The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody ends with the rousing Live Aid performance that is electric and emotionally moving and concludes the film on a high note. Countless audience members left the theater feeling positively elated and affirmed, probably queuing up some Queen to listen to on the drive home. But for Brian May’s wife Anita Dobson, Bohemian Rhapsody brought her to tears, as she explained:
The first time I saw a rough cut of the film I was in shreds at the end I had to leave and go and sit in the ladies for a while.
While speaking on Loose Women, as reported by Metro, Anita Dobson was mentioning how emotional it was to see Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury during the first day of filming on Bohemian Rhapsody. The actress and singer praised how the Oscar-winning actor truly became the iconic frontman. So when she finally saw a rough cut of Bohemian Rhapsody and that performance, it proved to be an emotionally trying experience.
Rather than end the film with Freddie Mercury’s death and battle with AIDS, Bohemian Rhapsody chose to end on a happy note with the Live Aid concert. That may have brought tears of joy to many an audience member’s eye, but it sounds like Anita Dobson was an emotional wreck and needed to take time to collect herself. This is surely because Anita Dobson actually knew Freddie Mercury in real life.
In watching the film, she was in a way seeing Freddie again, and I imagine that in addition to being reminded of happy memories she was also reminded that he was gone. That understandably made her quite sad. Most people aren’t usually reminded of loved ones that are gone in such a direct manner.
That is testament to the film itself and particularly Rami Malek’s performance that it moved someone who knew Freddie Mercury in such a way. Malek’s performance wasn’t the only one that impressed Anita Dobson though. She was also a fan of Gwilym Lee’s portrayal of her husband, Brian May. Praising his performance, she said:
He was amazing. He got all of Brian’s little mannerisms and the way he holds his hand.
If anyone knows a person’s most subtle ticks and mannerisms, it’s their spouse. Anita Dobson and Brian May met back in 1986 and got married in 2000. That’s three decades of knowing a person and almost two of marriage, so it says a lot that Gwilym Lee incorporated Brian May’s mannerisms into his performance and was so convincing that he actually impressed his wife.
These are the things that matter most in any sort of biopic. It’s nice to have someone look like the person they’re playing, and Gwilym Lee did look like Brian May in Bohemian Rhapsody, but the most important thing is that they capture the essence of that person, the way they act, how they move and their personalities.
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