‘Bohemian Rhapsody’s Lucy Boynton responds to ‘jarring’ backlash over ‘straightwashing’ Freddie Mercury claims

The actor says "people want to have something to criticise"

Bohemian Rhapsody actor Lucy Boynton has responded to claims that the biopic ‘straightwashes’ Freddie Mercury.

The film, which stars Mr Robot’s Rami Malek as Mercury, chronicles the 15-year period between Queen’s formation as a band and their famous performance at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

A teaser trailer released back in May came under fire from writer and producer Bryan Fuller for not paying mind to Mercury’s bisexuality.


“Anyone else mildly annoyed (enough to tweet about it) that the #BohemianRapsody (sic) trailer features gay/bi superstar Freddie Mercury flirting with and twirling with a woman but no indication of his love of men?,” he wrote on Twitter, spurring on echoes of more criticism from fans and followers.

Boynton, who plays Mercury’s long-time friend and former fiancée Mary Austin, has now spoken of the criticisms, describing them as “frustrating,” especially as they were sparked by “a 60 second teaser which is supposed to tease basically nothing”.

“It’s when people want to have something to criticise that is kind of jarring, especially because it does and the one thing that we’re so proud of with this film is that I don’t feel it ever steps over the line into any kind of expose or intrusiveness,” she told Digital Spy.

“I don’t know what people wanted to see in terms of… they always ask about the darkness of Freddie and such and it’s like, it’s a celebration and ode to [him].”

Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury


Speaking of a scene which sees the pair break-up and address Mercury’s sexuality, Boynton noted that it was “a creative interpretation because no one else was in the room so no one else knows what exactly was said.”

“It was a weird moment of trying to navigate the most beneficial way to portray it to give the most impact on the audience, but also what she would be comfortable about seeing now and what was true to the situation then,” she continued. “It’s a whole juggling act, it’s really terrifying.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is released in the UK on October 24.