Bohemian Rhapsody, which is on Channel 4 tonight, was initially met with a lukewarm reaction from the critics upon its release back in 2018. Yet the Queen biopic went on to make over $900 million worldwide, with Rami Malek bagging the Best Actor Oscar for his incredible portrayal of the late great Freddie Mercury. But did you know that Sir Brian May had mixed emotions watching the hit movie?
Sir Brian previously confessed to Classic Rock: “Joy and horror and sadness and all those big emotions. I’ve seen it hundreds of times now, in fragments and eventually coming together, and it still gets me, I must say. It’s very emotional. It’s all about Freddie. Yes, we are in there, but the story is about Freddie and that was always the aim. Obviously, Freddie is so precious to us. One of the great breakthroughs early on was [screenwriter] Peter Morgan saying: ‘This is a film about family.’ It’s about all the stuff that happens in a family – some good, some bad, the going away, the searching for independence and then the nurture of the family. It’s a film about that stuff, on one level, and then it’s about Freddie’s emerging talent, his amazing resilience and sense of humour.”
In the same interview, the Queen guitarist shared his favourite Freddie Mercury scene in Bohemian Rhapsody – one that was almost cut from the movie.
Sir Brian said: “My favourite Rami moment is when Freddie is plucking up the courage to tell us he’s going off to do his solo album. It’s a wonderful piece of acting – and a lot of that wasn’t in the script. And when I watch it I feel that is so Freddie. He’d talk quietly, puff on his cigarette, not want to come out with the words. Eventually, he did it – in a very cut-and-dry manner. But you can see the angst inside. That scene nearly got cut from the movie – that’s a little secret – just because there’s always this pressure to make things shorter. But we fought for that scene to stay in, because the realism of it is quite gut-wrenching. That was a difficult moment for us. It’s Freddie kinda leaving his family.”
The Queen legend has also previously shared with Express.co.uk his excitement over Bohemian Rhapsody 2 ideas. The original film ended with Live Aid in 1985 and Freddie had six more years before losing his battle with AIDS.
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Sir Brian told us: “It’s going to take a lot of careful thought and a lot of magical inspiration – which is what happened [with Bohemian Rhapsody]. Y’know, it took us 12 years to put that film together. So maybe it’s going to take just as long for this. It’s going to take a lot of careful thought and a lot of magical inspiration – which is what happened [with Bohemian Rhapsody]. Y’know, it took us 12 years to put that film together. So maybe it’s going to take just as long for this. For the moment we’re just looking at ideas, that’s it. It is exciting, I have to say. The thought of going through that all again is very attractive; working with that wonderful team again. The four guys who played us and the team who produced it and directed it and everything. It was all amazing.”
The 75-year-old even liked our suggestion for the title of the Freddie Mercury sequel. We asked the star: “What else could it be called but The Show Must Go On?” The Queen legend replied: “Ahhh…it’s a distinct possibility, isn’t it? I can’t say it’s a bad idea…”