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Rami Malek insists Freddie Mercury’s sexuality and battle with Aids will feature in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The actor responds to 'straight-washing' criticism in the new October issue of Attitude.

By Steve Brown

He’s set to bring the story of one of the world’s most beloved LGBT icons to life in upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, and Rami Malek insists that the film doesn’t shy away from depicting the reality of Freddie Mercury’s life.

Despite the anticipation surrounding the film, which is set to hit UK cinemas next month (28 October), the picture has already become embroiled in controversy after some accused the first full trailer of “straight-washing” the late star’s life.

Resonding to the criticism in an exclusive interview in the October issue of Attitude – available to download and to order globally – Malek, 37, says that Bohemian Rhapsody couldn’t have been made without portraying Mercury’s sexuality and untimely death from Aids.

“It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music,” the Mr Robot star says.

Rami Malek, shot by Damon Baker for the October of Attitude

“It’s difficult. 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.

The Emmy-winning star continues:“The film needed to approach it in a delicate manner. You can’t shy away from it. 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.”

See Rami Malek’s full shoot and interview in the October issue of Attitude, ow now featuring two other special covers with Cher and Andy Cohen.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 for download to any device.