Video Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation

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07:38   |   Oct 29, 2018


Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation
Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation thumb Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation thumb Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation thumb


  • -First of all, "Mr. Robot" -- -Yeah.
  • -Congrats. That's such a great show.
  • You know, I've had you -- we've had you on talking about that.
  • Is it true, I heard, that it might be coming to an end?
  • -It's so sad. Yes.
  • -Why? -I don't know. I don't know.
  • [ Laughter ] Because I love it so much.
  • I'm quite frankly a bit disappointed.
  • But Sam Esmail, who writes, creates and directs it
  • and is the genius mind behind it
  • had a finite period of time he wanted to tell this story.
  • And it's coming to its conclusion this year.
  • -Gosh. -But, you know, the best part
  • of it is that I wouldn't have had this role had the producers
  • not seen me on "Mr. Robot."
  • I wouldn't have got the role of Freddie Mercury.
  • -Is that right? -So that's a pretty cool thing.
  • -Absolutely. -Yes.
  • -And you got an Emmy for it, as well.
  • -Yes. -I think it's --
  • [ Laughter ] You did, I mean, yeah.
  • -I have to remind myself I did. -You got an Emmy. Yeah.
  • [ Cheers and applause ] You're good.
  • Remind yourself. -Yes, thank you.
  • -Let's talk about -- -Let's chat.
  • -..."Bohemian rhapsody," because if I had your e-mail,
  • your phone number, I would have called you a gazillion times
  • and said, "Dude, you were unbelievable!
  • You were unbelievable in this movie!"
  • -You have my e-mail and phone number.
  • -That's true. But I decided to not call you.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • I -- I flipped out. -Did you?
  • -You were unbelievable. -Thanks, man.
  • -I mean, 'cause, dude, this is -- I mean, look,
  • this is you right here.
  • This is supermodel,
  • actor Rami Malek right here, by the way.
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • Congrats on this cover, by the way.
  • -Isn't that nice? -Is this true --
  • -I didn't think that would ever happen.
  • -This the first ever "GQ" in the Middle East.
  • -Yes. -They never had this.
  • -If ever I was going to be on the "GQ,"
  • it would be the "GQ" in the Middle East.
  • [ Laughter ] -Yeah. That's kind of amazing
  • for you, right? -Yeah. It's huge.
  • I mean, my family is Egyptian.
  • I'm a first-generation American.
  • So, you know, being Egyptian
  • is in the fiber of my DNA
  • and something I'm immensely proud of.
  • So to grace this cover is an accomplishment.
  • I never would have thought I would be saying that,
  • but it really is.
  • -It's a big deal. -Yeah.
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • -This guy -- you don't look like --
  • You don't look like Freddie Mercury, to me.
  • I wouldn't -- I wouldn't cast you.
  • -I didn't think so either, yeah.
  • -But then when you see this movie --
  • Guys, look at this -- side by side.
  • That's Rami.
  • [ Applause ]
  • Dude, you are unbelievable.
  • I mean, I freaked out. I mean, I'm watching scenes,
  • And I go, "Is that a real clip of --
  • the real clip of Live Aid?"
  • When you're going out, it's just you going from behind.
  • And I go -- I mean, even your posture is different
  • than your own posture. -Yeah, yeah, it is.
  • -Right, because this is probably how in "Mr. Robot",
  • this is your posture. -Yeah.
  • I mean, he's so -- I have these teeth that I wear, exactly.
  • I have these teeth that I wear.
  • And the first time I put them in my mouth,
  • I was incredibly insecure.
  • And then I found myself compensating.
  • I just started sitting up straight and being more elegant.
  • And he had the best posture. And you start to think,
  • "Oh, these are the reasons he is who he is."
  • -Wow, that's interesting. -It is, right?
  • -And you just rock it, dude.
  • I can't even believe you -- I mean, how did you even
  • pull off the Live Aid thing?
  • -You're not gonna believe this.
  • One of the greatest rock performances in history.
  • It's considered maybe the greatest.
  • For some reason, our producers thought it would be a good idea
  • to start with that on day one.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -That was the first day of shooting?
  • -That was the first day, man. -Wow!
  • -So, I -- -Wow!
  • -About halfway into the day, I thought, "Oh, man."
  • -Jump into the fire, man. -I jumped -- trial by fire,
  • entire baptism by fire.
  • But I thought, "They must have reason for doing this."
  • Because, you know, if halfway through they get --
