In my high school speech class, our teacher was having us do an exercise. She told us she was going to play a song and we had to write down as many lyrics we could understand, as fast as possible. With my pen and paper ready, she turned on the song and I couldn’t help but grin. As feverishly as I could, I began to write down every single lyric to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
This biopic was one of the most highly-anticipated films of the fall movie season. Rami Malek gives the performance of his career as Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the world-famous rock band, Queen. Before the fame and fancy outfits, Freddie worked at an airport by day and went out each night, looking for a place to belong. He stumbled upon a band called Smile at a bar and, just his luck, they were in need of a new lead singer. Freddie knew this was his opportunity to break free so he convinced the band members – Brian May and Roger Taylor – to let him join. The rest is history.
Bohemian Rhapsody takes the audience on a wild journey that spans almost 20 years. We see the band form, have the highest of highs and lowest of lows. We see Freddie finding love and struggling with his sexuality. The audience even gets a glimpse of what went into creating some of Queen’s most famous songs including Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You and, of course, Bohemian Rhapsody.
The acting in this film is incredible. For Malek, his performance as Freddie Mercury is beyond an impersonation. The actors portraying the band members also gave this film their all, making every moment believable. You almost forget you aren’t watching the real band themselves.
As always, I have tons of fun facts about this film. Here are 5 things you should know about Bohemian Rhapsody:
1. It’s no spoiler that the movie ends with the iconic Live Aid performance from July 13, 1985. Even though this caps the film, this was actually day one of filming. That’s right – Malek had no time to tread water. He was thrown right into being Mercury, which is a true testament to his acting abilities.
2. Malek studied Mercury’s moves and mannerisms on stage and wanted to get them right. Originally, he had been assigned to work a choreographer but instead asked to work with a movement coach. Check out Malek on Ellen, where he talks about the process to perfecting Freddie’s stage presence.
3. Joseph Mazzello, who played bassist John Deacon, doesn’t only look familiar due to his resemblance to the band member which he portrays. You might remember him from his role as Tim in a little movie called Jurassic Park.
4. One thing I can always tell is when people are lip-singing but with all the close-ups of Mercury’s teeth, that wasn’t an option for Malek. He took voice lessons leading up to shooting in preparation. Although you only hear his real voice in small parts of the movie, he was actually singing while acting to make sure it was seamless.
5. There is another familiar face in the film that is a little harder to recognize. Mike Meyers plays Ray Foster, a (fictional) record executive who passes on signing Queen. He also states that no teenagers would ever bang their heads to Queen in the back of a car, which is a nod to his role in Waynes World, where his character does just that.
Bohemian Rhapsody is getting mixed reviews and I’ve already had a lot of people ask me on my opinion about that. Here is what I tell them – This film wasn’t made for film critics. This film was made for Queen fans. It was made for misfits. It was made for dreamers. If you can’t handle the slower, not-so-fun parts of this film, you don’t deserve its magical, powerful performances. You can’t help but stomp your feet, wiggle in your theater chair and cheer for one of the best bands of all time.
When the song was over that day in speech class, I looked around the room and was shocked at the number of my classmates that looked flustered and confused. Most had never even heard the song before. I will never forget that day, just as I will never forget every word to the 5:55 second song that solidified my love for rock N’ roll.
Bohemian Rhapsody is in theaters now!
Click here for my podcast with Montez for even more fun facts.