Pressure, pushing down on me. Pressing down on you, no man ask for. Under pressure, that burns a building down, splits a family in two, puts people on streets.
Not my words of course, but those of the late Freddie Mercury and, by association, of the young actor who recently portrayed him in the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek.
The film, released in the UK on October 24, took £6.48m in its opening weekend, knocking Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s A Star Is Born off the top spot at the box office. The reviews… weren’t so great overall, but Malek was widely praised.
In a recent interview he revealed how Freddie’s sister, Kashmira Cooke, reacted to seeing him booted up as her late brother.
Malek told Jimmy Kimmel:
I met his sister. She got to see me as a young Freddie with long hair and the teeth, make-up, the whole 1970s, early glam-rock look.
As you can imagine it was an incredibly bizarre, alien moment for her.
However, Kashmira was later moved to tears by the performance.
Later on, it was a very emotional moment. On a serious note, she wrote me the most moving email. It was very powerful.
To get that vote of appreciation from the people who were closest to him was everything for me.
Kashmira wasn’t the only confidante of Freddie who Malek bowled over. Queen guitarist Brian May came out with some words of support last week.
He told PA:
He’s incredible… without doubt he’ll be on the nominations list for an Oscar and well deserved as well. He inhabited Freddie to the point where we even started to think of him as Freddie. Really remarkable.
We’ve lived with this project for nine years and it’s incredible to see it doing so well.
It came out to s***ty reviews, as some of our work has before, but the public has embraced it magnificently. Everybody gave 200%, from the actors and technicians to the production team and hair and make up, everyone.
Praising Gwilym Lee who portrays the guitarist in the film, May added:
You don’t get any lukewarm responses. The guy who plays me should be getting awards all over.
Malek said himself of the role that he ‘instinctually [wanted] to discover more’ about Mercury as he prepared for the gig.
There’s just an eloquence and elegance to him that you can see when he’s on stage and then you can see where all that was birthed from. I mean, not many artists are wearing an entire head-to-toe leather outfit, sipping a champagne flute and telling their audience to strip naked if they please. And he still comes off with this essence of royalty.
Just earlier this year, Mercury was found to be the greatest singer of all time.
As for Malek, big things are on the horizon.
Next month he will star in Papillon, due out on December 21.
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