Fake teeth. Mustache wigs. A prosthetic nose.
These are all things that “went 100 miles” in transforming Rami Malek into the ever-exuberant Freddie Mercury for Bohemian Rhapsody, the film’s hair and makeup department lead Jan Sewell told POPSUGAR. “You don’t necessarily want them to look exactly alike, but you do want to catch the essence of the person,” she said, adding that it took watching hundreds of hours’ worth of footage to get his look just right.
“You don’t necessarily want them to look exactly alike, but you do want to catch the essence of the person.”
Hence, the minutiae tweaks. “Rami’s strong jawline is very similar to Freddie’s, so that’s fantastic, but not much else was the same,” Sewell explained. It’s why she made “so many pairs” of artificial teeth to recreate the Queen frontman’s pronounced overbite – “because it was a big piece of Freddie, so we kept changing them even by just a millimeter shorter or longer,” she said – and ordered countless different mustaches.
The stakes were high, after all: this is one of the most legendary rock stars in history. “In one of my first conversations with Rami, I knew he was was keen to try anything I wanted to do,” she said. “Whatever it took.” The rest of the details (which you can read ahead), as they say, will rock you.