Actor Rami Malek had the most nerve-racking first meeting with the members of Queen when they all sat down to watch him perform as Freddie Mercury.
The Mr. Robot star has replaced Sacha Baron Cohen as the iconic rock star in biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and he admits he sweated through his first encounter with the late singer’s bandmates at drummer Roger Taylor’s London home.
Rami had hoped the rockers had already checked out his screen test, during which he performed as Freddie, but they hadn’t.
“I ended up watching them watch me for the first time… No pressure!” he chuckled during an appearance on America’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
But he needn’t have worried – Taylor and guitarist Brian May were more than impressed with what they saw and agreed Malek was the right guy to play Freddie.
The actor then had to talk himself into playing the Queen frontman, admitting he had his doubts he could pull off the role.
“I went to do some pre-recording at Abbey Road (in London)…,” he explained. “I was a little late… I was 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?’
“I’m running across there… the meeting’s on the fourth floor and around the third floor I’m passing all these photos of The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and every band that you love. Suddenly I stop… and I take two steps back and I see this autographed photo of all the members of Queen and Freddie Mercury’s face just kind of staring at me, telling me, ‘Don’t do this!’”
“It was a challenge… It really felt inspiring, but it definitely was that look of ‘Don’t f**k this up!'”