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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Poster

Trivia

Freddie Mercury's vocal range stretched to three octaves, though it was rumored that it spanned four. In 2016, a group of biophysicists and medical researchers concluded that his vocal cords moved faster than the average singer's. His vibrato measured in at 7.04 Hertz, while standard vibrato frequency falls between 5.4 and 6.9 Hertz.
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Jump to: Cameo (1)  | Spoilers (63)
Queen's set at Live Aid is widely regarded as one of the best live performances in rock and roll history. In a 2005 Channel Four poll of over 60 artists, journalists and music industry executives, Queen's Live Aid show was named the world's greatest-ever live performance.
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British choreographer and movement coach Polly Bennett worked painstakingly with Rami Malek to perfect every nuance of Freddie Mercury's mannerisms. Every eye glance, every body turn, every cocky strut on stage and every flick of the microphone had to be just right.
Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor performed the rock arrangement of the 20th Century Fox fanfare.
Canadian singer Marc Martel lends his voice to the biopic as Freddie. They use a mix of his voice and Freddie Mercury's together, on top of Rami Malek's. In an interview, Malek said his singing was seamlessly mixed with both Freddie's and Martel's.
In a 1985 interview, Freddie Mercury famously said, "The only friend I've got is Mary, and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me."
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During the recording session for Bohemian Rhapsody, John Deacon says, "I do have to say, the tape is wearing out. It can't take much more." The band did 180 vocal overdubs on the song. The consequence of so many overdubs is that the tape started to wear thin to the point of transparency. In Brian May's words, "This 'legendary' story, which people think we made up, is true: we held the tape up to the light one day-we'd been wondering where all the top end was going-and what we discovered was virtually a transparent piece of tape. All the oxide had been rubbed off. It was time to hurriedly make a copy and get on with it."
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For his role as Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek was fitted with special prosthetic teeth to recreate Freddie's prominent overbite. After filming wrapped, Rami kept the teeth as a memento from the shoot, eventually having them cast in gold.
On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Mike Myers/Christiane Amanpour (2018), Mike Myers said that during the making of Wayne's World (1992), he insisted that the song he and his friends listen to - and bang their heads to - while driving would be "Bohemian Rhapsody". The producers felt it wouldn't be appropriate. Myers stood his ground, eventually threatening to quit the movie. Myers got his way, the movie became a huge hit, and the song reentered the charts, peaking at at #2 in the United States. The movie was credited for introducing Queen to a new audience. Myers also said that when he was offered a chance to appear in this movie, he accepted immediately without bothering to read the script. Ironically, his character, Ray Foster, is convinced no one will want to listen and bang their heads to "Bohemian Rhapsody" driving around in the car.
Rami Malek sent a video of himself singing to Queen. When he finally met them, they hadn't watched it because it hadn't been downloaded properly. Malek saw firsthand their initial reaction to his singing.
In reality, Paul Prenter was finally ousted from Freddie Mercury's circle in 1986 after it was discovered that Prenter had decimated Mercury's Stafford Terrace apartment by throwing an out-of-control party there without Mercury's knowledge.
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Freddie Mercury said that Queen was a band made up of four solo acts collaborating on a single project.
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Mary Austin and Freddie Mercury were engaged at one point. They remained so close that Mercury entrusted much of his estate and his London mansion, Garden Lodge, to her in his will. His song "Love Of My Life," was dedicated to Austin.
Lucy Boynton has said that artistic license was employed in Bohemian Rhapsody's portrayal of Mary Austin's story to protect her privacy, though the filmmakers made efforts to keep core essence of her relationship with Freddie Mercury intact.
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Though Freddie Mercury stayed in touch with his family throughout his rise to fame, he never disclosed his sexuality to his parents, whose Zoroastrian religion deemed homosexuality a mode of demon worship.
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Freddie Mercury's band-mates credited Paul Prenter (Mercury's personal assistant) with facilitating the rock star's drug use and hard-partying lifestyle. He ultimately became Mercury's self-appointed personal manager, refusing interviews and "annoying" Queen with unchecked, self-centered influence on Mercury's decision-making.
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Wembley Stadium has been remodeled, demolished and rebuilt several times over the years, but there were no surviving blueprints or drawings of the structure as it existed in 1985. This meant the production design team had to work from video and photographic record to design and partially reconstruct a historically accurate stadium and Live Aid stage.
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During the filming of the scene in which the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' guitar solo is recorded, Brian May arrived on set unannounced and watched actor Gwilym Lee work through the scene.
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The cat person Freddie Mercury is portrayed as in the film is apparently close to reality. In his biography written by Lesley-Ann Jones, friends state that he would often call home from tour asking to talk to the cats, and make sure the TV was turned on for shows broadcast live so that the cats could watch. Delilah was reportedly his favourite, even making it to become a song on the album Innuendo.
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The note Freddie Mercury sustains for almost six seconds during the call and response performance with the crowd at Live Aid came to be known as "The Note Heard Round the World."
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Jim Hutton was an Irish hairdresser who met Freddie Mercury in a London gay bar. Initially, Hutton declined a drink from Mercury but, when they ran into each other again over a year later, Hutton agreed to have a drink with the rock star.
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Freddie Mercury was godfather to Mary Austin's first son Richard. Her second son was born soon after Mercury died.
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Sacha Baron Cohen was the original choice to play Freddie Mercury, with Stephen Frears to direct. Frears left the project due to creative differences with Brian May and Roger Taylor, who control the band's music and film rights. The deal with Baron Cohen fell apart after May objected to the project being a biopic of Mercury only, not the rest of Queen. May felt it should focus on the other members and the aftermath of Mercury's death. They didn't like the original draft by writers Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson. Baron Cohen considered it a historically accurate, outrageous portrayal of Mercury that does not shy away from Mercury's rough edges, including his well-documented homosexual encounters and promiscuity. May felt Baron Cohen was too much of a comedic actor to play Mercury well.
Rami Malek's movement coach for the part had him study Liza Minnelli in Cabaret (1972), as well as performances by Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Aretha Franklin. Supposedly, these were the key inspirations for Freddie Mercury's performing style.
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In the 1960s, Freddie Mercury had earned an art and graphic design diploma from Isleworth Polytechnic in London. Mercury can be credited with designing the Queen logotype and crest, which features the zodiac signs of each band member.
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At the time of Live Aid (1985) in July 1985, Queen's fortunes had taken a huge dip in the U.S. for several years. Despite still being hugely popular and selling loads of records and regularly charting in their native UK and Western Europe & Australia, by 1985 they were seen as a spent force in the States with so-so album sales. The band themselves may not have helped matters, having appeared in drag for Queen: I Want to Break Free (1984), a video which many conservative broadcasting networks in the United States found offensive, including MTV, who refused to show it. The song therefore only reached number 45 in the US charts but reached the top ten in most European countries (it reached number 3 in the UK where the BBC had no problem showing the full video to a young audience on its flagship Top of the Pops (1964) TV show which was broadcast on Thursday early evenings). 'Controversies' such as these and Freddie Mercury's increasingly flamboyant displays of 'campiness' seriously hurt their US image. Although celebrated as one of the greatest live performances ever, Queen's performance at Live Aid did nothing to help their career in the US, where their next album, "A Kind of Magic", only peaked at number 46 and failed to produce a Top 40 single. Queen's popularity in the US was not revived until Wayne's World (1992) famously used "Bohemian Rhapsody" and made it a hit again, by which time Freddie Mercury had already died.
John Deacon retired from the band in 1997 and had almost no creative input into this film beyond giving his permission for songs he penned himself to be included in the soundtrack. The remaining two members, Brian May and Roger Taylor are the only two original band members still active in Queen projects while Deacon (who was the youngest band member) lives a quiet life in a London suburb with his wife of nearly 44 years, Veronica, and their grown children.
