There is no denying that Freddie Mercury was one of the most beloved music icons of all times. Equally indisputable is the fact that he was one of the most unique. Yet audiences around the world have marvelled at how Malek has brough the much-missed star back to life in an uncanny performance. Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor have expressed their astonishment and even critics who found fault with the film’s selcetive use of facts and events have unanimously praised its leading man. Malek, himself, was not so sure at the start.
He told The Hollywood Reporter he still had doubts about getting the part after a six-hour meeting with the filmmakers.
Malek said: “I never quite believed it. Walking out that door, I thought, “OK, this is Hollywood, you never know.” There’ve been other actors involved.”
However, there was no doubt in his mind how much he wanted the part: “I’ll be honest, immediately there was no reservation whatsoever. It was pure elation and euphoria. And then the reservations kicked in.”
His fears were large and well-founded.
Malek explained; “What I knew I needed was time because you’re asking me to embody and encapsulate a human being who is, quite honestly, otherworldly. He is almost superhuman. He walks onstage with a cape and a crown, and he might as well be the Marvel character of rock stars.”
It has been well documented that the Mr Robot spent an intense year preparing for the role, working it in around his gruelling schedule on the hit TV show.
He studied Freddie Mercury footage and then practiced piano, singing, talking and moving like the Queen frontman for up to eight hours a day. And he quickly realised teh key to bringing Freddie to life.
Malek added: “What I really knew I needed was to capture his spontaneity. The man’s not choreographed. Every time he steps out onto a stage, no one knows what he’s going to do, and that’s what I knew I needed to tether myself to.”
“In order to do that, I realized, I can’t work with a choreographer, I need someone to help me with movement, someone to help me discover the impetus for why he does what he does.
“Why every flick of the wrist occurs with him in such an elegant, sometimes dainty and sometimes aggressive way, depending on his mood. I just had to find his humanity — what his conflicts were — and discover all the sides of him, because I knew there was more to Freddie Mercury than a man who holds an audience in the palm of his hand. But I had to get that down as well.”
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY IS OUT NOW