“I said yes right away to playing Freddie,” says Rami Malek

The Oscar nominated actor received the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for his portrayal of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury.

At the 34th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Oscar nominated actor Rami Malek who received the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award for his performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury talked about his rise to fame with The Hollywood Reporter telling the magazine that he when he finally got a call from a casting agent he charmed her into giving him a shot by pretending to be his own agent for the first part of the conversation.

The star of the flick “ acknowledged that his early roles (an Egyptian King, Iraqi insurgent, Egyptian Vampire) were not the way he wanted things to be going.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury“This is not how I want to represent myself and if I keep doing this I will typecast myself and pigeon hole myself. I drew the line in the sand and said ‘that’s it’. I will represent my culture and heritage but it will be positive and down the line when it really makes sense.”

Malek talked about  preparing for the film which is up for five Oscars and working with the surviving members of Queen.

“I said yes right away to playing Freddie and moments later I thought, ‘what have you done? My characters (Freddie and Elliot) are polar opposites, one who can command the stage and one who can barely leave his computer monitor but in some ways they share this loneliness and they are not so dissimilar. As soon as I felt like I might be playing him, I wasn’t going to be caught off guard and I sat down with some choreographers in London and realized I needed to be able to invent things on the spot.”

Malek also recounted the feeling of having the surviving members of Queen on set including Brian May. “Without them, we wouldn’t have the story and they could have harped on anything that didn’t seem genuine. Right from the start Brian May came in there and he wanted us to succeed. He was extending all the love and admiration and acceptance, most of all. He would say ‘I can’t believe you guys are telling our story.’ I looked so forward to the days when he was there because it made me want to give my best Freddie.”

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