“Why would you want to alter anyone’s perception of their hero?": Rami Malek on the pressure of portraying Freddie Mercury
“It’s not lost on me that this could go terribly wrong, that it could be detrimental to one’s career should this not go the right way”, the 'Mr. Robot' star says.
'Bohemian Rhapsody', the Queen biopic starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury is just a month away from hitting the big screen. Ahead of the release, Malek has revealed the pressure that he felt playing the legendary frontman, discussing the risks to his career if the biopic is not well received.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, the 37-year-old 'Mr. Robot' star opened up about the immense pressure of portraying the rock legend accurately.
“It’s not lost on me that this could go terribly wrong, that it could be detrimental to one’s career should this not go the right way”, Malek admitted.
“Why would you want to alter anyone’s perception of their hero?” he added.
Elsewhere in the interview, Malik detailed the intense amount of preparation that went into stepping into Mercury's shoes. Freddie infamously had four extra molars which gave him a very pronounced overbite which he was very awkward about, but refused to get dental surgery for the fear of it altering his vocal talent.
Malek revealed in the interview that he had a costume designer create a set of Freddie teeth that he carried around in a little black plastic container, and popped into his mouth to practice every night.
He also flew to London and got himself a dialect tutor and a movement coach, who had him study the inspirations for Mercury’s iconic stage presence: Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin and Liza Minnelli in 'Cabaret.'
“It was almost more useful at times to watch Liza than it was to watch Freddie himself,” Malek said. “You found the inspiration and birth of those movements.”
Meanwhile, as revealed in the comprehensive NYT article, somebody who is really confident about Malek's performance is Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May. “We sometimes forgot he was Rami,” May said, admitting he was absolutely astonished by the actor's rendition of his former bandmate.
'Bohemian Rhapsody' hits cinemas on October 24 in the UK and November 2 in the US. It was announced last week that the film will receive a premiere at Wembley Arena – which is just next door to Wembley Stadium, where Queen played the Live Aid gig in 1985.