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The show at Rio de Janeiro was performed on January 1985, not in the mid 70s as the movie suggests. Queen performed for two nights in the 'Rock in Rio' festival, each night with more than 250,000 people in the audience. On the first night (January 11th) Queen was preceded by Whitesnake and Iron Maiden, besides Brazilian artists. On the second night (January 18th) The Go-Go's and The B-52's were the international performers before Queen. The astonishing crowd singing along to "Love of My Life" with Freddie Mercury is real. It can be found online.
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Freddie Mercury recorded the solo album, 'Mr. Bad Guy,' in Munich at Musicland Studios over a two year period. Though it isn't shown in the film, he took breaks during the solo album's production to fulfill Queen's existing recording commitments.
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An almost unrecognizable Mike Myers arrived on set in character as Ray Foster and stayed in his accent even when the cameras weren't rolling.
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According to 'Freddie Mercury: His Life in His Own Words', compiled and edited by Greg Brooks and Simon Lipton (2011), Freddie Mercury said "Also, I have visions of actually having a film made of my life story, one day, which I would have a key part in. I might not play the lead myself. My dears, the things I've done in my lifetime... it'll be totally triple X-rated, I'll tell you!" Bohemian Rhapsody has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA and 12 by the BBFC.
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Rami Malek landed the leading role because the producers liked his performance in Mr. Robot (2015) and his jawline reminded them of Freddie Mercury.
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Freddie Mercury's speech about not wanting to be pitied is based on real events. In reality, some years after the Live Aid, the band had sat together and were casually chatting about daily stuff. Freddie Mercury jokingly said "You guys think you have problems" and pulled up his pants, showing them a scar that had formed in his lower leg. He then went on to tell the band (much like depicted in the film) about his disease, and how he sternly refused to be pitied, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his time making music.

He also asked them to keep it a secret, and although many people suspected it in his final year due to his extreme weight loss, he didn't publicly announce it until one day before his death.
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Smile front man Tim Staffell did quit the band, leaving an opening for a lead vocalist, though Freddie Mercury was not unknown to Brian May and Roger Taylor as depicted in the film.
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Freddie Mercury was entranced by the musicianship and style of Jimi Hendrix. After Hendrix performed 'Hey Joe' on the BBC in 1966, Freddie began following the artist, attending at least 14 Hendrix shows in the UK within a few months.
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Joseph Mazzello used 5 different wigs throughout the shoot in addition to having his own hair permed, an experience he hadn't anticipated would be quite so 'permanent'.
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The guitar used in the film is a faithful depiction of Brian May's actual guitar, the "Red Special", which he and his father built in the early 1960s. Additionally, the film depicts a heavy use of Vox amplifiers by May, also accurately showing what he used during these years.
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No mention is made of Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury sharing a flat and selling clothes at a Kensington market stall in 1969, before the latter joining the band Smile, in which Taylor was the drummer, in 1970.
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'Bohemian Rhapsody' was Freddie Mercury's musical brainchild. The song was recorded at Rockfield Studios and later at SARM in London. SARM had a state-of-the-art 24-track recording set up that facilitated the capture of the song's complex vocal arrangements.
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The band Smile seen at the beginning of the film take their name from the fact that Roger Taylor was training to be a dentist.
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Rami Malek wears a wig in every single scene of Bohemian Rhapsody.
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Initially, Live Aid was not a tempting enough offer for Freddie Mercury and Queen. According to biographer Lesley Ann Jones, Mercury held a grudge about not having been invited to collaborate on Bob Geldof's 1984 'Do They Know It's Christmas' charitable single, so he needed extra motivation to participate in Geldof's next venture. Geldof resorted to calling Jim Beach and allegedly said, "Look, what's up with the old queen? It's the perfect stage for him. It's the entire world."
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Though Jim Beach gave up his successful law firm partnership to permanently handle Queen's legal concerns, he also managed Chris Rea, produced films and TV specials and worked behind-the-scenes on stage projects, including the Queen musical We Will Rock You.
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Playlist of Queen's Live Aid gig: "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Radio Ga Ga", call-and-response with the audience by Freddie Mercury (often nicknamed "Ay-Oh"), "Hammer To Fall", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (with an ending resembling that of "You're My Best Friend"), "We Will Rock You" (not seen in the film and only available as a Blu-Ray extra), "We Are The Champions". Later at night, Freddie and Brian May would return to stage to perform "Is This The World We Created".
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During the "Don't Stop Me Now" music video played during the closing credits, the real Freddie Mercury is wearing a t-shirt for the infamous New York City gay nightclub Mineshaft.
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Joseph Mazzello learned how to play the bass from scratch for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody. He and cast-mates Rami Malek, Lee and Ben Hardy only had six weeks to prepare to play Queen's entire 21-minute Live Aid set - from beginning to end - at the start of principal photography.
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Roger Taylor was, in fact, the first member of Queen to branch out into a solo career. In 1977 he put out a solo single and, in 1980, he began working on a solo album while Queen was in production on their eighth studio album 'The Game.'
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Rami Malek underwent a reported 50 hours of costume fittings with designer Julian Day that involved everything from 4-inch platform sole shoes to an array of skintight satin pants and complete Lycra outfits, etc.
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Brian May has said of the band's debut album, "That album had the youth and freshness which was never regained, because you're only young once... It had a lot of rough edges, a lot of bad playing, a lot of bad production but obviously we didn't have the time to spend on it that we did subsequently. But I would never think of going back and redoing it."
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The movie doesn't show the other musical acts that participated in Live Aid, but Queen performed towards the end of the concert, directly after Dire Straits, and were followed by other famed performers David Bowie, The Who, Elton John, Wham and Paul McCartney, all of whom performed after the sun had set at the stadium.
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No member of Queen has ever definitively explained the meaning behind the lyrics of the song Bohemian Rhapsody.
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Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazzello grew close during rehearsals; their bond only deepened during production. "There are always films where the actors talk about how tight knit the cast and crew got, but it was special on this," reflects Malek. "You felt it every day. We all talk every single day and we finished this film almost a year ago. There's not a day where we don't communicate with one another." Adds Lee, "Bear in mind, half the band live in the UK, half live in the States... Since wrapping at the end of January, we haven't gone more than a few weeks without seeing each other. It's nauseating; we're inseparable."
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Mark Coulier, the prosthetic makeup artist known for his work on the Harry Potter franchise, The Iron Lady (2011) and Suspiria (2018), collaborated with Jan Sewell on Rami Malek's makeup design. His team made a cast of Malek's face in order to build small facial prostheses (including one for Malek's nose) that would help Jan Sewell bring out the look of Freddie Mercury.
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According to BBC, film production was rough. The film's producers and lead star, Rami Malek, had grown tired of director Bryan Singer's erratic behavior, which saw him routinely showing up late to set or disappearing altogether. In 2017, after Thanksgiving break, Singer disappeared from filming for three days straight, at which point cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel had to step in and direct during Singer's absence. Reports claimed that Singer left because of a family matter. A couple of days after this report, 20th Century Fox fired Singer from the film due to his erratic behavior on and off set and clashes with production personnel. Matters would get much worse for Singer as the next day, 20th Century Fox terminated his Bad Hat Harry production deal with the studio. Fox began canvassing for a new director to finish up production with two weeks of filming still remaining, all of post-production and with potential re-shoots. The new director, Dexter Fletcher, commenced production after New Year's of 2017. Both Malek and Fletcher starred in two separate HBO miniseries about World War II: Fletcher was in Band of Brothers (2001) and Malek was in The Pacific (2010). Joseph Mazzello who plays John Deacon, also starred with Malek in The Pacific (2010).
Rami Malek has joked about how he wears only one costume as Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot (2015), but there were countless wardrobe fittings and costume choices for Bohemian Rhapsody. In the theatrical and DVD cuts of the film, he has approximately 70-75 different costumes, depending on whether you count accessories.
