Rami Malek, who plays Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, has responded to claims that the movie ignores the Queen frontman’s sexuality and battle with AIDS.
The accusations came after the release of the movie’s trailer, which chooses to focus primarily on the music of the popular British rock band. “It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music. It’s difficult,” the “Mr. Robot” star told Attitude magazine.
“First, let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS. I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer.”
After the trailer dropped, writer and producer Bryan Fuller put out a tweet asking if anyone else was “annoyed” by the teaser.
In a further tweet, the “American Gods” producer wrote: “I feel what the trailer is doing is queer-erasure. If they were out and proud with his bi-sexuality they would have indicated he was bi-sexual.”
The scene in question shows Mercury meeting his lifelong companion Mary Austin, something that Malik described as crucially important. “They just had this infinite understanding for each other. It’s something you have to address, the way you have to address his sexuality in the film.”
He later added that the film will approach Mercury’s battle with AIDS in a “delicate manner.”
“It was an important moment to have in the film, one that ultimately is very sad but also empowering in a way. It shows you just how resilient human beings can be and how much we rely on the strength of our friends and family to get us through tough times.
“This pandemic is still very much a horrific threat to so many people in the world. It exists as a reality for so many that I think it would be a shame not to address it.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” hits theatres November 2.