Actor Rami Malek says music icon Freddie Mercury guided him in finding his Bond antagonist. The actor, who won his maiden best actor Oscar for his role as the Queen frontman in "Bohemian Rhapsody" last year, said Mercury inspired him to be "original".
"If I went in there and tried to make a carbon copy of someone, what joy or fun would that be for anybody?
"I guess that may be a lesson I learned from Mr Mercury. If it's not original, then why bother?" Malek told Empire magazine.
The actor plays the mysterious new Bond villain Safin in "No Time To Die".
"I've pocketed some things from some of my favourites. But I tried to every day imbue this character with something I thought made sense for the character, but might also at the same time be shocking and unnerving," he said of the character.
Malek also said he spent a lot of time with dialogue coach William Conacher on the film, directed by Cary Fukunaga, to develop a distinctive voice for his character.
"I wanted to create something that we couldn't quite peg from any particular part of the world," he added.
Fronted by Daniel Craig, "No Time To Die" opens in April.