Queen Had A Say In Who Bohemian Rhapsody Cast As Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody characters performing
(Image credit: (Fox))

Some talents who are successful enough to reach icon status might find themselves watching on the sidelines as Hollywood tells their story for the silver screen. That wasn't the case for the remaining band members of Queen, as they were part of the creative process for the upcoming biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as their stunning lead singer, Freddie Mercury. The film will take audiences through the journey of the band, leading up to their legendary appearance at Live Aid in 1985. On Rami Malek's latest appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he was asked how involved the band had a hand in casting him as Mercury and themselves to which he said,

Very much so. And all of the cast. [Brian] had a say in, of course, who played him as well.

What an honor for the actors of Bohemian Rhapsody to be picked with the help of the British rock band. Apart from Rami Malek taking on the late-great Freddie Mercury, the rest of the members would be meeting the icons they play. 2017's Jamestown television series actor Gwilym Lee as lead guitarist Brian May, Ben Hardy from X-Men: Apocalypse as drummer Roger Taylor and Jurassic Park's Joseph Mazzello as bassist John Deacon. While Malek has already gained past acclaim for his Emmy-winning performance on Mr. Robot, the rest of the band members' actors aren't nearly as well known.

During Rami Malek's interview on Jimmy Kimmel, he explained that their first five days on set dove right into it, as the actors shot the Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium as Queen in front of an audience and also in front of Queen. Talk about an intimidating first day at work. Malek called it terrifying and said:

They are there. They were there from the beginning... They were there constantly, and I appreciated it.

Rami Malek especially appreciated it because it allowed him to play a little prank on Ben Hardy on set, as he convinced some of the crew members to tell the actor that Queen drummer Roger Taylor had one request: for Hardy to complete the extremely complex drum solo in the song "Keep Yourself Alive." On the call sheet, the plan was to only play the first verse and skip over it. As a result, Hardy didn't leave his trailer for a while, likely in a panic, but Malek did finally let him in on the joke.

Bohemian Rhapsody has faced some controversy during production, as director Bryan Singer was fired for reportedly being frequently absent on set, and Dexter Fletcher stepped in as his replacement, although it's also been said that Singer was tending to an ill parent. Singer will get directing credit for the potential Oscar contender despite his firing. We will have a clearer picture of how well the Queen biopic came together when the title is released in theaters on November 2. Although with the approval of the actual band during the process, it looks like a promising depiction of their story.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.