How Queen's Brian May Helped Lucy Boynton Prepare Her Bohemian Rhapsody Role

Lucy Boynton and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

Actors can draw inspiration from unexpected sources. When one is doing a biopic, it's vital if the subject you are personifying is still available. You could learn so much just by speaking with them repeatedly. But for Bohemian Rhapsody, Lucy Boynton spoke with the people who surrounded her character, Mary Austin, to get the full sense of how to properly play her. When speaking of her prep, Boynton told CinemaBlend:

Brian May was my main source of information about all things Mary. He was actually the person who introduced Freddie and Mary. But talking to his wife, Anita Dobson, as well... she spent a lot of time with Mary when they would travel with the band. And so, just to get that insight into Mary -- not when she was even with Freddie, but just her, on her own, in a kind of intimate environment, as Anita was with her -- to get that kind of insight into her was very unique and special.

One could argue that Mary Austin was the most important person in Freddie Mercury's life... and that's saying a lot. Bohemian Rhapsody tells the account of their friendship, which began as a romance but changed over time as Mercury embraced his homosexuality.

But Mary Austin didn't leave Freddie's life at that time, instead staying around him as a close friend and support system. In fact, in a 1985 interview with the New York Post, Mercury basically called his relationship with Mary a "common-law" marriage, stating that no other lover could ever replace Mary in his heart, and in his life.

It makes for a complicated role for Lucy Boynton to perfect over the course of a two-hour movie that also needs to get to all of Freddie Mercury's milestones with Queen. Basically, you couldn't make a Freddie Mercury movie without finding room for Mary Austin. But because Bohemian Rhapsody is also a Queen film, Mary has to spend some time on the sidelines.

So in order to figure out what made this lady tick, and why she was important to Freddie Mercury's life and process, Sing Street standout Lucy Boynton went to the sources that could help her breathe life into her portrayal, and it benefitted Bohemian Rhapsody in the process.

Here's Lucy Boynton, speaking with CinemaBlend about her preparation for the Queen biopic:

Bohemian Rhapsody has been a surprise hit. While many thought it could do well, the film got off to a huge jump at the box office, earning more than $50 million in its opening frame. It could hold on to the top spot at the box office, though it'd need to hold off The Girl in the Spider's Web and The Grinch to pull that off.

What will you go see this weekend?

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.