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Video Rami Malek Discusses His Freddie Mercury Transformation


  • -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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