“I could have my Beyoncé moment,” he told Stephen Colbert on Monday’s Late Show.
Original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor serve as music producers on the film, and they were involved in the early development process. Malek said they were sent a tape of his audition for the role, and he was under the impression that they watched it before meeting him in Taylor’s flat. “They hadn’t downloaded it properly so I ended up watching them watch me for the first time,” he said. “No pressure.”
Malek recalled a visit to the iconic Abbey Road Studios, in London where the impact of this role clicked together for him. “I’m running across the street where I look back and I see it’s that iconic crosswalk that the Beatles have the album cover for Abbey Road on and instantly I’m like, ‘What the hell is happening to me right now?’” he said.
Once inside the studio, he saw an autographed photo of all the members of Queen with “Freddie Mercury’s face just kind of staring at me, telling me, ‘Don’t do this,'” he added. “It really felt inspiring, but it definitely was that look of, ‘Don’t f— this up.'”
It hasn’t been easy finding an actor to play Mercury for Bohemian Rhapsody. Sacha Baron Cohen was once attached to the GK Films production back in 2010, but he parted ways in 2013 over creative differences. Singer, known for his role in the X-Men franchise, will helm the production based on a screenplay from Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything).
Watch Malek discuss his role in the clip above.