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The Live Aid (1985) concert stage is the largest set director Bryan Singer ever had constructed for a film of his. It's a 100% trustworthy replica of the original, even in the Pepsi plastic cups on the piano.
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While most sources state that Freddie Mercury first learned he was HIV positive in 1987, reporter and long-time friend David Wigg, who knew him for 16 years, stated in a 2011 Dailymail article that Freddie knew about his diagnosis 7 years prior to his death, making 1984 the year when he got the bad news.
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Queen is known as one of the most genre-eclectic bands in history, having put out albums that showcase progressive rock, heavy metal, foot-stomping arena anthems, romantic ballads, hard rock, trad-jazz, funk, glam, opera, pop-rock and everything in between.
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When Rami Malek was contacted about playing Freddie Mercury, he had only a casual knowledge of Queen. To become Mercury, Malek had to work many intense sessions with a movement coach (as well as learn to talk with prosthetic teeth).
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The ornate shirt Freddie Mercury wears during his debut with Smile is the same shirt worn by his mother,Jer, earlier in the family dinner scene. Freddie apparently borrows it from her for his debut performance with the band.
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When Rami Malek first met with Queen at Abbey Road Studios he was running late. He was racing up the stairs and on the way, he came across an autographed picture of Queen. He felt as if Freddie Mercury's face was staring at him, telling him, "Don't do this." Ultimately, Malek said, "It really felt inspiring".
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Though he was often described as Queen's manager, Jim Beach "Miami" never technically managed the band. Instead he handled all of Queen's contracts and legal affairs and provided oversight of the band's companies, assets and side projects.
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The film had a mixed critical reception; the direction, screenplay, and historical inaccuracies were criticized; however, Rami Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury received generally unanimous praise.
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Freddie Mercury wears a silver necklace throughout the film, which also makes an appearance at Live Aid around the neck of Jim Hutton.
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Bass player John Deacon joined Brian May and Roger Taylor's band after three other bass players had come and gone. He was their fourth and final bassist, ending Smile's transition into the iconic band Queen.
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The film's reenactment of Queen's landmark 1985 "Live Aid" concert segment was filmed on day one of the production shoot on a stage replica of London's Wembley Stadium at Bovingdon Airfield in Hemel Hempstead. The original Wembley twin towers were demolished in 2003 when the site was being redeveloped.
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The Bulsara family emigrated to England when Freddie Mercury was 17 years old to escape the Zanzibar Revolution.
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"A Kind of Magic" was the album recorded after their Live AID performance, which featured songs from and inspired by the cult-classic fantasy film "Highlander." This film features the song "Who Wants to Live Forever," which was also featured in "Highlander." As a result, some of the cult-classic film's orchestral soundtrack by the late Michael Kamen is featured here, as Queen incorporated it into the song.
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When Bob Geldof visited the set of the Live Aid sequence he was blown away by the similarity to the historical Live Aid concert he had pioneered decades earlier.
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In celebration of the film's release, Rami Malek appeared on the cover of "GQ" Middle East magazine's launch issue, Egypt being his ancestral home.
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When Queen are about to perform on Top of the Pops (1964), they express their disapproval of being made to lip sync, rather than sing, their song. When Top of the Pops (1964) began in 1964, the producers of the programme decided that performers would lip sync rather than sing their songs. The British Broadcasting Corporation openly stated this when they promoted the programme. The reason for the producers' decision was that they considered it more ethical and honest for the performers to lip sync than to sing, as the programme promoted the records, and therefore the viewers and the audience members had the right to know exactly how the records sounded.
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On The Late Show, Rami Malek named "Lily of the Valley" and "Somebody to Love" as his go-to Queen songs.
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Freddie Mercury's surname comes from a line in the song "My Fairy King" where it goes: "Mother Mercury, look what they've done to me." This song is featured in Queen's first album and it's actually dedicated to Freddie's mother, Jer Bulsara.
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According to Brian May, Queen tirelessly rehearsed their Live Aid medley. At that point in the band's career, extensive rehearsal was not common.
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"Bohemian" is defined as "a socially unconventional person, especially one who is involved in the arts". It is originally the Latin name for the Czech people, but in 19th century Paris acquired its modern meaning. "Rhapsody" is a musical term referring to a piece consisting of several different episodes that differ widely in genre, mood and tempo, but can also refer to an outburst of emotion.
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No mention is made of the band's bust-up with original manager Norman Sheffield during their early days at Trident Studios, before they signed to EMI. The band had signed a contract with Sheffield that effectively paid them poverty wages. They had been allowed to use the then state-of-the-art recording equipment on studio 'downtime' (i.e early hours of the morning) and cut their first two albums this way but found they could not exist on the wages paid. This resulted in a massive argument as Sheffield refused to budge or give them an increase. It was only when Jim Beach offered to take over their management that an agreement was reached effectively buying out their contact with Sheffield and ending their relationship with Trident (who produced the first albums and released them on a licensing deal through EMI). However the band were still angry with Sheffield for years after and wrote the song 'Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to...)' which appears on the 'A Night At The Opera' album, which was a thinly veiled character assassination of Sheffield and the animosity felt by the band to him. Sheffield subsequently tried to sue the band for defamation of character (despite not actually being named in the song) and although the band settled out if court with him, by then he had unwittingly dropped himself in it as the legal papers he filed became public knowledge so any Queen fans who wondered who the song was about now had the mystery solved.
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The audience of about 72,000 people at Wembley was created using cutting edge digital techniques which allowed the VFX team to perform crowd duplication on a massive scale and at a high level of detail so that repetition of audience members is virtually imperceptible and the crowd can be seen to move and clap differently to each Queen song.
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With his Oscar win, Rami Malek became the first actor (male or female) of Arab and Egyptian descent to be nominated for and to win an Academy Award in an acting category and the first to be nominated for and to win Best Actor.
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The movie portrays Freddie holed up in Munich on his own while working on his first solo album Mr. Bad Guy. In reality, Freddie Mercury and Queen recorded several albums there between 1979 (The Game) and 1986 (A Kind of Magic).
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John Reid was only 26 when he started managing Queen, but Aidan Gillen, the actor who portrays him, was actually 49 during filming.
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The party scene at Freddie's mansion is a composite of anecdotes from multiple raucous and out-sized birthday parties Freddie Mercury hosted over the years, including the "black and white drag ball" for his 39th birthday, which was attended by 300 revelers who had been flown into Munich for the occasion.
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Freddie Mercury purchased the Garden Lodge mansion in 1980. It had previously been owned by one of the Hoare banking family members, so Mercury sometimes referred to his home as "The Hoare House."
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The first scene the cast shot was their entrance on stage at Live Aid. "Bohemian Rhapsody" was shot the first day, "Radio Gaga" the next day and so on, before shooting a full run through at the end. The cast had been practicing every little movement for 5 weeks prior and have said they think the production company wanted to know upfront that they could nail this iconic scene. But producer Graham King said that the reason they filmed it first was because of weather. It was filmed in late October early November, and he didn't want it to get too cold or soggy outside due to London weather being unpredictable sometimes.
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Brian May famously does not use a plectrum whilst playing guitar, instead preferring to use a sixpence (a pre-decimalisation, i.e. 1971, coin).
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Jan Sewell, makeup and hair designer, has said that transforming Rami Malek into Freddie Mercury was more about evoking Mercury's essence than it was fully revamping Malek into an exact Freddie Mercury double.
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Lady Gaga (real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) based her stage name on the song "Radio Ga Ga".
Rami Malek and Joseph Mazzello had known each other for over 10 years and had been good friends prior to shooting the film.
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Near completion of filming, director Bryan Singer was fired over creative disagreements and his unexplained absences, and replaced by Dexter Fletcher. Fletcher directed 16 days of filming and oversaw post-production, but the Director's Guild of America (DGA) deemed that sole credit for directing the movie belonged to Singer. The situation did not stop the studio from putting Singer's name up for awards consideration as Best Director, though. However, the well-documented troubles during production most likely prevented him from receiving any nominations in that category.
