Rami Malek Feared Playing Freddie Mercury Might be a ‘Career Killer’
Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, said during a press event that he’d worried taking the role might prove to be a “career killer.” He was speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas last week, when the first trailer for the movie, which hasn’t yet been publicly released, was shown to attendees.
“When I got this role, I thought, 'Oh, my God, this could be a career-defining performance,’” Malek said (via Billboard). “And then two minutes later I thought, 'This could be a career killer.” He added that one of the main challenges had been how to capture Mercury’s ability to transmit “pain and beauty” in his music. “He gives everyone watching permission to embrace their imperfections and sing as loudly as they can," he reflected. “That is what he did for me.” He also reported that Queen guitarist Brian May had emailed to say the movie had “brought him to tears” and that Mercury would have been “proud” of the production if he were alive.
Reports say the trailer begins with a scene in which the young singer asks to join the band, only to be told: “Not with those teeth, mate.” It continues with portrayals of their efforts to succeed, including Mercury saying: “If I go [sing] any higher, only dogs will hear it,” and concludes with their stage entrance at the Live Aid event in 1985.
Last week the first still shots from Bohemian Rhapsody were revealed, showing Malek along with Gwilym Lee as May, Ben Hardy as Roger Taylor and Joe Mazello as John Deacond. To be released on Nov. 2, the movie is described as “a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet.”