Rami Malek: working with Bryan Singer was ‘not pleasant’

The Oscar-nominated actor has spoken out about his experiences filming Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek, the Oscar frontrunner for his role as Freddie Mercury in biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, has spoken out against the film’s sometime director Bryan Singer.

Speaking at the Santa Barbara film festival, an emotional Malek said: “My situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that’s about what I can say about it at this point.”

Singer was replaced as director by Dexter Fletcher well into production, but retains sole credit, and the sexual abuse allegations that emerged shortly after his being fired were not cited as the cause for his exit.

However, Malek urged the audience to seek succour from Singer’s fate.

“For anyone who is seeking any solace in all of this,” he said, “Bryan Singer was fired. Bryan Singer was fired – I don’t think that was something anyone saw coming but I think that had to happen and it did.”

Singer has categorically denied sexual abuse allegations.

Malek has previously said he was unaware of the allegations against Singer before shooting, but has spoken of “creative differences” with the director and of the “tumultuous” set.

Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Photograph: 20th Century Fox

The latest claims against Singer were detailed in a recent article in The Atlantic, in which Singer was accused by four men of having sex with them while they were underage.

“My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I’ve heard and what is out there,” said Malek. “It’s awful, it’s remarkable that this happens, I can appreciate so much what they’ve been through and how difficult this must be for them. In the light of the #MeToo era, that this somehow seems to exist after that, it’s a horrible thing.”

Winner of the best drama Golden Globe last month, Bohemian Rhapsody has been a break-out hit of this awards season, taking $800m (£613m) at the global box office. Singer is estimated to make $40m (£31m) from the movie; a backlash is mounting to the news that he is still engaged to direct forthcoming thriller Red Sonja.

Staff and agencies

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