"It's a shame that people are making remarks after a minute teaser where you just wanna see the music," the actor told Attitude magazine in an article published Thursday. "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 full-length trailer, which debuted in July, gestured toward Mercury's sexual relationships and teased his AIDS diagnosis. The Queen lead singer passed away from complications of the disease in 1991 at age 45.
Malek stressed to the publication that the film does touch upon the pandemic, but manages to make the tragedy "empowering."
"The film needed to approach it in a delicate manner," he said. "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," Malek continued. "It exists as a reality for so many that I think it would be a shame not to address it."
The Emmy winner also explained he knew playing the rock icon wasn't going to be an easy feat.
"I was very self-aware from the onset that I was never going to portray Freddie Mercury as he was, with all of his idiosyncrasies, charisma," he said. "I will never exactly be this man. All I could do was make as strong of an attempt as possible to capture his essence."
"I just had to remove myself from that kind of 'monkey on your back' that you have to be Freddie Mercury," he added. "No one will ever be Freddie Mercury, there will only ever be one. I just wanted to possibly open up a window to what his story was all about."
The biopic follows the story of how the legendary band came to be and focuses on the years leading up to their Live Aid concert appearance in 1985. The film, which also stars Mike Myers, Aidan Gillen, Joseph Mazzello, and Ben Hardy, hits theaters November 2.