Actor Rami Malek, who is playing the role of late singer Freddie Mercury in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, says it was a “gun-to-the-head” moment when he was offered the role.
Malek told The Guardian that he felt huge pressure upon realising that he would been offered the biggest role of his career so far.
“Kind of the gun-to-the-head moment, what do you do? And I like to think if it’s a fight or flight situation, I’m going to fight. The scariest endeavours that I’ve chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. And this has proven to defend that equation.”
Malek also discussed whether the film tackles Freddie Mercury’s battle with AIDS, after critics feared that the film would “whitewash” the singer’s battle with the virus that eventually claimed his life.
He said: “What’s the nature of celebrating a life? Definitely not avoiding his death in any way, or what caused his death, which is the AIDS virus.
“But I think if you don’t celebrate his life, and his struggles, and how complicated he was, and how transformative he was – and wallow instead in the sadness of what he endured and his ultimate death – then that could be a disservice to the profound, vibrant, radiant nature of such an indelible human being.”
Based on the story of the band Queen, the film will have its world premiere at London’s Wembley on October 23.