Rami Malek Talks Friendship With Queen and Casting His Freddie Mercury Teeth in Gold (Exclusive)
Rami Malek will never forget what it was like playing the late Freddie Mercury.
ET spoke with the actor backstage at the 2019 Golden Globes on Sunday, just moments after he won Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his portrayal of the legendary Queen frontman in Bohemian Rhapsody. During our interview, he opened up about the role and his newfound friendship with Brian May and Roger Taylor of the British rock band.
“It is unreal for me,” Malek, 37, gushed to ET’s Nancy O’Dell. “When I first met them, I have met a lot of actors, and there are a few actors that really throw me, where it’s difficult to open my mouth around. For the most part, I can hold my own, but those two guys, it was so daunting talking to them at first. And to think that now we have this casual relationship, it is beyond anything I ever thought could happen.”
“Thank you to Queen,” he added. “Thank you to Freddie Mercury. I am forever in their debt.”
Malek also revealed to ET that after filming for the movie wrapped, he took home the prosthetic choppers he wore to resemble Mercury as a souvenir.
“I saved those, and not only did I save them, I cast them in gold,” he said. “That is not something I would normally do, but I thought, what is the most audacious, ostentatious thing that Freddie would do? And so now I have a counterpart for Freddie’s teeth.”
Of the big win, Malek said that even though he hears it from actors all the time, it really is “very difficult to describe” when it actually happens.
“There are moments when you want to scream,” he explained. “Somehow your body just carries you on stage, and allows some words to come out of your mouth and you just hope that you are a little bit eloquent and a little bit humbled. But I have to say, getting out there, I looked at all the nominees in the audience and I was counting my blessings — to be among that group of actors — and then I looked beyond that and saw everyone that was nominated and everyone that was a part of it.”
“For me as an actor, it is the greatest gift to get out on set and see all of these collaborative efforts coming to lift the performer up,” he added. “I am so lucky to get to do what I do day in and day out, and this is icing on top of that massive cake for me.”
And while Malek did indeed sound eloquent and humble while accepting his new statuette, he admitted he actually doesn’t remember much of his speech.
“I don’t remember a single word,” he confessed, adding that it’s been amazing hanging out with the other members of Queen, whom he gave a shout-out to onstage. “That is the raddest thing about all of it is, I get to text them to go out to dinner.”
Hear more highlights from our exclusive red carpet interviews at the Globes in the video below.