Critiques & Compliments: What Queen & the World Thought of Rami Malek’s Freddie Mercury

Becoming Something Like Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the songs you put on at a party to make everyone get into character as they sing along to the words. The band Queen gained nothing less than legendary status in the music industry. Their contribution to the arts is unquantifiable, but we can definitely say that Queen was so awesome, they had a movie made about them.

Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie, is described as a celebration of the band, their music and their remarkable lead singer, Freddie Mercury. Some say that this movie gets as close to the real thing as they could possibly get when it comes to portraying the essence of the band.

This is probably a product of the fact that original band members helped select the characters who they felt did the job best. Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, so his fellow members of the band were left with the responsibility to choose the perfect actor to portray Freddie in the movie. Rami Malek got the part of Freddie and gave it his best shot. However, with a following as big as Queen’s, you’re bound to fall upon a few critics.

Brian May’s Full Circle Moment 

Malek went to great lengths to understand the essence of who Murcery was. The lead singer’s bandmates, Brian May and Roger Taylor, as well as Freddie’s sister Jashmira Cooke all, applaud Malek’s performance. Malek received a message from Brian May who said that a picture of Malek as Freddie on a double-decker bus in London would’ve made Mercury laugh.

Apparently, the band used to ride on the top of double-decker buses to get some publicity before they made it big. He said that the sight of that picture on the bus was a “full-circle moment” for him. It made him realize how far the band came. Malek told Vanity Fair that the message from May meant everything to him.

Malek’s Bond With Freddie’s Sister

After the movie premiered, Malek met up with Freddie’s sister just to have a sit-down and talk. Malek stated that this was one of the moments he’s never going to forget. He wanted to respect her privacy so he refused to give details about what they spoke about. However, he did say that she, and her son who was also there, were moved and emotional. They’ve even made plans to meet up in the near future.

Malek is in no way searching for an award of any sort. He’s happy with his work and has gotten all the meaning he wanted out of playing the one and only lead singer of Queen. “People talk about awards and things, but I’m good. The fact that after all these years [making the movie], Brian May and Roger Taylor are my friends, and now, while I’m in London, I’m going to be having tea and dinner with Kash… get out of town. Who wants more than that?” he said.

The Woman Freddie Loved Stays Quiet

One of the main characters portrayed in the movie, Mary Austin, has kept her distance from the whole project. Mary was Mercury’s best friend and the woman he referred to as his common-law wife.

The movie gives viewers a glimpse of their Mary and Freddie’s relationship that seemed destined for failure. They called quits on their relationship once Freddie told Mary the truth about his sexuality. However, they remained the best of friends all while Freddie was still in love with her. The song “The Love of My Life,” was actually a song written by Freddie about Mary. He called her his soulmate.

Mary’s feedback is one of the more important ones. However, Malek will not get it, and he totally respects that. Mary has made a point to keep her distance from the project. She’s already turned down interviews and asked that people respect her privacy.

“Mary, for I think excellent reasons, does not do interviews,” said Malek. “She read the script. She O.K.’d the script. I respect her privacy. She and Freddie were very private… I think the Freddie that she has in her heart and in her mind, and the love that she had is reserved for him. I don’t know that she wants that image affected in any way.”

“Without Mary Austin, There is No Freddie Mercury”

Malek gave interviewers his take on Freddie and Mary’s relationship.  “I think they were each other’s confidantes – two people who could share anything and everything and, of course, were in love but had that deep, meaningful love that most people search for all of their lives…”

“Mary Austin is the person he trusted the most in his life. I think she knew his deepest, darkest secrets. She is the human being he entrusted with his ashes after he died. She is the only one who knows where they are… Without Mary Austin there is no Freddie Mercury, I believe.”

Washing Up Freddie’s Image

Some critics claim that the producers of the movie cleaned up Freddie’s image when they wrote the script. They were spot on about a lot of things they added but left out some details. Malek agreed with these words of criticism. “The fact of the matter, that he would freely admit was that one of Freddie Mercury’s hobbies was sex. He was very promiscuous,” he said.

The actor also mentioned that, had he been the scriptwriter, he would have added some underrated information about Freddie that was interesting to him. “He used to throw these elegant, gorgeous dinner parties for his friends, not a bunch of strangers as portrayed in the film,” said Malek. “He didn’t even grow up Christian, but he would throw Christmas parties and have a gift for everyone.

He loved entertaining and was so generous. I mean, you could portray every aspect of his life. The fact of the matter is we had two hours and the goal of this movie was to celebrate the man. If you wallow in certain elicit aspects of his life, you lose out on the glory of who this authentic, defiant, revolutionary human being was and is.”

How Malek Connected With Freddie

Malek talked about how he got into character for the movie. In addition to bonding with members of the band, Queen, he took to Freddie’s lyrics for some serious connection. “What he himself put down from his soul onto paper and then sang as loudly as he could in public.

I looked at them almost as a diary,” Malek explained. “He was pouring his heart out into these songs. They’re whimsical. They’re ethereal at times. They’re painful. The guy was a very complicated human being searching for love all his life, and you can hear it.”