  • we get through this and we suck, they'll just pull the plug
  • on the whole production, pack it up and go home, right?"
  • -Smart, yeah, you save a lot of money that way.
  • -Save $60 million.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • We don't have to watch this B-rate version of Queen
  • for three months.
  • [ Laughter ] -Yeah, exactly, yeah.
  • -When I got the call sheet for day two,
  • it was like winning an Oscar.
  • [ Laughter ] -It's like -- really.
  • -We're back! -"We are making this movie.
  • This is great." -It's happening!
  • -You wore the white tank and the jeans.
  • -Yeah. It's surreal walking out there
  • after watching that concert so many times and --
  • -Did you feel at any point -- you must as an actor,
  • but did you feel at one point you're like,
  • "I actually am turning into Freddie Mercury."
  • When did you feel? Like when you put the teeth in,
  • or -- Who did your -- -The teeth helped.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -You'll see it. I mean, you'll see.
  • -They're there. I'm warning you.
  • -They're definitely there, yeah.
  • -They're there. But, I mean,
  • he got called "Bucky" as a kid
  • before he was even called Freddie Mercury.
  • And I won't tell you his real name.
  • If you don't know, you'll have to find out in the movie.
  • Don't Google it, please.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • But you put the teeth in, and that's one thing.
  • I had this exceptional makeup artist named Jan Sewell.
  • She did Eddie Redmayne in "The Theory of Everything."
  • -Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. -Remember that transformation?
  • I'm like, "I get her? Amazing." -Wow!
  • And then I had Julian Day do the costumes.
  • And these costumes, maybe... -The best.
  • -...100 different outfits, right?
  • -If you're a fan of Queen,
  • the costumes alone will get applause.
  • -Right? They will. And they do.
  • -They do? -They do.
  • -I would go nuts for you. -Yeah.
  • -I was like, "That is classic!" -Yeah.
  • -Only Freddie Mercury could pull that off.
  • -Only Freddie Mercury. And it's a long way
  • from "Mr. Robot" where I wear one thing every single day.
  • [ Laughter ] -You wear a hoodie.
  • -Yeah. -You wear a hoodie, yeah.
  • -That's it. -That's it, yeah.
  • -I mean, talk about polar opposites.
  • -But do you know how to play the piano?
  • -I've never played the piano.
  • I was scared of playing the piano.
  • As a kid, it seemed like such a foreign thing.
  • I told them when I sat down, I go,
  • "Listen, guys, I'm not going to be the Hollywood actor
  • that sells myself here.
  • I don't play the piano.
  • I don't think I'm a singer.
  • I have a very unusual way of dancing.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • That's about as close as I can get to Freddie Mercury."
  • -And they still hired you? -I think they thought,
  • "Oh, here we'd get a humble actor for once.
  • [ Laughter ] There's a modest guy."
  • Yeah. -You just hit a home run.
  • They got to be -- everyone's got to be so psyched
  • for your performance. -Oh, man.
  • -I mean, you at one point played the piano
  • laying upside down.
  • You were laying on the ground playing it
  • with your hands crossed. -Spoiler alert.
  • -Oh, sorry. Yeah, yeah.
  • [ Laughter ]
  • -Please. Stop. -Please, there's other ones.
  • -No, no, no. That was something Freddie did every night.
  • And the man never ceases to amaze me.
  • As much prep as I did,
  • I found out more and more about what he was capable of.
  • And I tried to do him honor and --
  • -You did. -Yeah.
  • He is a magnificent human being.
  • And I can't wait to share this movie
  • with a brand-new generation.
  • -Oh, just so cool. I want to show a clip.
  • -Show it. -This is Rami Malek
  • as Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody."
  • Take a look at this.
  • -What's going on? -You'd know if you were on time.
  • -I want to give the audience a song that they can perform.
  • -So what can they do?
  • [ Stomping and clapping rhythmically ]
  • -Imagine thousands of people doing this in unison.
  • Huh?
  • -What's the lyric?
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • ♪♪
  • -♪ We will, we will rock you ♪
  • -♪ We will, we will ♪
  • -♪ Rock you ♪
  • [ Cheers and applause ]
  • -Rami Malek, everybody.

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Rami Malek chats with Jimmy about Mr. Robot coming to an end and the key to his successful Freddie Mercury impression in the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic.

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Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation

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