It was quite an extraordinary performance. No wonder Malek scooped up every award in sight, including the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actor. The star has previously revealed how he had a movement coach and studied hours of footage of Freddie, both performing on stage and also during interviews and more intimate moments. But the clever, and extremely focussed young actor had one final trick up his sleeve. Quite frankly, he deserves the Oscar for this alone…
There is no denying Malek nailed the mannerisms, the strut, the way Freddie self-consciously covered his teeth while talking and laughing.
Even band members Brian May and Roger Taylor have said it was like looking at their much-missed friend up there on the screen.
But the most incredible thing is that you could even close your eyes and still believe you were listening to Freddie.
Malek didn’t just master Freddie’s tone or that recognisable drawl, he even went one remarkable step further.
In a new interview with GQ magazine, the actor revealed the extreme lengths he went to get his performance perfect.
The article explains: “He nailed Freddie Mercury’s accent by locating footage of Mercury’s mother speaking in her Gujarati accent and then mastering a Gujarati accent, which sounded nothing like Mercury, and then mastering an accent that was 80 percent Gujarati and 20 percent British, which still sounded nothing like Mercury, and then mastering an accent that was half and half, which was closer, and finally working his way up to an accent that was almost entirely British but with the faintest smidge of Gujarati intonation, like 98 percent to 2 percent, and, voilà, that was Mercury.”
In fact, it turns out he almost went too far.
The article adds: “The process was a secret between Malek and his dialect coach.
“On the first day of shooting, a confused producer came up after the first scene and said, ‘I know you do an incredible Freddie accent, but it’s starting to sound a little Indian.‘ Malek smiled to himself. The work was there, it was underneath, and I just had to back off a bit.'”