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While Jim Beach is speaking to Queen about Live Aid, he mentions the following names of artists in the roster as Paul McCartney, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Phil Collins, REO Speedwagon, and so on. He mentions Led Zeppelin and Phil Collins together because Collins would play drums for Led Zeppelin that day as, back in 1980, drummer John Bonham had died, prompting Led Zeppelin to disband that year.
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Rami Malek worked to painstakingly match his performance - including the smallest gestures and physical ticks - to the now famed recording of Queen's Live Aid set.
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Joseph Mazzello has said that "Bohemian Rhapsody" was the very first song he downloaded on Napster.
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Freddie Mercury's black and white harlequin suit sold at auction for £22,500 in 2012.
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Queen named two albums after Marx Brothers films: their 1975 breakthrough A Night at the Opera (1935), and its 1976 followup A Day at the Races (1937). In March of 1977, while on tour in Los Angeles, the members of Queen were invited to have tea at the home of Groucho Marx, the last surviving Marx brother who was 86 years old at the time. The band presented him with a gold disc and, at his request, performed an a cappella version of '39 from A Night at the Opera.
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Roger Taylor's writing credits for Queen include 'Radio Ga Ga', 'These Are the Days of Our Lives', 'A Kind of Magic', and 'I'm In Love With My Car.'
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The scene where Freddie throws a brick through Ray Foster's office window is fictitious, but there is an element of truth to it. In the documentary Queen: Days of Our Lives (2011), former Queen manager John Reid tells the story of Freddie Mercury throwing a brick through his window after Reid walked out on him in the middle of a meal at a restaurant.
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This is the second biographical movie about a music icon at least partially directed by Dexter Fletcher. He also directed the Elton John biopic Rocketman (2019).
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Not mentioned in the film was Queen's controversial decision to perform a series of shows in October of 1984 at the Sun City casino and golf resort in South Africa, which was still under the apartheid regime. The band was subsequently blacklisted by the British Musicians' Union.
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Meneka Das who plays Freddie Mercury's mother in the film is actually only seven years older than Rami Malek.
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The film gives the impression that Queen were unhappy at having to mime along to their song on the BBC TV show 'Top Of The Pops', presumably with their first appearance when promoting 'Seven seas of Rhye' in February 1974. Whilst this may have been true, the band did appear in person on the show several times in the years afterwards to promote their singles with a mimed performance. This was usually done when EMI released a single but there was no promotional video available to go with it, or at least it was not available at the time of transmission. The last time they did this was in 1982 with the minor hit 'Las Palabras De Amor' and their appearance, which was recorded after the audience had left, ended up becoming the official Queen video for that song. NB: As was standard policy with the BBC in the 1970s, some of these shows were wiped and the expensive videotape was reused for recording other shows, therefore not all these earlier performances survive.
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Queen made their live debut in the USA in 1974, opening for the band Mott the Hoople. They played their first American tour date at Regis College in Denver, Colorado.
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Though Roger Taylor achieved worldwide acclaim as a drummer, the musician played the ukulele as a child, graduating to guitar as a teenager before moving on to drumming. He later played guitar in side project The Cross, from 1987 to 1993.
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In the scene where Ray Foster (Mike Myers ) refuses to release the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a single, his reasons are that the song is too long being over six minutes and no radio will play a song that's longer than three. Jim Beach (Tom Hollander ) points out that Ray was a producer on Pink Floyd's album "The Dark Side of the Moon". The joke is that out of the nine songs on "The Dark Side of the Moon", eight are longer than three minutes and the one that was released as a single was "Money" which is over six minutes, just like "Bohemian Rhapsody".
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The interior of the bus shot at the start of "Fat Bottomed Girls" shows Freddie Mercury and Brian May sitting at a Scrabble board. Queen actually did play lots of Scrabble while on the road. Roger Taylor has said that he and Freddie would really dig in, and John and Brian would play less often or would drop out of intense games. Brian once played "lacquers" with the Q on triple score, the word on triple word, and used all 7 of his letters to play it, for a score of 168 points on the play.
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In Malaysia, this film is rated 18+ and some gay and bisexuality scenes were removed when the film was screened in Malaysian theaters, including the scene where Freddie Mercury tells Mary Austin that he is bisexual.
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In the opening moments of the film, as Freddie Mercury climbs the stairs to the stage, the members of U2 can be seen coming off stage. They are easily recognized by Bono's mid-80's mullet.
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When Fox became anxious about Bryan Singer's position as director of the film, they approached Ridley Scott as a possible replacement.
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The character of Ray Foster (played by Canadian actor Mike Myers) has a slight Scouse accent. This is because Myers own parents were both from the English city of Liverpool so he found this the easiest way of copying a regional British accent.
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Freddie's white "angel" costume was created by British designer Zandra Rhodes. Freddie Mercury wore it during Queen's first tour in Japan.
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The historic 16-hour Live Aid concert took place on Saturday 13 July 1985.
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Canadian recording artist/singer Marc Martel, who sounds remarkably like Freddie Mercury, contributed vocal recordings for this film. In addition to being the front for a Queen tribute band (Ultimate Queen Celebration), he also released a well-received cover of the Queen/Bowie duet "Under Pressure," in which the indie rock artist Kevin Max sang David Bowie's part.
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London-based movement director and choreographer Polly Bennett, who also worked on The Crown (2016), was brought onto the film production to help Rami Malek bring Freddie Mercury to life through movement and physicality.
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Freddie Mercury's parents, Bomi and Jer, hailed from Mumbai and had relocated to Tanzania by the time Freddie was born.
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Part of the original audio of Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones introducing Queen at Live Aid (1985) is heard before they go on.
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In reality, John Reid's exit from the world of Queen was an amicable one, though the split is shown to be acrimonious in the film.
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The band Smile of which both Brian May and Roger Taylor were members reunited in its original lineup for the movie, with Tim Staffell on vocals. It was not their first reunion. On 22 December 1992 they performed two songs together at a concert of Taylor's band The Cross.
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The camera used in the scene where they film the music video for "I Want To Break Free" is an Arriflex 35 BL. The said camera used on-screen is also the actual camera that photographed Freddie Mercury's very last video, just before he died.
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'Killer Queen' was the band's first truly international hit single from the album 'Sheer Heart Attack.'
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In 1986, Paul Prenter sold a story about Freddie Mercury's personal life and his AIDS diagnosis to The Sun, Britain's premiere tabloid newspaper, for £32,000.
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With his Best Actor Oscar win for portraying Freddie Mercury, Rami Malek became the sixth Best Actor winner out of the past seven years to win for portraying a real-life person. He was preceded by Daniel Day-Lewis playing Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), Matthew McConaughey playing Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything (2014), Leonardo DiCaprio playing Hugh Glass in The Revenant (2015) and Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (2017) with the only exception in that run being Casey Affleck playing the fictional Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea (2016).
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'We Will Rock You' was released in 1977 as a double A-side with the hit 'We Are the Champions.' Featured on the album News of The World.
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"Freddie Mercury" is a stage name. The iconic showman's given name was Farrokh Bulsara. The name "Freddie" emerged as a nickname when Farrokh attended boarding school as a child.
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UK-based Fang FX created many versions of Freddie Mercury's protruding front teeth for actor Rami Malek. A set of teeth that were designed to be exact size replicas of Mercury's were "massive," according to Malek.
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Compared to many contemporary movies where American characters are played by British actors, this movie stands out as having three North-American actors playing British characters: Rami Malek and Joseph Mazzello (both Americans) play Freddie Mercury and John Deacon and Mike Myers (who is Canadian) plays Ray Foster.
