RAMI MALEK DUG DEEP TO FIND FREDDIE
The actor says that he shares an outsider’s passion for success with the legendary frontman of Queen
Rami Malek says that he identified with the immigrant side of Freddie Mercury while tackling the role of the legendary Queen frontman. The first-generation American spoke about his starring role at the New York premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody on Tuesday. The Mr. Robot star connected with Mercury’s outsider passion for success.
Malek said, “I set out to be an actor some... I don’t know... over a decade ago. I think something was possibly burning inside the both of us. We had aspirations to live our dream. And I’m getting a chance to do that right now in this very moment.”
While many aspects defined Mercury, including being one of the best vocalists to front a rock band, his flamboyant presence and a penchant for taking chances, Malek felt like he had to dig deeper to find the beating heart of the Tanzaniaborn Mercury (originally named Farrokh Bulsara), who arrived in London at 18.
“In some way, he became the Freddie Mercury superstar that overcame every obstacle imaginable to be the guy that we all know can command the stage, and hold us in the palm of his hand like no other,” Malek said. “My family is from Egypt. I’m a first-generation American. And somehow I thought there were strings that I could tether together with him.” Malek’s performance has impressed current members of the band as well as fans.
Current Queen lead singer Adam Lambert said, “I love the heart that he brings to the role, the sensitivity. I love that the music of this band affects people in a way. And I know it firsthand, you know, being on tour with them for the past six years. You play one of these hit songs and just watching the audience light up and go through all their nostalgia and all of their memories that they’ve shared over this piece of music, and they knew every word and they’re laughing and they’re crying and they’re dancing. That’s what you want, it really unites people. So I think the film is going to have that power as well.”
Malek has also captivated guitarist Brian May, who feels the performance, “suspends disbelief”. May said, “You believe he’s Freddie.”
Actor Mike Myers, known for head-banging to Bohemian Rhapsody in his own 1992 film Wayne’s World, has an ironic cameo, playing a record exec who tells the band nobody will play the song on the radio.
My family is from Egypt. I’m a firstgeneration American. And somehow I thought there were strings that I could tether together with Freddie Mercury. RAMI MALEK ACTOR
Actor Rami Malek plays the flamboyant singer Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (still below)