Rami Malik Best Actor Oscar? Queen's Brian May thinks actor deserves top gong for portrayal of Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
The Queen guitarist and vocalist gushed about Malek's portrayal of frontman Freddie Mercury and suggested the actor deserved an Oscar for the performance
Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' premiered this past month and has already grossed over $404 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all time.
The film did receive mixed reviews from critics for its supposedly heavy-handed dialogue and propensity to take shortcuts, but what remained universally praised, by both critics and audiences alike, was Rami Malek's performance as legendary frontman Freddie Mercury.
And if those plaudits weren't enough, the band's lead guitarist Brian May has come out to praise Malek himself, even suggesting that the actor should win this year's Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Mercury.
May revealed his thoughts during an interview with the Press Association, also giving a shoutout to the rest of the cast and crew that made the film, which had been nine years in the making.
"He's incredible... without doubt, he'll be on the nominations list for an Oscar - and well deserved as well," said the 71-year-old of Malek. "He inhabited Freddie to the point where we even started to think of him as Freddie. Really remarkable."
According to LADbible, May also acknowledged the fact that the movie did premiere to mixed critical reviews, though he was quick to downplay that and praise audiences who've thronged in the thousands to catch the biopic. "We've lived with this project for nine years and it's incredible to see it doing so well. It came out to shitty reviews, as some of our work has before, but the public has embraced it magnificently," he said.
'Bohemian Rhapsody' has had its fair share of setbacks during production. 'Borat' star Sacha Baron Cohen was initially cast as Mercury, but left the project in 2013 over "creative differences."
It would be another three years before Malek was cemented to play the leading role. Then, in 2017, 20th Century Fox had to temporarily halt production because director Bryan Singer had to take a leave of absence for "a personal matter" concerning his family, with cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel stepping in during the absence.
Filming for the movie completed this past January and May, who had previously gushed about getting his own directorial chair on the sets, had nothing but praise for the cast and crew. "Everybody gave 200 percent, from the actors and technicians to the production team and hair and make-up, everyone," he was quoted saying. "You don't get any lukewarm responses. The guy who plays me should be getting awards all over."
One particular aspect of the film that's been catching the audiences' eye all over the world has been the incredible accuracy at which Malek mimicked the movements and mannerisms of Mercury during the band's stunning Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985.
But that was a product of the blood, sweat, and tears Malek put in on the sets, as he confessed during an interview with news.com.au that he had probably watched the original performance more than 1,500 times. "That's something we tried to get move for move, even just gesture for gesture perfectly. It felt like I had it in my bones and I didn't want to keep going back to it. It felt like sometimes you would lose a little bit of the authenticity if you tried to nail it so perfectly," he said.
"Things won't exactly always match up, there might be a hint of something that's off, but I think that kept it feeling really alive and in the moment and it was better to sacrifice it that way, but yeah, I was watching it non-stop."