Faust tells the tale of a scholar who, despite his many successes, feels unfulfilled. The Devil himself appears, and makes a deal with Faust: unlimited knowledge and pleasure, in exchange for his soul. The tale has been retold numerous times for centuries, most notably in the 2000 film Bedazzled (the superior remake of the 1967 film of the same title, don’t fight me on this) starring Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley. In the film, Hurley, clad in a red leather pantsuit, offers the unlucky-in-love-and-work Fraser seven wishes in exchange for his soul.
All of this is to say I never thought I’d see a more iconic red look on someone other than Hurley until Rami Malek strolled into the 2017 Met Gala, swathed in a custom red Dior Homme suit with a black rose lapel. Wearing a red dress shirt and tie to go with the suit, Malek looked like a seductive devil himself, ready to offer me the world in exchange for my soul.
“I’ll give you seven wishes,” Malek would say to me. “All you’ll have to offer … is your soul.” To which I’d respond, “I’m already talking to Rami Malek, I mean, what else could I wish for?” He’d laugh, finding my awkward admiration of him amusing. The Devil does have a sense of humor, after all. But then he’d nudge me again: “Go on, make a wish.” “I mean, you’re Rami Malek,” I’d say. “I really can’t think of anything I’d wish for more than that!”
After realizing I wouldn’t make a wish, Malek would slip into the glittering Met Gala crowd, smelling of roses and brimstone. In the celebrity-filled event, he would surely find someone who seemingly has it all but longs for more to fill their despondent nights. And with his devilish smile, Malek would have any soul he wanted.