Rami Malek: Freddie Mercury role gave me the armour for Bond

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Rami Malek has said the nerves he felt on Bohemian Rhapsody gave him the “armour” he needed going into the new James Bond film.

The actor, who won acclaim for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the 2018 Queen movie, is playing a villain in new 007 movie No Time To Die.

He told Esquire UK: “[I went into Bohemian Rhapsody] with what I would call a maximum amount of trepidation.

“In a way that armoured me for something like this, and gave me a certain amount of confidence that I felt could protect me throughout the shoot.

“I think it removed the anxiety that one would have in taking on something so grand.”

Rami Malek on Esquire (Esquire UK/Dexter Navy)

Malek, 38, joined the Bond film last year.

“They were under time pressure. I don’t know how much they loved the idea of fresh Rami coming in,” he said.

“Well, not so fresh, I was just finished on Mr Robot, but at the same time I’d been thinking about this all along.” 

Malek’s villainous character Safin will be going up against Bond star Daniel Craig, in what will be his last outing as the suave spy.

The actor said of his interaction with Daniel Craig during filming: “I pushed as much as possible without being too much of a nuisance to ensure that we were doing as best as we possibly could to make it a real fierce one-on-one between the two of us.”

Malek has yet to see No Time To Die, and told the magazine he is toying with the idea of waiting until it premieres.

“I quite like the idea of sitting with everyone else and watching their reactions for the first time and having my own,” he said.

“Having said that, it would be a little too late to weigh in on anything.” 

The March/April issue of Esquire UK is on sale now.