While Downey Jr., 54, filled in as a guest host for Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he sat down for an interview with Malek, his costar in the upcoming movie Dolittle. At the beginning of their interview, the Avengers: Endgame star revealed he was a longtime fan of Malek and his work on the television series Mr. Robot.
“I was such a fan of Mr. Robot, I basically emailed you, and I was serial texting you and I was trying to FaceTime you and you didn’t let me weird you out and now we’re friends,” Downey Jr. explained.
“I couldn’t even believe it was you,” Malek, 38, replied. “For a second, I got the email from Robert and I thought, ‘Okay, somebody’s playing tricks on me.’ And then they kept coming and they were so witty —”
“I hired writers!” Downey Jr. joked.
“It got to the point where I thought it could be no one else but you,” Malek continued. “This friendship has continued, you came to visit me on set, I couldn’t believe that.”
Downey Jr. gushed: “Oh that was so cool!”
The two actors star together in the upcoming Dolittle. Downey Jr. plays the titular doctor who is able to talk to animals, while Malek voices Chee-Chee the gorilla. During their interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Malek revealed that Downey Jr. reached out to him directly for the role.
“You called me,” the Oscar winner said. “Of course, this usually goes through a number of agents and whatnot, but when RDJ calls you, it’s like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll come do it.'”
The Bohemian Rhapsody actor also paid tribute to Downey Jr.’s long and storied career.
“I have a big crush on you,” Malek told the Marvel star. “Thank you for everything you’ve done for film and cinema. All of these roles from Chaplin to Dolittle now, Iron Man. Everything that you’ve done has not only been something that we as actors look up to and admire, but you have taken so many of us under your wing and I am so appreciative.”
Based on a series of 1920s children’s books by Hugh Lofting, Dolittle follows the famed fictional physician, now a widower who keeps his animal friends as company as he rediscovers his courage on a quest to find a cure for an ailing queen.
The film features a star-studded voice cast, including Malek, Octavia Spencer as Dab-Dab the duck, John Cena as Yoshi the polar bear, and Selena Gomez as a giraffe named Betsy. Other members of the cast include Emma Thompson, Kumail Nanjiani, Marion Cotillard, and Ralph Fiennes, as well as Downey Jr.’s Marvel costar Tom Holland.
Dolittle hits theaters Friday.