The first photo of actor Rami Malek in character as Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” has been released.
The photo was released on Tuesday, on what would’ve been the iconic rocker’s 71st birthday.
Malek told Entertainment Weekly of his first time in hair and makeup: “When you’re able to open your eyes and see a different person staring back at you in the mirror, it’s a very affirming moment.”
The film, directed by Bryan Singer, will chronicle the band from 1970, when Mercury first teamed with Brian May and Roger Taylor, until their performance at Live Aid in 1985, six years before the singer died of AIDS complications.
I just had my make up, hair and costume tests as #FreddieMercury and it was overwhelmingly cool and truly unforgettable. Pics coming soon.
— Rami Malek (@ItsRamiMalek) August 31, 2017
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury looks the absolute business. Can’t wait. pic.twitter.com/QRcW7378s3
— Carl Anka ?? (@Ankaman616) September 5, 2017
Entertainment Weekly reported that scenes featuring singing will utilize either Malek’s own voice or recordings of Mercury, with a soundalike filling the gaps.
“We’re going to use [Freddie’s vocals] as much as possible and use myself as much as possible,” Malek told the publication.
“I’m in Abbey Road [Studios] right now, if that should say anything to you. I’m not working on my acting.”
The film has been in development for years and Sacha Baron Cohen initially cast to portray Mercury, but he dropped out in 2013 after disputes with Mercury’s bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor over the creative direction of the film.
Queen will tour Australia later this year, with Adam Lambert again taking over from Mercury on vocals.
Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to be released in US cinemas in December 2018.