One must be fearless to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury — a lesson Bohemian Rhapsody actor Rami Malek learned quickly after he was cast in the role. Malek’s incredible transformation into the rock icon included plenty of preparation on his part. This included wearing some bold fashion statements inspired by Freddie’s on-stage wardrobe — one of which that Malek was a bit timid to put on at first. In his words:
Rami Malek clearly went all in to play Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and it shows through his transformative performance in the role. During his interview with The Wrap, the actor said by the end of the film he was so comfortable with Freddie’s wardrobe that he asked the costume designer if he could have a replica of the leotard. He ordered it in ruby red specifically.
On top of wearing Freddie Mercury’s vibrant wardrobe, Rami Malek also wore fake teeth for the film, worked with a movement coach to mirror the icon’s mannerisms, took singing and piano lessons, and went on a crazy exercise and diet routine. Yep, he was all in.
Coming right off his stiff and socially awkward character on the television series Mr. Robot, Rami Malek did a complete 180 from what audiences know he can do in Bohemian Rhapsody, including reenacting a 22-minute sequence of Queen’s Live Aid concert in 1985. He became so believable as Freddie that the remaining members of Queen who were collaborators on the film became convinced and completely support his iteration of their late band member.
Queen were reluctantly working with filmmakers for almost a decade on Bohemian Rhapsody to properly pay tribute to Freddie Mercury and the rest of the band’s legacy. When Rami Malek came along, the band saw a sparkle of Freddie in his eye — a key component to the film being believable at all.
The intense role transformation for Rami Malek and the long filmmaking process for Queen has finally paid off, since the film has passed $600 million at the worldwide box office and the film has already been nominated for two Golden Globes. The film was recognized for the Best Picture and Best Actor in the drama category, all much to the praise of Malek’s decision to completely become the killer queen Freddie Mercury will always be remembered as.