Actor Rami Malek poses for photographers upon arrival at the World premiere of the film 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in London Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. Picture: AP

American actor Rami Malek has revealed he felt "terrified" playing Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

The 37-year-old actor stars as the iconic musician in the new movie, and Rami has admitted to initially feeling anxious about the challenge of playing Freddie.

He confessed: "Every part of me was terrified. But then, what are you going to do? It's an opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn't pass it up."

Despite the pressure, Rami was determined to ensure that his on-screen performance was as natural as possible.

In fact, the actor made a conscious decision not to imitate the Queen star, who died in 1991 from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

He told the Belfast Telegraph newspaper: "I was very cognisant of not wanting to imitate him or impersonate him at all. 

"I started to think about how everything he did was spontaneous, in the moment. He is someone who lived every moment as if it was his last, I feel.

"I think that's what makes him so gorgeous. He's so authentic, and I wanted to be that authentic on stage, so I tried never to just copy his moves. I wanted them to spring from me as if they were happening to him."

Although he was aware of Queen and Freddie's success prior to shooting 'Bohemian Rhapsody', Rami still took a crash-course on the cultural icon before the cameras started rolling.

He shared: "I knew the music, I knew Freddie's iconic look, but I did not know the glam-rock era. 

"I didn't know the early songs, which now I'm fascinated by. It was like going to school just to study, to get a degree in Queen and Freddie Mercury.

"I think most people identify Freddie as this crop-haired, moustachioed, tank-top wearing muscular man who had a ton of bravado and machismo, so it was astonishing to get to know the many versions and the very sweet side of him as well.