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Before Rami Malek was cast, Ben Whishaw was linked in the media to playing Freddie Mercury.
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Henry Rollins described Queen's Live Aid performance saying, "How many thousand people clapping all at once? It was like the Nuremberg rallies with a band at it."
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The EMI executive Ray Foster played by Mike Myers objects to the title "A Night at the Opera", saying that nobody actually likes opera. Although this goes unmentioned in this movie, A Night at the Opera (1935) is also the title of a 1935 Marx Brothers movie - and the title of Queen's next album, 1976's A Day at the Races (1937) was also the title of a Marx Brothers movie.
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Some of Brian May's most important Queen compositions are 'We Will Rock You', 'Hammer To Fall', 'Fat Bottomed Girls', and 'I Want It All.'
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The film won 4 Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing and Best Actor in a Leading Role - Rami Malek.
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Out of the eight Best Picture nominees, the film tied with Green Book (2018) for the least amount of Academy Award nominations, each at five. However, the film won the most Oscars of all the nominees, winning four. Green Book took Best Picture.
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During the band meeting in Jim Beach's office, Brian May scoffs, "Who are these four dinosaurs? Where's Madonna?". Madonna was on the Live Aid bill at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, performing "Holiday", "Into The Groove" and "Love Makes The World Go Round." Madonna's set is considered the highlight of Live Aid Philadelphia.
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The first scene shot for the film was the reenactment of the legendary Live Aid set at Wembley. The site was replicated at Bovington Airfield in the county of Hertfordshire, England.
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Costume designer Julian Day was inspired by the William Friedkin movie 'Cruising' while planning costumes for the 1980s New York gay club scene.
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After the first official trailer for the film was released on May 15th, 2018, heavy backlash was received due to the "lack of portrayal of Mercury's sexuality." However, a scene is shown in the trailer featuring an intimate moment between Freddie Mercury and another man.
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Mary Austin did not give permission to film at Freddie Mercury's real-life London house in Kensington. A similar looking house in the London suburb of Surbiton was used for these scenes. By coincidence the real-life Queen guitarist Brian May was born and brought up in Hampton, Middlesex, which is located about 3 miles north west of Surbiton, just on the other side of the river Thames.
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Freddie Mercury's last name was picked up from the lyrics of the song 'My Fairy King' on the band's first album.
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Director Bryan Singer said that the reason for his sudden absences near the end of filming was to tend to one of his parents who was ill.
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Lucy Boynton was Rami Malek's date at the 91st Academy Awards when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, the love of whose life, Mary Austin, was played by Boynton (Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, February 24, 2019).
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David Fincher and Tom Hooper were considered to direct before Stephen Frears was approached to direct but were ultimately vetoed by Brian May and Roger Taylor.
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Each actor playing a member Queen had multiple wigs for his character.
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The entire production budget for this film was earned back just from the UK theatrical release box-office takings alone. When the worldwide box office takings and other media sales are taken into account this means that the film has ultimately been hugely profitable for both the producers and 20th Century Fox (who are the distributors).
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The young roadie passing Freddie Mercury his deconstructed microphone during the Live Aid performance could be a depiction of Peter "Ratty" Hince, who wrote a memoir about his time working as the head of Queen's road crew in the 70s and 80s.
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'Love of my Life' is generally believed to be a song Freddie Mercury wrote about Mary Austin, though some theorists believe it could have been written for Mercury's lover David Minns.
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During the meeting with Ray Foster discussing the band's upcoming record, Freddie Mercury tells him "We'll mix genres, we'll cross boundaries, we'll speak in bloody tongues if we want to." He was basically foreshadowing what they would do for the song Bohemian Rhapsody.
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In 2010, screenwriter Peter Morgan called producer Graham King, while the latter was working on the film Hugo (2011) and told King he wanted him to be involved in bringing a speculative script about the band Queen to the screen.
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For Adam Lambert's first round of auditions before the judges on American Idol (2002), he sang an a cappella version of Bohemian Rhapsody.
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Although John Deacon (born 1951) is the youngest member of Queen and Roger Taylor (born 1949) is the second youngest, Joseph Mazzello (born 1983) who plays Deacon in the movie is in fact eight years older than his co-star Ben Hardy (born 1991) who plays Taylor.
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When Ray Foster (Mike Myers) is dubious about releasing Bohemian Rhapsody as a single he states "what about 'I'm in love with my car' I love that, that's the kind of song teenagers can crank up the volume in their cars and bang their heads to... Bohemian Rhapsody will never be that song" this is an ironic nod to the iconic scene in Wayne's world where Mike Myers and Dana Carvey famously head bang in a car to Bohemian Rhapsody.
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On the official soundtrack, the song "Don't Stop Me Now" is the last but one track on the CD, exactly like on the original album JAZZ, on which it was released.
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Rami Malek previously starred with Joseph Mazzello in the Steven Spielberg mini-series The Pacific (2010).
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Joseph Mazzello - who plays Queen bassist John Deacon - played the part of PFC Eugene Sledge in HBO's The Pacific (2010). In that miniseries, his character has a dog named Deacon. Mazzello also acted alongside Rami Malek in this acclaimed series.
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Ray Foster (Mike Myers) never removes his sunglasses.
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Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton ended up being an item during filming of this film.
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John Reid is portrayed as a character in both Bohemian Rhapsody and in Rocketman, the 2019 biopic on Elton John. In Bohemian Rhapsody he is played by Aidan Gillen and in Rocketman by Richard Madden; both actors are well-known for their roles on the TV show Game of Thrones. Rocketman was directed by Dexter Fletcher, who also stepped in to finish the directing work on Bohemian Rhapsody after Bryan Singer's departure.
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Much of the clothing worn by Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Ben Hardy (Roger Taylor) are the actual articles of clothing worn by their respective musicians during key points in the film, including the Live Aid concert. Both Brian and Roger gladly allowed access to their extensive wardrobe to save the cost on having recreate certain wardrobe outfits.
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Second collaboration between Aidan Gillen and Lucy Boynton who acted in Sing Street (2016) although they never had any scenes together.
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The title is taken from Queen's biggest UK hit song "Bohemian Rhapsody," written by Freddie Mercury, the lead singer and pianist of the band.
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Mary Austin's father calls her "clever girl." The line "Clever girl" is a well-known line from Jurassic Park (1993) starring Joseph Mazzello.
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Second movie for Lucy Boynton involving music and 80's years, after Sing Street (2016).
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Bonus Content: This movie is one of a number of Prime Video titles that benefit from exclusive videos and behind-the-scenes photos, accessible in the X-Ray Bonus tab in Prime Video.
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The promotional video for the single of Bohemian Rhapsody cost the band £3,500 to produce back in 1975. Adjusted for inflation this would equate to roughly £25,000 as of 2019.
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The scene outside a pub where Queen first meet John Reid was one of the scenes directed by Dexter Fletcher. Editor John Ottman confirmed this.
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Socialite Fay Ranson had strongly claimed that she appears in this film. This has been proven not to be the case as filmmakers were put on the spot and denied this claim.
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Ray Foster (played by Mike Myers ), says, "And to think I worked with Hendrix." In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), Austin Powers (also played by Myers) laments the death of Jimi Hendrix saying, "Jimi Hendrix deceased, drugs."
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The superimposed dates that occasionally appear in the lower left of the screen are fashioned in a font remarkably like that of Mr. Robot (2015)'s logo.
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Cawas Jehangirji Bardoliwalla father of Neville Cawas Bardoliwalla was the second cousin of the late great Freddie Mercury.
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When Paul Prenter arrives at the Munich house with an entourage in tow, there is a blond woman who resembles Austrian actress Barbara Valentin (née Ursula Ledersteger).
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As Mick Jagger was mentioned, Mike Myers previously played him on Saturday Night Live (1975) in 1990, 1991 and 1993 when he was a cast member on the show.
