Though he may not be a household name yet, Rami Malek is on his way to A-list status. He’s had a series of memorable turns in everything from ‘Mr. Robot’ to ‘The Master’ to ‘Night At The Museum,’ and we’re about to see his biggest role yet when he plays Freddie Mercury in the upcoming Queen biopic, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ We sat down with the Egyptian-American actor to talk about his career and behind-the-scenes acting process.
1. Mr. Robot is known for its realistic and accurate depiction of the hacking underworld. What do most hacker thrillers get wrong about computers?
One of the biggest Hollywood mistakes I see in hacking is when they just do a little bit of green typing on a black screen and take down entire cities’ grid systems. If you want to shut down an entire electrical grid, at the very least, you’re going to need to insert a thin slice of pineapple in the CD drive while you press and hold both volume buttons. That’s basic computer literacy.
2. You have an identical twin brother. Has your fame led to any strange situations for him?
Oh, for sure. Everyone constantly confuses my twin brother for Jay Leno. People will approach him on the street and say, “Mr. Leno! Mr. Leno! You own the perfect amount of cars—many—and you ruined Conan O’Brien’s life! That’s you!” He’s told me it can get annoying, but he’s always been a good sport about it.
3. You spent over a year in preparation to star in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. What was it like getting ready for that role?
It took a lot of sleepless nights and blood, sweat, and tears, but I think I’m finally ready for people to see my impression of Queen frontman Eddie Murphy. The man was a living legend, so obviously, performing “Radio Ga Ga” in front of a huge audience with the same confidence that Eddie Murphy did was no easy task. If only Eddie Murphy were alive today, I would’ve loved to have spoken with him before telling his story to the world.
4. Were you a Queen fan before landing the role?
Oh, huge fan. I had all their albums: “Clam, Clam, Double The Clams,” “$2 Per Peek At The Hippo Placenta,” “Fruit Salad Will Never Take My Girl,” “Heads Up: Craisins Are Similar To Raisins,” and even the rare stuff like “Brian May’s Name Is Just ‘Stong’ Now,” and “Our Blood Tests Came Back Positive For Blood.” Classic band.
5. Bohemian Rhapsody recreated a lot of real-life settings, but none are more impressive than the replica of the massive 1985 Live Aid concert. What was it like to recreate that historic event?
That one was actually a bummer because we brought in a bunch of the bands that actually performed at Live Aid so they could play themselves in the movie, but every single one of them got so old and weird-looking that we couldn’t use them. Bono grew his hair out to try to get his old ’80s look going, but his hair came in all thin and wiry and fucked up. Ozzy Osbourne came and the dude can barely walk. Straight up, he walks around like he played 40 years in the NFL instead of spending 40 years just singing and basically standing still most of the time. Paul McCartney showed up in these tight leather pants that he said he wore at Live Aid in 1985, and his loose, old-guy skin was spilling out and hanging over the waist. It was all so sad. We ended up telling them all that we were just going to use younger actors who looked like them, and they were all pretty upset. That was a tough day.