Rami Malek, who stars in recent biopic hit 'Bohemian Rhapsody' as Freddie Mercury, insisted on shooting the movie’s climactic Live Aid scene in one take - he became concerned that song-by-song recording sessions lacked the required energy of the original performance.
Malek - who's rumoured to be Oscar-nominated for his starring role - recalled the pressure of re-enacting Queen’s iconic 1985 performance on the first day of filming.
“I was somewhat prepared, but no one can ever prepare you for what that feeling was like. What some consider the greatest performance in rock history was a challenge. I said, ‘What the hell, they built the stage, let’s do this.'” Malek told a live audience in New York.
He noted that "it was supposed to be a rehearsal day, but everyone was in costume, so I was very suspicious. … I had a certain confidence from working on long shots on [the TV show] Mr. Robot that gave me the ability to calm down. It was sink or swim, a baptism by fire: Day one was ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ day two was ‘Radio Gaga’ … ”
At the end of the series of individual takes, Rami approached producer Graham King and asked for an additional day of shooting.
“We brought in three cranes with cameras and ran the entire 22-minute set. It was the best take we ever did. You’re running on pure adrenaline. My heart is pounding just thinking about it. You realize how much adrenaline was coursing through [Mercury’s] veins before 75,000 people. Really, I love acting. To add into this rock star feeling, it was like being on drugs.”
The final take was the one used in the movie - all taken in one long shot as the actors performed non-stop, making it even more impressive.