You may have seen Bohemian Rhapsody, but you might not know the drama happened behind the scenes. Rami Malek wasn't the first choice to play Freddie Mercury, and a director was fired... What we are about to tell you about this movie is guaranteed to blow your mind.
Less than three weeks away from wrapping production, director Bryan Singer failed to return to set because he claimed his mother was seriously ill. Fox fired him and hired Dexter Fletcher to complete the rest of the shoot. Although Fletcher replaced Singer on the set before filming was completed and assumed much of the film's vision work, Singer still retained the director's credit on the film. Fletcher got the executive producer credit.
Back in 2010, Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to play Freddie Mercury in the movie about the band. However, in 2013, Cohen exited the project due to creative differences. He wanted a gritty R-rated tell-all, while the band members wanted to make more of a PG movie about Queen. In 2016, Rami Malek officially joined the cast as Freddie Mercury.
In the movie, Lucy Boynton plays Mary Austin, whom Freddie regarded as "the love of his life." Mary and Freddie were together for six years and even got engaged. However, their romance ended when Freddie told Mary that he was bisexual. Off-screen, dating rumors about Rami and Boynton began to surface months after the filming was over. Rami finally made their relationship public by calling Boynton "my love" while accepting the Breakthrough Artist Award.
As the movie tells it, Freddie met Mary Austin, his longtime girlfriend, the same night he met the band Smile. Days later, Freddie found her in the place she was working and asked her out. The truth, however, is a little more complicated. Queen guitarist Brian May told Yahoo! Entertainment in 2017 that he was kind of going out with Mary first. One day Freddie came up to him and said, 'Are you serious with Mary? Can I ask her out?' And Freddie did.
Bohemian Rhapsody and Lady Gaga's film, A Star Is Born competed for Best Picture Oscars this year, but they were both defeated by Green Book. Lady Gaga actually likes Queen so much, that she even got her now-famous stage name from Queen song "Radio Ga Ga."
When the first trailer came out, many people weren't satisfied because it didn't show Freddie's struggles with his sexual identity. Seemingly responding to the controversy, a new trailer was released later, this time containing more explicit references to Freddie's sexuality.
Freddie actually envisioned a movie about himself whilst he was alive. He said in Freddie Mercury: His Life in His Own Words, "Also, I have visions of actually having a film made of my life story, one day, which I would have a key part in. I might not play the lead myself...It'll be totally triple X-rated." We know Bohemian Rhapsody isn't triple X-rated.
Rami Malek opened up about how he got his role in the movie on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "Our producers Graham King and Denis O'Sullivan saw me in Mr. Robot, of all things. I think a lot of it had to do with the jawline...because he does have a very austere jawline," Rami explained. Of course, we know it had a lot to do with his superb acting skills too.
You can't be Freddie Mercury without his signature teeth. Rami believed the false teeth were an essential part of his transformation into the Queen frontman. He started wearing his false teeth a year before the filming. When the movie was done, he kept the teeth and had them cast in gold. He explained, "In the spirit of Freddie, what would be more him than casting these in gold?"
In the movie, when Freddie entered the stage at Wembley Stadium in the Live Aid concert, he ran into a smiling guy in black. The man is none other than U2 member Bono. When the actor who was supposed to play Bono didn't show up, the producers looked around and noticed Rob. It turned out that Rob looked more like Bono than the original guy.
In Bohemian Rhapsody, we can see many cats in Freddie's home and he wants to speak to them on the phone. In really, Freddie did love cats that much. His personal assistant said, "He'd get to a hotel. We'd dial through, and he really would talk to his cats. Mary would hold Tom and Jerry in turn up to the receiver to listen to Freddie talking. This continued throughout the years with successive feline occupants of his house."
At the end of the movie, Queen played 4 songs, including "Bohemian Rhapsody" at the Live Aid concert. However, the last scene in the movie was actually shot first. Cinematographer Newton Thomas Seigel said, "It's kind of a crazy thing to start the shoot with one of the hardest and most pivotal moments, but it allowed the cast to come together early and create their chemistry."
In the movie, Freddie decided to make a solo album with CBS records, which made the other members extremely angry. We got the impression that Freddie broke the band. In reality, everyone in the Queen agreed to take a break after 1982's Hot Space. Later in 1983, they got together and started working for their next album, The Works.
In the movie, Freddie told his band members that he got AIDS before the Live Aid concert in 1985. According to his partner, Jim Hutton, Freddie didn't realize he had AIDS until 1987. His bandmates found out about his condition in 1989.
Many of the costumes Rami wore in the film were actually clothes that belonged to Freddie himself, such as the cropped white leather jacket that made Freddie look like an angry lizard. Brian May loaned the cast a lot of clothes that the band wore in the '70s and '80s.
Producer Ray Foster, who told Queen in the movie that no radio station would play "Bohemian Rhapsody," doesn't exist in real life. However, there were indeed several executives who said that no radio station would play a six-minute song. Foster is just a mixture of these people.
In Bohemian Rhapsody, Jim Hutton was a waiter. Freddie met Hutton at one of his big parties and drunkenly hits on him. In real life, Hutton was actually an Irish hairdresser, and Freddie met him at a London club in March of 1985. Hutton later moved into Freddie's house and stayed with Freddie until the very end.
In Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen asked John Reid to be their manager while they were preparing for A Night at the Opera. Freddie fired Reid because he suggested Freddie should leave and pursue a solo career. In real life, Reid peacefully split from the band. Jim Beach, Queen's lawyer at the time, became the manager of the band, and he remains the position till today.
Freddie died of bronchial pneumonia in 1991. John Deacon, bass guitarist of Queen, retired from the band in 1997 and now lives a quiet life in the suburbs. He wasn't involved in the creation of the film. But he gave permission to use the songs that he had written. Brian May, lead guitarist of Queen, and Roger Taylor, drummer of Queen, helped create the film. They still participate in Queen-related projects now.
Rami has earned critical acclaim for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody. When asked how he prepared for such a huge role, Rami answered, "I would consistently go back to his interviews and performances just to understand the [different] sides of him." He also took singing lessons, piano lessons, and flew to London on his own time to do research. He even got a chance to speak to Freddie's sister.