Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen biographical movie, was easily one of our favourite films of the year. Rami Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury was incredibly impressive, being tipped to gain quite a few Oscar nominations next month.
Even Brian May, Queen's guitarist, believes Malek deserves the Best Actor Award, saying: "He’s incredible! Without doubt he’ll be on the nominations list for an Oscar, and well deserved as well. He inhabited Freddie to the point where we even started to think of him as Freddie. Really remarkable."
Those that have seen the movie can vouch for how astonishingly accurate Malek was in his portrayal of Freddie, especially in the iconic Live Aid performance reconstruction.
Malek revealed that he had prepared for the scene by watching the YouTube video "probably somewhere around 1500 times, maybe more", adding:
"That’s something we tried to get move for move, even just gesture for gesture perfectly. Every day we did (filmed) a song. Day one, Bohemian. Day two, Radio Gaga. Day three, Hammer To Fall and the Day-O. Four we did Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Five, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, and on the sixth day we rested. Then we did the entire show which was the most phenomenal experience one could ever ask for."
It wasn't all just practise though, Malek also underwent an incredible physical transformation for the role.
"I didn’t really want to bulk up, per se — I just wanted to get my body into a place where I could do a 22-minute concert over and over for five days and not be out of breath. Well, it’s highly impossible to do that. There were days when I found myself laying on my back trying to just absorb as much air as possible. But at the same time, I was on a very specific diet. I bulked up for that first week and immediately had to drop muscle and weight and go into shooting young Freddie, who is very scrawny. I just had to be really cognizant of when to work out and when to crash diet. I don’t recommend it for anyone," he said.
Mercury was born with four extra teeth in the back of his jaw, so Malek also had to wear fake teeth in the role to get the likeness of Freddie's iconic teeth.
"They started out being pretty difficult to deal with. We tried out all different sizes and when they first went in I felt very insecure, but immediately I compensated."
"Physically, I started to sit with more posture and elegance and I thought, ‘Oh, he is so elegant!’ You see him covering up his lips and his teeth all the time, and I could never quite get the hang of it. But as soon as those teeth went in, it was done. It was little things like that that were very informative for me."
After filming wrapped, Malek had the fake grill he wore cast in gold and is planning to auction it for charity "in true ostentatious Freddie fashion".