The Queen biopic - starring Rami Malek as the band's late frontman Freddie Mercury - is out in cinemas now
The movie is bookended by Queen’s performance at the July 13, 1985 benefit concert, which took place at the old Wembley Stadium in London. The four-piece played a six-song set on that day: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Hammer to Fall’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘We Will Rock You’ and closer ‘We Are the Champions’.
Gwilym Lee and Joe Mazzello – who play Brian May and John Deacon in the film respectively – have spoken more about the filming process, specifically focusing on their dedication to faithfully recreating the Live Aid gig.
“We would be playing properly along with [a backing track] because you can smell that a mile off if someone is really badly miming,” Lee told Digital Spy. “Or the other alternative is you have a wide shot of us just generically [playing] and then you cut into someone’s big hairy hands that clearly aren’t yours.
“It was the very first thing we shot, that Live Aid sequence,” he added. “Day one on set was us running out onto the stage, fear, adrenaline and it was very real. You either sink or swim in that situation, it’s a real baptism of fire, but it forged us together as a unit.”
Mazzello added: “So much of that was timing [to the backing track] because they really wanted us to be exact. The footage of that is so famous that they wanted to make sure that no matter what you saw, what the actual people in that video were doing, we had to be doing that.”
Lee remarked that it was “a blessing” to play along to the original recording of Queen’s show as “you couldn’t get too lost in the prospect”.
“You couldn’t get too overwhelmed because when it came to it and you got a bit intimidated, all you had to do was look at the footage and go, ‘Right, what’s Brian doing in that moment?’,” he recalled.
Lucy Boynton – who plays Mercury’s friend and former fiancée Mary Austin – also said that the cast had a movement coach to help on set.
“They had [movement coach] Polly Bennett, who is just absolutely brilliant because every beat from that Live Aid performance is matched in their performance in this film and it is shocking to see,” she recalled. “And at the very end seeing that with all the weight and the emotional attachment that we had developed with the music was a lot. The tears were real.”
Earlier this week, Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek revealed which “weird” item he kept from the film set after filming had wrapped for good.