“We could have gone further” in exploring the private life of Freddie Mercury.
Bohemian Rhapsody will return tonight on W9 (followed by the docu Freddie Mercury, the Great Pretender). To turn into Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek did a lot of research, then adapted to her look by wearing dentures, which changed her way of speaking, and by studying her gestures. The actor of Mr. Robot tried to be as close as possible to his model, but he still regrets not having been able to fully pay homage to the singer of Queen.
The revelations of the dental technician of Bohemian Rhapsody
Interviewed by Who.comin November 2018, Malek explained what made him accept this role, and also expressed a regret: that the film does not explore his private life enough, in particular with the man of his life, Jim Hutton. “We could have gone further”he explains before adding that he did not stop “to push for more emphasis on this aspect of his life. I don’t know if we succeeded at this level.”
In Bryan Singer’s biopic, we see Jim Hutton for a few scenes, played by Aaron McCusker, but he is actually less present than Mary Austin, Freddie’s fiancée in his youth, who is played by Lucy Boynton. This difference in screen time is mainly explained by the fact that Jim was mainly present alongside Freddie at the end of his life, during the preparation for Live Aid, in 1985, and the years that followed until on the death of the singer, in 1991, while the feature film is mainly interested in his beginning of career, until this famous charity concert.
Bohemian Rhapsody: Let’s untangle fact from fiction in Freddie Mercury’s biopic
Rami Malek also looks back on his extensive research before slipping into the role: “When I saw him on stage, I instinctively knew that I wanted to know more about him. He has this eloquence, this elegance, which means that when you watch one of his performances, you want to know where his talent comes from. Few artists can arrive all in leather, sip a glass of champagne and tell the guests that they can strip if it pleases them. All the while maintaining a certain presence, this ‘royal’ side”. In addition to watching videos, from music videos to concerts to interviews, Rami has read a lot about his role model: letters from Freddie to his family when he was in boarding school as a child, and several biographies, in order to understand who he was: “I never stop. Even after filming I re-read one of his bios to be sure that I hadn’t missed something!”
The result paid off, since after the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, the comedian won acclaim for his portrayal of the Queen frontman. He also received the Oscar in early 2019. Since then, Brian May has announced that he is seeking Ideas for the future…
Oscars 2019: Bohemian Rhapsody: Boredom at the Opera [critique]