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2002 culminated in Neville Cawas Bardoliwalla being awarded an OBE at St James's Palace for his outstanding achievements as an Executive Producer for various media conglomerates.
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If you compare the Live Aid scenes side by side with the real Live Aid footage, you can see that the stage scenes match up, right down to Freddie Mercury's actions. However, two songs (Crazy Little Thing Called Love and We Will Rock You) were cut, though were filmed. The audience is also slightly different to the original footage.
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Mike Myers played Phil Collins on Saturday Night Live (1975) in the Sinéad O'Connor awards sketch in 1991. Mike Myers was one of the actors in this movie and Phil Collins was mentioned.
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There is a small, framed copy of the Marlene Dietrich photo to Mary's left as she stands at the window in Freddie's flat, immediately before the transition to 1980, where he is looking at a poster-sized version of the same shot, in his new mansion.
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Cameo 

Adam Lambert: the truck driver waiting for a tryst in the bathroom when Freddie Mercury calls Mary Austin on a payphone. Lambert has been performing with Queen since 2012.

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Elton John and Freddie Mercury were very good friends in real life but John admits himself he was seething after seeing Queen's Live Aid set go down so well with the audience and on TV. Apparently he stormed up to Mercury after the band came off and only half jokingly said "You absolute bastard, you totally stole it. Nobody will be able to beat that" much to Mercury's pleasure.
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At one point, Freddie Mercury mocks the rest of the band, saying that without him, they'd all be in mundane jobs. Particularly, he claims that former astrophysics student Brian May would be Dr. Brian May, having written a paper that no one would read. In reality, Brian May received a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial College London in 2007. Also in the scene, John Deacon tells Freddie, seemingly for the first time, that he studied electrical engineering. In reality, John Deacon created the Deacy Amp that Queen used throughout their career.
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In the movie the making of "Another One Bites the Dust." is seen. While John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello ) was arguing about the song to Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy), Roger mentions it being too much like disco music as an excuse to why he doesn't want to play it. In reality, Taylor didn't want to play it was because Deacon had asked him to tape up his drums to give it the dead sound it's so famously known for. Taylor hated having his drums taped and having his drums sound dead.
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The 1980s Pepsi logo emblazoned all over the Live Aid scenes is historically accurate. In 1985, Pepsi agreed to be the major sponsor of the concert. They helped cover the costs of building the stage, paid for crowd control and security, and supplied the crowds, bands, and backstage crew with facilities and refreshments.The BBC, which provided the worldwide television feed and radio coverage, had a strict policy of avoiding showing any commercial sponsorship. They agreed to turn a blind eye to the product placement due to the unique historic and humanitarian nature of the concert. Wembley Stadium was made available free of charge to Live Aid for the duration of the concert by the owners. The concert promoters and all the bands worked for free.
The movie veers the furthest from reality in the build-up to their 1985 performance at Live Aid. There's a dramatic scene where Freddie Mercury reveals that he's signed a solo deal behind their back for $4 million and that he wants to take a long break from the band. The others are absolutely livid and they all go their separate ways. The truth is that everyone in the band was burned out in 1983 after being on the road for a solid decade. They all wanted a break. The movie makes it seem like they didn't speak to Freddie for years, but they actually began work on The Works in late 1983 and were never estranged.
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In the movie it shows that Freddie is being interviewed along with his band and being basically ridiculed and hounded by a reporter asking why he doesn't get his teeth fixed. In real life, the reason why Freddie Mercury didn't get his teeth fixed is because he feared that he would lose his three-octave range voice, so he kept them even though he hated what they looked like.
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Freddie Mercury wears his mother's shirt (dark blue with gold embroidery) during Queen's first performance. She is seen wearing it in her first scene as Freddie gets ready to go out.
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Despite actually playing their instruments, the music heard in the film is a backing track, with the exception of "Another One Bites the Dust" with the cast playing and collaborating like a real band.
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A detail not considered for this movie (as it was not really relevant) is that in 1970, Roger Taylor was asked if he would consider leaving Smile and join an up-and-coming band called Genesis. He turned down the offer, and Genesis ended up hiring Phil Collins as their new drummer.
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While Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin are lying together and Freddie reaches up over his head to play her the now-famous Bohemian Rhapsody piano intro for the second section of the song, Rami Malek is actually playing the correct notes in order, a feat quite difficult to do sight unseen, upside down and backward.
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During long shots of the stage at the Live Aid performance, bits of the actual 1985 performance are shown on the video screens hanging on the sides of the stage to coincide with the movie performance.
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Watch out for a very brief cameo appearance from the real Roger Taylor and Brian May towards the end of the movie. In authentic 1985 archive footage from the Live Aid gig, they can be seen seated directly behind David Bowie and Princess Diana.
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The TV interview that Paul Prenter (Allen Leech ) gives after Freddie Mercury kicks him out of his life is purely fictional, although he did give a series of interviews with the tabloid The Sun where he revealed much of Freddie's closely-kept secrets.
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Although it's depicted differently in the film, Freddie Mercury's 1973 marriage proposal to Mary Austin was lighthearted and playful. The rock star presented his girlfriend with a jade ring within a box within a box within a box within a box. The final reveal was a complete surprise to Austin.
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The Live Aid concert in which Queen appears was organized by original Band Aid organizer Bob Geldof. The movie makes it appear as if Queen had been left out of the line-up because Freddie Mercury did not respond to Geldof's early invitations, and the group was only added at the eleventh hour after a hasty reconciliation. In reality, Geldof and Queen had previously fallen out over the group's decision to give concerts in Argentina and South-Africa, countries that were generally boycotted by the musical world at the time due to their political prosecutions and apartheid regime respectively. When Geldof famously announced on television news early in 1985 that Queen was one of the bands who had agreed to play there (which reportedly ensured the participation of a lot of other big names), they were extremely annoyed with him, as not only had he not contacted them and this was the first they had heard of it, but they were also supposed to be touring.

Despite feeling they had been emotionally blackmailed, they did not want to publicly rebuke Geldof or back out of the concert, so they had to reschedule their plans for that month. Queen rehearsed their set for weeks beforehand in the gym of a local college. Queen gave what was probably the most memorable performance of the whole concert, Freddie whipping the audience up with his legendary showmanship and the band being onstage for over 20 minutes, despite being allocated only a 15 minute slot.
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At one point in the movie, Brian May quips that he will never cut his hair. As of October 2018, May (at 71) still has his characteristic long curls, although they are now completely gray.
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The large black-and-white portrait seen in Mercury's mansion at the beginning and the middle of the film is of Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express (1932). In this portrait, Dietrich is looking up to a light with arms crossed and fingers spread out. This portrait was the inspiration behind the album cover for "Queen II" and the prominent 4-faces shot of the band in the Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) music video. Queen photographer Mick Rock showed Freddie Mercury the portrait of Dietrich and Mercury loved it.
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Ray Foster asks Freddie Mercury what "bismillah" means. It is a phrase commonly used by Muslims before doing something and means "in the name of God".
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One fact not mentioned in the film but still an important part of Queen's history is that Freddie Mercury and David Bowie had known each other since about 1968 or 69. Mercury was of course a student at Ealing Art College in the mid to late 1960s and David Bowie was a struggling musician. Mercury had played a few college gigs as an amateur musician and had worked on the same circuit at about the same time as Bowie so they got to know each other (Bowie had actually played a gig at Ealing Art College in 1968). Freddie and drummer Roger Taylor also ran a second hand clothes stall in Kensington market around that time so Bowie would occasionally visit and they would help him out if he wanted something in particular. Bowie's career properly took off 2 or 3 years before Queen's did but in the summer of 1981, both Queen and Bowie happened to bump into each other in an EMI recording studio cafeteria in Germany whilst working on separate projects and started talking. Both the band and Bowie thought it would be fun to collaborate on a song and they quickly wrote 'Under Pressure' during their half hour tea break. Bowie then went into the studio with Freddie, quickly recorded his lines in just a couple of takes and then went back into his own studio and the Queen members finished off laying down the rest of the instrumental parts of the song. The song was released as a single in the autumn of that year and went to No 1 in many countries. The song does appear briefly in the film, appropriately during Freddie's stay in Germany. It is thought by many Queen and Bowie fans to be Bowie's way of thanking the band for helping him during the lean times at the very beginning of his career.
