The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has rode massive box-office success all the way to six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for star Rami Malek, despite middling reviews and controversies surrounding director Bryan Singer, who was fired midway through the shoot. Singer reportedly threw electrical equipment in fights with Malek on set, but he also has a history of allegations of sexual misconduct, all of which he has denied, that precede the making of the movie. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times today, Malek said he was unaware of those allegations before making the film. “As far as I knew, I was considered before Bryan was even attached. So I had my head down preparing for this for about a year ahead of time, and I never really looked up,” Malek said. “I didn’t know much about Bryan. I think that the allegations and things were, believe it or not, honestly something I was not aware of, and that is what it is. Who knows what happens with that … but I think somehow we found a way to persevere through everything that was thrown our way.”
“Perhaps that was Freddie himself doing it, because we wanted to make a product that was worthy of him,” Malek continued. “Who knows? I’m just proud that this cast and crew collectively raised their game and we depended on one another. It was a testament to everyone’s spirit and courage and skill. And one thing I will say about everyone — almost everyone — we never gave up. How about that?”
In December 2017, days after being fired from Bohemian Rhapsody, Singer was sued for raping a 17-year-old boy at a party in 2003. He had been previously accused of forcing several minors to strip naked for a scene in Apt Pupil in 1997 and sued in 2014 by a man who claimed Singer raped him when he was a teenager, though the accuser eventually withdrew that lawsuit. Though he retained his directing credit on the film even after Dexter Fletcher finished directing it, Singer has been conspicuously absent from Bohemian Rhapsody’s awards campaign. He did, however, thank the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Instagram when the film won Best Drama at the Golden Globes.