American actor Rami Malek’s Oscar nomination for the 91st Academy Awards didn’t come as a surprise. The 37-year-old actor has been praised for his portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. The biographical film is based on the British rock band journey and is named after one of Queen’s biggest hits and iconic songs in rock music history. Although the film itself had critics divided, Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury was unanimously appreciated for his power-packed performance as the flamboyant singer. The film was first announced in 2010 with Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat and Dictator fame slated to play Freddie Mercury. But when Cohen walked out of the film in 2013 citing creative differences, Malek was brought into the picture. Oscars 2019 Full Nominations List in PDF: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture & More Category-Wise Nominees at 91st Academy Awards.
The 37-year-old from California, Rami Malek is most popularly known for his mail role as Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot. His foray into show business started with the Gilmore Girls in 2004. He went on to star in movies like Night at the Museum, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn and Papillon. Rami Malek has also worked as a voice-over artist for video game projects such as Halo 2, Until Dawn and The Legend of Korra.
Visually, Malek bears a lesser resemblance to Mercury than Cohen. But he swiftly quelled any doubts with a stellar performance as the British musician. At the BAFTA, Malek explained why he thought that playing Freddie Mercury was anything but an easy job: "This was by far the most difficult job of my life. The thing about Queen is they have a built-in audience. Their music, it has lasted for generations. They’ve been working on music for 50 years. Everyone knows at least one Queen song."
Malek prepared extensively to transform into Mercury who was an eccentric musical genius, known for his flamboyance and his distinct physical appearance. To train as Mercury, Malek revealed that he wore prosthetic teeth on the sets of Mr Robot.
Malek was won 12 awards in total for his work in Mr Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody. He has been nominated for 43 times. For his role as Freddy Mercury, Malek has won the Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and the BAFTA Award. Although his wins make him a tough competitor this year at the Oscars, he's up against Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper who are also strong contenders this year.