Rami Malek spent a lot of time studying for his role as Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. During his interview on Thursday’s Ellen, the actor said he loved Queen, “but I didn’t know the intimate details of Freddie’s life or Queen’s,” so he sought out all their archival footage and interviews.
Even before the movie was greenlit, Malek said he began taking singing lessons and met with choreographers. However, he realized that Mercury was more spontaneous with his moves onstage. So, Malek ended up working with a movement coach, and he demonstrated different techniques she taught him, including imagining a bubble bath was streaming down his back. There was also a move that emulated someone serving spaghetti, which as Malek showcased, comes off as a pretty natural looking, while also dramatic, onstage move.
In terms of his singing, Malek said he sang every day to keep his voice on point. “Eventually Brian May and Roger Taylor – the legendary members of Queen – incorporated as much of Freddie as they could and it’s mixed in with my voice a little bit here and there, and another singer named Marc Martel, who’s got an incredible voice,” he added. “But it’s done fairly seamlessly, I feel.”
As he mentioned during a previous interview on The Tonight Show earlier this week, the fake teeth he wore to emulate Mercury’s buckteeth were uncomfortable and difficult to adapt to initially. “It was hard to sing in them, hard to talk in them, hard to kiss in them,” he admitted. “But I appreciated them so much by the end of it, I felt naked without them.” In fact, he revealed on Ellen that he had the set cast in gold in honor of Mercury’s ostentatious side.
The pair also discussed Malek’s recent trip to Africa and the host teased the actor about his Instagram, which only had two photos featuring Stephen Colbert. So, Malek asked Ellen DeGeneris to take a selfie with him to help populate his sparse page.
Bohemian Rhapsody also stars Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Meyers. It opens in theaters on Friday.