Rami Malek's experience working with director Bryan Singer on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody was apparently "unpleasant." The recent Queen bio-pic - starring Malek as lead singer Freddie Mercury - has come under fire due to Singer's involvement.
Singer had originally been attached as the director of the film, but was fired due to an unexpected absence during the film's production. Singer was replaced by Dexter Fletcher (Eddie the Eagle) for the remainder of production, though Singer is still credited as director. According to Singer, this absence was due to one of his parents being severely ill, but his firing also came around the time that Singer had again been accused of sexual assault. Now that Bohemian Rhapsody has been out for a while, Malek has opened up about his time working with the controversial director.
According to THR, Malek did not have an enjoyable experience working with Singer. In an interview with the actor, Malek said, "In my situation with Bryan, it was not pleasant, not at all. And that's about what I can say about it at this point." Malek didn't go into detail about his experience with Singer as he wanted to keep Queen and Mercury the center of the conversation, but also recognized that people have the right to have their voice heard over allegations against the director. In response to the more recent sexual assault allegations against Singer, Malek issued the following statement:
"My heart goes out to anyone who has to live through anything like what I've heard and what is out there. 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."
Despite the controversies surrounding Bohemian Rhapsody, the film was still nominated for several Oscars for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. It was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing. Singer was heavily criticized for celebrating the film's Golden Globes win, and Bohemian Rhapsody was also pulled out of the running in the GLAAD Media Awards. Despite Malek's incredible portrayal of the rock legend, it's completely possible that Bohemian Rhapsody will also lose out on awards at the Oscars due to Singer's affiliation.
While Malek is now opening up a bit about his experiences with Singer, it was previously revealed that Malek and Singer often clashed on the set of Bohemian Rhapsody. Around the time that Singer was fired from the project, Malek had complained to Fox about the director's "unreliability and unprofessionalism," which makes his recent comments unsurprising. Even though Malek didn't go into detail about his issues with Singer, it makes sense why he would want to keep the focus on the victims, Queen, and the film, especially when we are in the midst of the awards season.