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The first interaction between Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Mary Austin (Lucy Boynton) in the film is when Freddie is looking for the members of Smile after their show and Freddie compliments Mary's coat. In reality, Brian May (Gwilym Lee) had met Mary and Freddie had seen her working at Biba. Brian and Mary had gone on a few dates but it wasn't going anywhere so Freddie expressed to Brian he was interested in her. Brian introduced the two of them and Freddie asked her out on a date on Freddie's 24th birthday. She said no but Freddie persisted and they went on their first date the next day. When Freddie proposed to Mary in the film, it is very obviously hinted that they had just had sex, both of them being naked and covered by sheets. In reality it was Christmas and Freddie gave her a big box, and inside that box was a smaller box, and inside that box was a smaller box, and so on till she found the ring. Although in the movie they eventually break up and lose track of each other for some time before reconciling as friends, in reality Mary always remained a part of Freddie's life, as he employed her as the band's company secretary for their music and publishing business. She also nursed him during his final illness.
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The real-life Paul Prenter was paid £32,000 for his kiss and tell story, by the Sun newspaper in 1986. The story ran over several days and included titles such as "All the Queen's Men". After selling the story, he actually tried to ring up Freddie Mercury and claimed the press had been hounding him, but Freddie refused to speak to him. Prenter himself died of AIDS three months before Freddie did, and is referred to as Judas by some Queen fans for his actions.
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As is seen in the film, Freddie Mercury really did have an upright piano at the bottom of his bed in the early days of the band. He would often wake up with a tune in his head and immediately write it down and then start working on it to adapt it into a song to play for the other band members. Freddie was famous for being able to compose a song in the most unusual circumstances. One story goes that he was sitting in the bath tub bathing and listening to the tap dripping when it inspired him to write 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' whilst still in the bath, which became a massive hit for the band.
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Joseph Mazzello claims that he improvised the line "I had a cold last week, if anyone cares."
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When Freddie shows his singing talent to Brian May and Roger Taylor (and they mock his overbite), he says that this overbite makes him able to reach more octaves. Actually, Freddie Mercury wasn't completely aware of this, as he hated the way his teeth were; he had learned of the advantages by the time they were writing and recording "A Night At The Opera". He also learned that his overbite gave him the ability to sing with vibrato even more easily as he used falsettos as well.
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While Queen are sitting in their trailer waiting to take the stage at Live Aid, the live audio of Dire Straits' performance of "Sultans of Swing" can be heard in the background. Dire Straits was the band that performed before Queen at Wembley Stadium that day.
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The radio DJ who played Bohemian Rhapsody "for the first time ever" on his radio show is Kenny Everett (portrayed by Dickie Beau in the movie). Upon playing it, reportedly without the consent of the radio station, he instantly believed that it would become a massive hit, and began incessantly hyping it up and putting it on a heavy rotation on his show, thus playing a substantial role in popularizing the song, which was not considered radio-friendly at the time. One of Freddie Mercury's closest friends, Everett would spend his time enjoying London's night life together and sharing drugs with him throughout the 1970s. They had a falling out by 1985 over drug sharing issue and other personal problems, but reconciled later in 1989 when their health began to deteriorate due to AIDS (Everett tested positive for HIV in 1987). Everett died in 1995 from AIDS-related complications.
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There is some debate as to how accurate the characterization of Paul Prenter is in relation to the real-life person. The film demonizes him as a freeloader and somebody who facilitated a split in the band by controlling Freddie Mercury's life and career, and encouraging his descent into a decadent lifestyle that ultimately resulted in Freddie Mercury contracting AIDS, but there are certain historical inaccuracies about him in the film (he was not sacked by Mercury until after the Live Aid concert, nor did he withhold information about Live Aid from him). What is true is that Roger Taylor in particular had a huge dislike for Prenter and was very vocal about it resulting in several physical (possibly violent) confrontations with Prenter during the time Prenter was in charge. Since Taylor alongside Brian May were key players in the production of this film, and Prenter himself died in 1991 of AIDS (so is unable to defend himself), it can only speculated as to whether he really was the scheming manipulator the film suggests he was, or if Taylor and May's perception of him has seeped into the script. Nevertheless, many other people associated with the band have also shared their view of Prenter as a self-serving parasite over the years, especially after he had given an interview with The Sun where he outed Mercury as gay, and revealed his relationship with Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker).
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When the production was filming at the famous Rockfield Farm Studios in Wales where Queen had recorded their 1975 album "A Night at the Opera" that included "Bohemian Rhapsody," Ben Hardy had the rare privilege of playing Roger Taylor's original tom-tom drums that had been used on the actual album recording. According to Ben, this was one of the highlights of his experience on the shoot.
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During the Hot Space press conference Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) is quoted saying: "I'm just a musical prostitute." This quote is a reference to a 1984 interview with Rudi Dolezal in Munich to promote "The Works" album. You can find the full, uncut interview on Queen's official YouTube channel by searching "A Musical Prostitute". This interview is noted as the most popular Freddie Mercury interview of all time.
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Reportedly Freddie Mercury didn't learn he was HIV-positive before Live Aid. During rehearsals for Live Aid in the movie, Freddie reveals to the band that he is HIV-positive, but he wants to keep the news completely private and focus all his attention on music. The exact time that Mercury learned he had the virus remains somewhat under dispute, but is generally accepted as occurring sometime between 1986 and 1987. He almost certainly didn't know it when the group was rehearsing for Live Aid in 1985.
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In the movie, the group isn't even on speaking terms when they get the offer to play Live Aid in 1985, and they hadn't done a gig in years. It never mentions that they released The Works in early 1984 and then toured it all over the world. The last show of the tour was just eight weeks before Live Aid. They were extremely well-rehearsed by the time that show hit, but the movie shows them having to make peace with each other and get back into playing shape.
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It's stated in the film Freddie Mercury would be recording two back-to-back solo albums, but the film only shows the making of the first one, "Mr. Bad Guy". His second solo album, recorded after the conclusion of this film's events, was Barcelona, an opera album which was a collaboration with opera singer Montserrat Caballé. Caballé died on October 6, 2018, just a few weeks prior to the film's release.
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Whilst not addressed in the film, the famous Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) promotional video was made because the band didn't want to go on the BBC show Top of the Pops (1964) to promote the single with a live performance. The actual video itself was shot on a Saturday on 1 inch video tape by a professional film crew hired from Thames Television's The Benny Hill Show (1969). The whole shoot amazingly took less than half a day and the finished video tape was handed to the band the next day. A copy was then made and taken over to the BBC for review so it could be included for transmission on the Thursday.
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The character called Ray Foster never existed in reality but is a composite of several people, plus some dramatic license. His name is based on Ray Featherstone, who while expressing doubts about the length of the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" was generally supportive of the band otherwise.
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The video for the 1984 hit single 'I Want To Break Free', which caused so much controversy in the US and was banned by many television broadcasters, is briefly addressed in this film. The track is from their eleventh studio album 'The Works', and was a sizeable hit throughout most of Europe and the rest of the world. The video is an affectionate, humorous and somewhat camp parody of the long-running British television soap opera Coronation Street (1960), with the band members exaggeratedly dressed as female characters from that show. While most UK and British Commonwealth residents would have recognized the reference, many conservative American networks were either unaware of the joke or concerned that US viewers would be offended, and refused to show it. The song was thus never a sizeable hit in the US.
