In a new interview with The Guardian, Rami Malek has detailed his experience with being cast as the late Freddy Mercury in the new Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. 

The casting process was lengthy and arduous. Notable British names like Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw were thrown around to play the leading role.

When asked about how he felt about the being cast to take on this career-defining role, Malek described it as a“Kind of the gun-to-the-head moment,”. He continued. “What do you do? And I like to think if it’s a fight or flight situation, I’m going to fight. The scariest endeavours that I’ve chosen to take in my life have been the most fulfilling and rewarding. And this has proven to defend that equation.”

Malek has also revealed that he watched Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance ‘probably somewhere around 1500 times, maybe more’ he continued “Things won’t exactly always match up, there might be a hint of something that’s off, but I think that kept it feeling really alive and in the moment and it was better to sacrifice it that way, but yeah, I was watching it non-stop.”

Watch: Bohemian Rhapsody Official Trailer