6 Ways Bohemian Rhapsody Ignored Queen’s True Story
The movie Bohemian Rhapsody had a long journey to the silver screen. It took almost 10 years to get a green light on the project and finally start casting. The first actor to play Freddie Mercury was Sacha Baron Cohen, but he left soon after realizing this film was not going to be as realistic as he wanted. Then Rami Malek came along and the rest is history.
Bright Side has tried to found out how much of the movie is the real life and how much of it is a fantasy.
Don’t miss out on our bonus at the end of the article!
1. Members of the band Smile and Freddie knew each other for a few years before Queen got together.
In the movie, Freddie meets Smile members in the parking lot right after their lead singer, Tim Staffell, just quit. Mercury says he has been following the band for some time and would like to join them as a lead singer as soon as they are in need of one.
However, in real life, Freddie was actually introduced to future Queen members by Tim Staffell, who he went to college with and who was a good friend. Mercury dreamt of being a lead singer, so when Staffell had enough of Smile, Freddie took over his position right away.
2. Freddie Mercury’s eyes were brown not blue.
Critics may not love the film, but one thing is for sure — the actors have been chosen perfectly. Gwilym Lee, who plays Brian May looks like his son. Ben Hardy has the same ability to light up everything with his smile as Roger Taylor did and Joseph Mazzello somehow has the firm John Deacon grin nailed down perfectly.
However, Rami Malek has big, beautiful blue eyes, while Freddie’s eyes were dark brown. This doesn’t affect Malek’s performance in a bad way, but some fans have found it strange that they used a prosthetic nose, fake teeth, and so much effort in the quest to make Malek look like Mercury, but then they skipped the eye thing.
3. Meeting Mary Austin
The woman to whom Queen dedicated one of its most beautiful songs — Life of My Life — was actually Brian May’s girlfriend at first. Brian and Freddie spotted Mary Austin in the boutique where she worked. As a true friend and gentleman, Mercury asked May if it was serious between him and Mary and afterward Brian answered negatively, so he invited Mary on a date.
In the movie, the story is more romantic. Mary and Freddie meet each other for the first time backstage and it seems like they fell in love at first sight. Even though it’s not 100% accurate, it looks magical and realistic at the same time.
4. Freddie and his lover Paul Prenter didn’t break up because Paul hid information about Live Aid.
In the movie Paul Prenter, Mercury’s lover and manager, turned down calls from Freddie’s friends, didn’t give him his messages from his company, and tried very hard to isolate Freddie from the world. When the invitation for Live Aid appears he hides it from Mercury and when Freddie finally finds out the truth he leaves Prenter.
The goal here was probably to make Prenter seem as bad as possible. He was a traitor in reality and did sell photos and information about Freddie’s personal life after their break-up. But the break-up itself happened after Paul Prenter trashed Mercury’s house during one of his craziest parties.
5. Freddie wasn’t the one to break up Queen
One of the most heartbreaking moments in the movie is when Mercury is leaving the band, but this didn’t actually happen in reality. Queen never officially broke up. They paused their touring, but were still together in the studio. Moreover, Freddie wasn’t even the first to release a solo album.
In 1981 Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor released his first solo album Fun in Space. After that Brian May released Star Fleet Project in 1983. The next year Taylor’s second solo album Strange Frontier came out. And it wasn’t until 1985 that Freddie Mercury released his first solo album called Mr. Bad Guy.
6. Revealing his diagnosis
In the movie, Mercury shares the tragic news of being diagnosed with HIV with the band during their first rehearsal 3 weeks before the Live Aid show in 1985. At that time he was struggling with serious symptoms, like coughing up blood and having trouble singing. Back in the real world, Mercury found out he was ill a year after Live Aid.
There was a made up story about a Queen reunion for Live Aid about a month before the event, but this was most likely done in order to raise the stakes of the legendary performance.
To film a movie like this is not just costly, but also requires the involvement of a great number of people who you need to consult with. The thing with biopics is that you can easily offend relatives, friends, or people who were around the band a long time ago. We found a few interesting facts about creating Bohemian Rhapsody.
1) Despite the fact that his character was shown just for just a few seconds, Tim Staffell actually liked the movie and even reconnected with his old pals to re-record the Smile song called Doing Alright for the film.
2) A few years before his death, Freddie asked Austin for the last favor: to take and bury his ashes in a secret place. So she did. For more than 2 decades nobody except Mary Austin knew where Mercury was buried. As for the movie, she refused to take part in the production but approved the script.
3) The last scene in the movie — the performance at Wembley Stadium — was shot on the first day of shooting. It was nearly identical to the real show and Malek copied every movement Freddie made during those 20 minutes.
Have you already seen the movie? Have you noticed any other inconsistencies? Or maybe you’ve got some other interesting facts to spill? Share with us in the comments!