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When the band go on their first American tour and the film then cuts to an overhead shot of the band on a tour bus on an American highway we briefly see another bus in front of Queen's one. The first bus carried the British band 'Mott the Hoople'. Queen were in fact Mott the Hoople's support act on that first North American tour.
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In his first performance as Smile, Freddie Mercury has problems removing the microphone from the microphone stand, so he takes part of the microphone stand with him. Singing with part of the microphone stand attached to the mic would end up being one of his trademarks.
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All four members of Queen are portrayed as singers in the movie, for example when they are recording the vocals for the song 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. In real life, bass guitarist John Deacon (portrayed by Joseph Mazzello in the movie) did not sing on any of Queen's studio albums. Presumably, the film makers decided it created a more pleasing image to have all four members sing. This echoes the real-life music video for Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody (1975), and others, in which Deacon also appears to be singing. Deacon did, however, sing backing/harmony vocals during live performances which is also accurately reflected during the film.
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One point in Freddie Mercury's music career that is not shown is that before being on Smile, Freddie Mercury had two bands that helped him to build his self-esteem around being a rock-band-frontman: the first one was "Ibex" (which later changed its name to "Wreckage") and the last one was "Sour Milk Sea". Right after "Sour Milk Sea" disbanded, Freddie was more confident on his voice, looks and stage persona. His first two bands were friends with Smile, ergo with Brian May and Roger Taylor.
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While Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) is sitting at the bus stop after work, he is writing what would become the song "Liar".
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The scene where Freddie Mercury tells the other members of Queen that he is HIV positive right before Live Aid is 100% fiction. It is also unclear when Freddie first learned he had the virus. Reports have varied from Freddie finding out in 1987 to him knowing much earlier than that after seeking medical attention in Germany. So the time it took for his disease to escalate to full-blown AIDS and end his life in 1991 is unclear. The movie ends with the public not knowing about his condition, which is accurate, as Freddie didn't publicize his illness until years afterwards, on 23 November 1991 - the day before he died.
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Unlike the movie implies, Queen never finished their USA tour because Brian May May got terribly ill (he got hepatitis) so they returned to England and checked him into a hospital. While May was in hospital, the band recorded "Sheer Heart Attack" and after Brian did his guitar parts they published their first single "Killer Queen".
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When Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) is playing the piano at his birthday, he briefly sings a snippet of what would be "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon".
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In the film Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) meets Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) after seeing them perform in Smile with Tim Staffell (Jack Roth) before he quits. Freddie approaches them and asks to be in the band. In reality Tim and Freddie were both attending Ealing Art College together when Tim introduced him to Brian and Roger, who were attending separate schools, in the late 1960's. Freddie had in fact become roommates with Brian and Roger while they were playing as Smile, and had wanted to join the band but couldn't due to the lack of open positions. He instead joined other bands while Smile was working on their first album, and also did occasional background vocals for Smile. In 1970 Tim left Smile and Freddie was in-between bands. Freddie took on the roll of lead singer and after 3 different bassists John Deacon (Joseph Mazzello) joined in 1971.
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The movie leaves out Queen's production of the 1980 soundtrack album for Flash Gordon (1980) and also 'A Kind of Magic' (1986), considered to be the unofficial soundtrack for Highlander (1986). But at one point, 'Who Wants to Live Forever' (from the latter album) is used in the movie.
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The film talks about Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) studying to be a dentist, and while that is true, Taylor actually switched his degree to one in biology.
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Queen recorded and released several more albums with Freddie after the Live Aid show ("A Kind of Magic" in 1986, "The Miracle" in 1989, "Innuendo," in 1991 and "Made in Heaven" in 1995), up until and after Freddie Mercury's passing in 1991. However, the movie doesn't cover this time period and therefore the albums are not mentioned and only two songs from them appear in the film. "The Show Must Go On" (from the final album released - but not the final album recorded - during Freddie's lifetime, "Innuendo") which is played during the closing credits, and "Who Wants To Live Forever" (from "A Kind of Magic") which is played when Freddie visits the health clinic and learns he is HIV-Positive.
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In real life Freddie Mercury's eyes were brown but in the movie Rami Malek wears no contacts to match the late Freddie's eyes and instead shows his own green eyes.
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The song the band records in their first studio session is "Seven Seas of Rhye", which was featured on both their first album "Queen" (1973) and "Queen II" (1974), on the former as an instrumental track only.
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At a point of the movie, Freddie Mercury is reflected in a sunglasses focused in headshot. It's a hidden nod to the film Highlander (1986), when at the beginning of the movie Fasil (Peter Diamond) is reflected in a sunglasses focused in headshot running of Connor McLeod (Christopher Lambert). Queen composed and sung all the songs of Highlander (1986).
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During one of Freddie Mercury's parties, two girls are seen on bicycles within his house wearing hot pants. This is clearly a nod to 'Fat Bottom Girls' and 'Bicycle Race.'
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"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "We Will Rock You" are the only Live Aid songs that are not performed in the actual film; instead those songs appear as bonus features in the DVD/Blu Ray release.
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The real shots of the Live Aid audience were edited, and many posters / flags were chopped out, most noticeably a large Brazilian flag easily visible in the original Live Aid footage.
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When the song "Fat Bottomed Girls" is played at the beginning of the American tour section, the title words have been made inaudible in the sound mix.
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Despite the title, the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" is never played in its entirety in the movie. Only snippets of the song are played.
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A scene where Mary Austin says to Freddie Mercury "I love the way you move on stage. The whole room belongs to you. Don't you see what you can be?", never made it into the movie's final cut.
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Freddie Mercury was known for having a sweet tooth and liked to have a small bowl of 'Smarties' (a British chocolate bean candy similar to chocolate M&Ms but made by Nestlé) on his dressing room table before every gig. However he did not get on with one of the colors , possibly due to an intolerance of the dye used, and would ask his PA to remove all the beans of that color from the bowl and dispose of them. This may have been the source of the Ozzy Osbourne (or Van Halen as a test to see whether the requirements for a gig were being followed accurately) Brown M&Ms story told by Ralph Brown's roadie character to Wayne & Garth in Wayne's World 2 (1993), the script of which was co-written by Mike Myers, who also appears in this film as semi-fictional EMI executive Ray Foster.
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Before Queen recorded their first album, Freddie Mercury recorded two songs "I Can Hear Music" and "Goin' Back", under the fake name Larry Lurex. This was slightly implied in the scene where Queen is actually recording their first album and Freddie doesn't want to stop experimenting and doing stuff because of the available studio time.
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The character "Ray Foster" is loosely based on real-life EMI executive Ray Featherstone. When Foster refuses to promote the song "Bohemian Rhapsody", Freddie Mercury tells him that he'll forever be remembered as the man who lost Queen. At the end of the movie, the song "We Are the Champions" is playing while a montage rolls. Ray Foster is shown once again sitting behind his desk and his screen image is perfectly timed to the lyric "No time for losers."
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Another fact not mentioned anywhere in the film is that Jim Hutton eventually returned back home to Ireland and passed away from lung cancer in January 2010.
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The opera music played while Freddie Mercury's calling Mary Austin to turn the light on and off is "Signore ascolta" from Puccini's Turandot.
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When Freddie Mercury discusses Queen's hiatus in order to work in his solo career, Brian May and Roger Taylor feel angry, implying that the band would likely come to an end; however, it is never revealed in the film that Brian and Roger actually had side projects apart from the Queen fold. Brian had the "Starfleet Project" which had Edward Van Halen as a guest musician; Roger had "The Cross" which was a hard-rock band where he was the main singer and rhythm guitar player. Even though all of their side projects had some support from the record labels who produced them, none of them had as much success as Queen's albums released.
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At the end where the band members are exiting the stage, Freddie Mercury is the very first one to leave. This likely foreshadows his death six years later.
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