Last week, in London, I got to attend the world premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody at Wembley Arena. Unlike most premieres, which are lucky to hold a thousand people, Wembley Arena is a huge building that normally hosts concerts. So for the world premiere of the Queen movie, 20th Century Fox filled the arena up with around seven thousand people and it was as interactive an experience as I’ve ever seen during the film’s big moments. When Queen is in the studio coming up with the beginning of “We Will Rock You”, the crowd was clapping and stomping with the band. Then, during the Live-Aid portion of the film, when the band is singing Radio Ga Ga, the crowd was clapping along. It was like being at a Queen concert and an experience I’ll never forget.
However, the day before the world premiere, I got to talk with producer Graham King about his long journey binging the Queen story to the big screen. During the wide-ranging interview, King talked about when he first knew Rami Malek was going to be a great Freddie Mercury, the challenges of filming the Live Aid sequence, what it was like screening the movie for Brian May and Roger Taylor, how close they came to making the project with another filmmaker and script, Freddie and Mary’s relationship, and so much more.
Finally, while the entire cast was great in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek’s performance was on another level. No matter what review you read or who you talk to, everyone is raving about his amazing performance as Freddie Mercury. His work alone is reason to see the movie.
Scripted by Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour), Bohemian Rhapsody follows the band Queen from their early days playing pubs to becoming one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. The film also stars Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Lucy Boynton, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Ben Hardy, Allen Leech, and Aaron McCusker.
Check out what he had to say in the player above.
- After 10 years, what is it like to finally have the movie coming out?
- How challenging was it to find the story that finally ended up on screen?
- Did any other version of the film get close to being made during the development process?
- How the first time he screened the film for Brian May and Roger Taylor he just watched Brian to see his reaction.
- How long was the first cut of the film and did they have a longer version of the film?
- Deleted scenes talk.
- The challenges of filming the Live Aid sequence.
- When did he first realize Rami Malek was going to be the perfect Freddie Mercury?
- Freddie and Mary’s relationship.
Here is the official synopsis for Bohemian Rhapsody:
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
For more on Bohemian Rhapsody:
- Rami Malek on Playing Freddie Mercury and Oscar Buzz
- ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Review: A Showcase of Music and Rami Malek
- Final ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Trailer Finds Freddie Mercury Under Pressure
- Exclusive: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ DP Newton Thomas Sigel on Live Aid, Rami Malek, and Bryan Singer’s Exit