Rami Malek's recreation of Freddie Mercury's Live Aid performance is identical to the original
Despite the fact that the music world is filled with frontmen aplenty, almost none of them have a patch on the late, great Freddie Mercury. Famed for his high energy stage performances and unrivaled songwriting skills, the Queen frontman very much deserves his place in history - and lives on through his incredible music some 27 years after his death.
To celebrate his life and legacy, his story has finally been told in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. The frontman was played by Mr. Robot star Rami Malek, who adopted his mannerisms, clothes and even his overbite in a bid to do his story justice.
Released in October, the movie opens and closes with scenes from Queen's legendary 1985 Live Aid performance, and not wanting his version to pale in comparison to what's been dubbed one of the greatest performances in rock history, Malek spent hours painstakingly watching the original a whopping 1,500 times so that he could create an almost perfect replica.
To put how much time this was into context, watching the original set 1,500 times would take 500 hours.
However, there's no doubt that Malek's research paid off, and now he is being praised online for recreating Mercury's performance exactly, including his hand gestures, head movements, and pursing of his lips.
To see the incredible recreation side by side with the original, check out the video below:
Malek has since explained how he recreated the performance, acknowledging that one or two mistakes slipped through:
"That's something we tried to get move for move, even just gesture for gesture perfectly."
"It felt like I had it in my bones and I didn't want to keep going back to it. It felt like sometimes you would lose a little bit of the authenticity if you tried to nail it so perfectly."
"Things won't exactly always match up, there might be a hint of something that's off, but I think that kept it feeling really alive and in the moment and it was better to sacrifice it that way, but yeah, I was watching it non-stop."
In addition to watching the Live Aid performance 1,500 times, Malek worked with a movement coach to get his recreation of Mercury's performance just right.
After discovering just how in synch it was with the original, Queen fan @MOMENTOFMERURY reposted it on Twitter with the all caps caption, "I DIDNT REALISE THEY DID IT THIS PRECISELY."
To understand how she could help Malek nail the performance, coach Polly Bennett studied Mercury's movements, trying to ascertain why he did what he did, and pass this knowledge onto Malek.
Describing Mercy's habits in an interview, Bennett said:
"If you've got something that you're self-conscious of, your body is going to respond. It's the same for Freddie's large teeth."
"Onstage, he holds his microphone incredibly close to his lips. He's using the apparatus as both his power and his self-consciousness."
If you haven't seen it yet, the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody will help to whet your appetite for the movie:
"He enjoys the flamboyance and the curly hands of Marlene Dietrich and Liza Minnelli. He loves the head turns and little kicks."
"And sometimes, those kicks are really practical - he seems to be stepping over microphone leads, but he turns them into a move. There's a certain awareness of physical gesture that he is emanating."
While reviews have not been entirely positive, with some accusing it of 'queer-erasure' and omitting key Queen facts, no one can deny that Malek was wholeheartedly committed to the role after watching his recreation of Mercury's 1985 performance.
BBC film reviewer Ali Plumb wrote:
"With so much story to tell, the film hops through at an alarming pace, zipping here and there across the years. You might want to quickly reacquaint yourself with Queen's Wikipedia page to remind yourself of a few key facts before you head into the cinema."
"Rami Malek is great. He throws himself into the role of Freddie Mercury, relishing every scene, every microphone swing, every 'Figaro!'"
"If you were worried that 'That guy off Mr. Robot' wouldn't deliver the goods when it comes to the bravura rock performer, worry no more: he's excellent."
So, sure, the movie might not be 100% accurate, but at the end of the day, only so much that can be done on the big screen, and Malek's performance certainly gives a sense of how incredible it would have been to be in the Live Aid crowd on July 13, 1985.