Bohemian Rhapsody, the story of the legendary Freddie Mercury, was a big-screen success from its launch day, with fans of Queen and Mercury, along with the general public, flocking to theatres to see the back story of the music icon.
Mercury, in his day, shook the world and left indefinable footprints across the music of his time. The film showcased phenomenal concert moments, showed the story behind his award-winning songs and revived the legend of Queen and the singer. Here are just 10 details you might not have noticed about the show or known about the making of the phenomenal movie:
10 Inspired by the Old West
The actual song Bohemian Rhapsody was first started by Freddie Mercury in 1968. It was begun with just one line, ‘Mama, I just killed a man’. Mercury said his inspiration had been the Old West and truth be told, he almost called the popular song, ‘The Cowboy Song’.
As he worked on the lyrics and chiseled them into what is today’s famous Bohemian Rhapsody, he changed the name. Today, some fans call it ‘Bo Rhap’ but somehow one couldn’t imagine the song with any other name.
9 Big names in the industry come together
The crew behind the movie included some big names in Tinsel Town, who gave it a solid foundation of gold on which to build big-screen success. Many well-regarded industry staples added their might to the film’s proceedings.
Among those pulling strings behind the scenes was screen legend Robert De Niro, known for his skill and industry know-how. He joined the Bohemian Rhapsody team as one of the producers. Fans might not know that De Niro has been producing movies for many years. He was also extensively involved in producing Queen The Musical.
8 All in good time
Fans of the movie might not realize the extent of the work that went on behind the scenes of the film. The movie took a full ten years to take flight. Before it ever came to the big screen, issues among actors and directors had to be ironed out.
There were also other numerous delays and specifics which had to be worked out but a decade’s delay did not stop it from being a smashing success. It just goes to show that when one believes they are sitting on gold, the dream is worth pursuing.
7 Recreating the past
Sure, movie directors often place products on set as deliberate product placements for advertising purposes. However, in Bohemian Rhapsody, the Pepsi glasses on the piano are not part of an attempt by advertisers to sell their product through the movie.
Rather, they are an attempt by directors to realistically capture well-known scenes from Freddy Mercury’s life, down to the finest detail. Another example would be the air kiss which Mercury gave to his mother while standing on the stage, during a performance. This event is reproduced in the film’s narrative.
Remember that wacky 1990s movie, Wayne’s World? In the movie, a younger Mike Myers was shown singing Bohemian Rhapsody with his friends in their car. This action-filled scene, with head banging and out-of-tune vocals, is possibly one of Wayne’s World’s most iconic scenes.
Ironically Myers was cast as an EMI executive in the movie. This same executive was the one who didn’t like Bohemian Rhapsody. A twist of fate for Myers and a fascinating snippet of information for fans of the movie.
5 The Live Aid Stage was reproduced
Reconstructing the past for the movie also meant reconstructing certain structures from the 80s which no longer exists. To give an example, the part of Wembley Stadium where Live Aid was held had to be completely rebuilt for filming, as this 1985 version of the stadium is no longer in existence.
It was reconstructed on an airfield in London and the original director of Live Aid, seeing the reconstruction, was blown away by how authentic the set was!
4 A Soloist rises
The movie shows the Queen members splitting up as a result of Freddie Mercury’s solo album contracts. Band members were shown criticizing him and saying he had ‘killed Queen’ by agreeing to the contracts.
The reality was that each of the band members had been trying to start their own solo albums at the time Mercury was awarded his solo contract. Call it jealousy or pettiness, but good on Mercury for standing his ground!
3 From dinosaur park to stage
Time flies in the entertainment industry: a child star one day, an adult screen legend the next. In Bohemian Rhapsody this is true for actor Joseph Mazzello. Movie fans might recognize him as the rascal from Jurassic Park. The spoiled brat whose menacing gets him into a little more trouble than he would have hoped for.
In Bohemian Rhapsody, Mazzello takes on a completely different role. Now an adult, he plays the part of Queen’s bass player, John Deacon. From dinosaur theme park visitor to the stage… not a bad transition!
2 Rami takes the lead
Talented actor Sacha Baron Cohen was originally chosen for the character of Freddie Mercury. For any actor, this is an immense challenge – one which Cohen was admittedly up to. However, Cohen’s dreams of strutting his stuff as Mercury on stage weren’t fully realized.
His reputation as being a comedian with a love for pranks meant that things didn’t work out as expected. The result? Rami Malek took the reigns as Queen’s lead. The rest you could say was history.
1 Perfect moves
Ever wondered how Rami Malek put on such a strong performance? Polly Bennett, a world-renowned British choreographer, worked with Malek to perfect and convincingly recreate Freddie Mercury’s signature moves and mannerisms.
From Mercury’s trademark cocky strut on the stage, to signature eye glances and body turns, Malek got his performance of the legendary performer down to a fine art. What’s more, every flick of the microphone had to be exactly right. It was a tough act to produce but with Bennett’s help, Malek pulled it off.
NEXT: 10 Music Biopics You’ve Probably Forgotten About (That Aren’t Rocketman)