It is one of the biggest roles any actor could tackle. To play a rock icon, who was utterly unique and remains indelibly carved into the hearts and minds of millions of fans would be daunting for anyone, especially with critics and fans poised to find fault. The critics have duly accused the movie of avoiding the important and darker aspects of Freddie’s life but the fans have lapped up the movie, propelling it to over half a billion dollars at the box office. Now Malek has revealed his own complicated thoughts and reactions to the role and the movie.
The Mr Robot actor spoke of the “honour and horror of playing the man…
“When I started to embrace that aspect of him — the mischief, the joy, the freedom, and the lack of any inhibition, or so it seems — that’s when the real spontaneity started to occur for me. Basically, the ownership of it. And that was him — tremendous ownership of who he was.”
In a brand new interview with The Wrap he expanded even more on the complexity of the role.
And just how terrifying it was…
Ramek said: “Where the producers got the idea from Mr. Robot, of all things, that I could play Freddie Mercury is beyond me. But you know, I just put my nose down and gave it my all.
“The gift of playing him is everything to me.
“He’s a human being who struggled so much, with every aspect of his identity, his heritage and obviously his sexual identity. And he found a way to be one of the boldest, most audacious, confident, spectacular, authentic, defiant human beings the world will ever know.”
Everybody thinks they know Freddie, but Malek talked to everyone from Sting, Bono, Boy George and Ray Davies to Queen icons Brian May and Roger Taylor, who have shephered the movie across almost ten years.
Malek adds: “I tried to pick everybody’s brain. I was basically going through the rock star phone book and seeing if anyone would pick up my call.”
Ultimately he was determined to do justice to one of the all-time greats: “I think that’s the most important takeaway from all of this – that the music and his story are going to outlive us all.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE IN THE WRAP