Bohemian Rhapsody’s conclusion is truly rousing, as the band’s incredible efforts at Live Aid, which is regarded as one of the finest musical performances of all time, are meticulously recreated.
The result perfectly showcases what made Freddie Mercury such an outstanding frontman, why Queen are one of the most beloved bands in history, while also making sure that viewers leave the film feeling uplifted, inspired and like they’ve just been to a concert.
I recently had the chance to speak to Gwilym Lee, who plays guitarist Brian May in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and he talked me through the conclusion, starting off by making the startling revelation “it was the very first thing we shot.”
“It was the first thing on the schedule, and it said the Live Aid sequence. Which at the time felt like a horrible sick joke. It was very intimidating trying to recreate that live concert, maybe the best live concert there was ever been.”
“We got together 5 weeks before shooting started. We got in a dark rehearsal room in the middle of London. We had a movement coach, Holly Bennett. We just watched that footage over and over again.”
“It was brilliant. Because you could get lost in the challenge of making this film. It could be completely overwhelming. But what was beautiful about starting with that was that all the answers were there right in front of us.”
“If we ever got a little intimidated by playing these parts we could just go, ‘OK. What was Brian doing at that moment on the 13th July, 1985. Which way was his head pointing? What was his stance? How high was he lifting up his arm?’”
“So you could just be really, really specific. We were adamant that we were gonna catch it in every right detail. Because it is such a recognizable performance. So we did.”
“Then we got on set and Roger Taylor and Brian May were there. They saw a run through of the performance. He said, ‘It is very accurate and detailed. But just don’t forget, I am a rock star. And you need to bring a little bit of showmanship and ego to the performance.’”
“It was a really useful thing to hear early on. Because it made me realize that as accurate you can be with the vocal and physical portrayal, we needed to bring a sense of ourselves to the characters. Our own egos, passion and adrenaline and joy and energy.”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is now in cinemas.