“It could go terribly wrong”: Rami Malek reveals the pressure of playing Freddie Mercury

"Why would you want to alter anyone’s perception of their hero?”

Rami Malek has revealed the pressure that he felt playing Freddie Mercury, as he prepares for the release of Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Mr Robot star will portray the iconic Queen frontman in the rock biopic, which is set for release next month.

But while early footage has suggested that he’ll be a perfect fit as the legendary singer, he’s under no illusions about the expectations held by Queen’s global legions of fans.

Speaking to the New York Times, he admitted: “It’s not lost on me that this could go terribly wrong, that it could be detrimental to one’s career should this not go the right way”.

He added: “Why would you want to alter anyone’s perception of their hero?”

Bohemian Rhapsody film

Queen’s Freddie Mercury and Brian May at Live Aid

He also discussed how he’d channelled Mercury’s legendary on-stage strut by analysing the Queen frontman’s own inspirations – namely Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie and Liza Minnelli in Cabaret.

“It was almost more useful at times to watch Liza than it was to watch Freddie himself,” he said.

“You found the inspiration and birth of those movements.”

Last week, Malek confirmed that the film will paint a full portrait of the rock icon, amid fears that it will ignore his sexuality and eventual battle with AIDS.

“It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music. It’s difficult,” said Malek.

“First, let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS. I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer.”

Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody hits cinemas on October 24 in the UK and November 2 in the US.

It was also announced this week that the film will receive a premiere at Wembley Arena – next door to where the band played one of their most legendary gigs at Wembley Stadium.