Rami Malek spoke about becoming Freddie Mercury for the upcoming Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, during an interview on The Tonight Show Monday. Malek said his transformation began with a pair of fake teeth he had to wear to mimic the buckteeth that earned Mercury the childhood nickname, “Bucky.” “The first time I put them in my mouth I was incredibly insecure,” Malek said. “And then I found myself compensating. I started sitting up straight and being more elegant – he had the best posture. You start to think, ‘Oh, these are the reasons he is who he is.'”
Malek praised make-up artist Jan Sewell and costume designer Julian Day for their work as well, noting that the myriad outfits he got to wear were a far cry from the hoodie he typically dons for Mr. Robot. The actor also spoke about embracing the role of Mercury despite his lack of musical training – “I don’t play the piano, I don’t think I’m a singer, I have a very unusual way of dancing,” he joked – and being forced to dive into the performance on day one, when he recreated Queen’s legendary Live Aid set.
“Entire baptism by fire,” Malek said. “But I thought [the producers] must have a reason for doing this, because, if halfway through we suck, they’ll just pull the plug on the whole production, pack it up and go home. Save $60 million and we don’t have to watch this B-rate version of Queen for three months! When I got the call sheet for day two, it was like winning an Oscar.”
Bryan Singer directed Bohemian Rhapsody, which also stars Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech and Mike Myers. The film opens November 2nd.