and I got along exceptionally well," he recalled. "... The only reason that I got back and had to re-audition was because Stiller said 'Nah, I think you guys are making a mistake here."