Video: How Rami Malek Transformed Into Iconic Rocker Freddie Mercury
The producers of the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, have shared a behind-the-scenes peek at the genesis of star Rami Malek “becoming Freddie.”
The film is described as a “foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury.”
Defying stereotypes and shattering convention, Mercury emerged as one of the most theatrical rock performers of the 1970s and 1980s. Following the meteoric rise of Queen through their anthemic songs and revolutionary sound, the band reached breathtaking heights in the music industry.
Although Mercury explored a solo career, it was with Queen that he found his greatest successes. While facing an AIDS diagnosis, he would reunite with his band. mates in 1985 for Live Aid, delivering what many consider one of the great performances in rock history.
He died at the age of 45 in 1991.
From the beginning stages of planning Bohemian Rhapsody, producer Graham King was convinced that Malek was their guy.
“He came in and I was like, whoa, he IS Freddie,” says King. “And he wasn’t just acting, it was something that came natural to him.”
Once cast, though, Malek felt the gravity of bringing the iconic rocker to life on screen.
“When you set out to play Freddie Mercury, you think ‘How am I ever going to fill those shoes?,” wonders Malek. “It’s an immense responsibility but one that I was very eager to take on.”
In his approach to the role, Malek shares that he didn’t set out to mimic Freddie, but knew movement would be an intrinsic component to his performance.
“I had some top choreographers come in and realized a choreographer isn’t going to help me,” says Malek. “I need a movement coach.”
Polly Bennett was brought in to help Malek focus on specific ‘mannerism tricks’ that included “every eye lift, every turn, every flick of the microphone.”
And then there’s the all-important style of dress that made Freddie so much of who he was.
Malek shares there were over 50 hours of costume fittings which included four-inch high platform shoes, tight-fitting satin pants, and an entire outfit made out of lycra.
“When you dress as Freddie does, it makes every day feel like it’s going to be a good time,” says Malek with a smile.
Watch the teaser below and look for Bohemian Rhapsody in theaters November 2, 2018.