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Video shows just how closely Rami Malek replicated Freddie Mercury at Live Aid

The biopic includes long scenes replicating Queen's 1985 Live Aid performance

Clémence Michallon
New York
Friday 16 November 2018 16:28
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Video shows how closely Rami Malek mirrored Freddie Mercury's movements

Rami Malek carefully studied Freddie Mercury's mannerisms in preparation for his part in Bohemian Rhapsody – and a video has now revealed just how much his efforts paid off.

A clip shared on Twitter shows how closely Malek replicated Mercury's moves during Queen's historic 1985 Live Aid performance, widely considered to be the band's greatest on-stage moment.

The video includes both footage from the Queen biopic and from the actual Queen concert at Wembley Stadium. Both play at the same time, next to each other, to help viewers make a comparison.

Malek's impressive timing is immediately apparent: when Mercury punches the air at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody (the 1975 song that gave its name to the movie), so does the actor.

Mercury then grab his bottomless microphone stand – his signature prop – as does Malek.

When Queen (both the real version and the biopic edition) start playing Radio Ga Ga, Malek continues mirroring Mercury's moves, nailing every jump, wave, step, clap, and gesture towards the crowd.

At one point, Mercury switches his microphone from his right hand to his left – and of course, Malek does the same exact same thing in the same exact way in the same exact length of time.

The clip doesn't just highlight Malek's prowess. Gwilym Lee, who plays guitarist Brian May, can also be seen closely following the musician's gestures in the sequence.

Malek previously explained that he worked with a movement coach to learn Mercury's physicality. He watched footage not only of the Queen frontman, but also of those who inspired him, such as David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Aretha Franklin, and Liza Minnelli.

"It was almost more useful at times to watch Liza than it was to watch Freddie himself,” Malek told the New York Times. “You found the inspiration and birth of those movements.”

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There has been some Oscar chatter around Bohemian Rhapsody, though official nominations have yet to be announced.

The film, which became a box office hit despite mixed reviews, has received criticism for its several historical inaccuracies, and has been accused of glossing over aspects of Mercury's sexuality and HIV diagnosis.

Malek's performance, though, has received praise.

Bohemian Rhapsody teaser trailer

The actor previously revealed on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon that the mammoth Live Aid scenes were filmed on day one of taping.

"But I thought they must have a reason for doing this," Malek said.

"Because you know, if halfway through we get through this and we suck, they’ll just pull the plug on the whole production, pack it up, and go home, save $60m and we don’t have to watch this B-rate version of Queen for three months.

"When I got the call sheet for day 2 it was like winning an Oscar."

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