You know Queen’s music; nearly everyone can sing along with at least some of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” or “We Are the Champions.” But the story of the band and its legendary frontman Freddie Mercury isn’t as well known.
Bohemian Rhapsody, opening on November 2, will tell the full story of Mercury and bandmates John Deacon, Roger Taylor, and Brian May. The focus will be on Freddie Mercury’s extraordinary life: his relationships, his lifestyle and his battle with AIDS. Let’s meet the actors who will bring Mercury’s story to the screen.
Malek stars as Mercury. The Queen frontman became one of rock’s biggest icons thanks to his inimitable flamboyant style and vibrant stage presence. Mercury was a prolific songwriter who wrote several of Queen’s biggest hits, including “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and of course, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Malek first jumped into the spotlight playing Kenny in the sitcom The War At Home. He went on to appear in 24 and The Pacific. His first mainstream popularity came after playing unstable hacker Elliot Alderson in Mr. Robot. The actor has also played roles in Battleship, the Night At The Museum series, and Need For Speed. Malek’s next project is 2019’s The Voyage of Dr. Dolittle, in which he’ll voice a gorilla named Chee-Chee.
Lee plays Queen guitarist Brian May. The guitarist quickly made a name for himself with a distinctive playing style. Much like Mercury, May was a talented songwriter. Some of his most popular songs are “Hammer To Fall,” “Headlong,” and “Fat Bottomed Girls.”
Lee is a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry. His television résumé includes roles in Animal Ark, Land Girls, and Midsomer Murders. He’s also had small parts in movies like The Tourist and The Last Witness.
Hardy plays Queen drummer Roger Taylor. For most rock bands, the drummer isn’t often a songwriter. Queen was different. Taylor wrote many of Queen’s hits, including “Radio Gaga,” “A Kind of Magic” and “These Are The Days of Our Lives.” He’s also known for an impressive vocal range.
Hardy started out as a stage actor, playing Arthur Wellesley in The Judas Kiss. His first prominent television role came in BBC One’s EastEnders, on which he played Peter Beale in more than 180 episodes. Hardy made his film debut in X-Men: Apocalypse, and continued his big screen career with appearances in Mary Shelley and Only The Brave. He also starred in BBC One’s The Woman In White. We’ll next see him in Michael Bay’s Six Underground.
Mazzello’s character is bass player John Deacon, who joined Queen in 1971. Deacon also made substantial contributions to the band’s musical catalog, writing songs like “I Want To Break Free,” “You’re My Best Friend,” and “Another One Bites The Dust.” (He also came up with the opening bass riff in “Under Pressure.”)
Mazzello rose to prominence at a young age, playing dinosaur enthusiast Tim Murphy in Jurassic Park. He went on to star in The Cure, for which he was nominated for a Young Artist Award in the Best Young Leading Actor category. His career continued with films like Star Kid, The Social Network and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Mazzello’s television credits include The Pacific, Justified, Person of Interest and Elementary.
Boynton plays Mercury’s longtime friend, Mary Austin. Austin was in a relationship with the frontman for six years and continued to play a pivotal role in his life after their separation.
Boynton is a star on the rise. She made her feature film debut in Chris Noonan’s Miss Potter, and went on to appear in movies like Copperhead, Sing Street and Netflix’s I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. She also had a small role in 2016’s Murder On The Orient Express. She’s appeared in Law & Order: UK, and recently starred in Netflix’s Gypsy alongside Naomi Watts, and The Apostle, with Dan Stevens.
McCusker plays Jim Hutton, Freddie Mercury’s partner of seven years. Hutton and Mercury remained together until the singer’s death in 1991. McCusker gained recognition in Channel 4’s Shameless, where he played Jamie Maguire for eight seasons. He went on to appear in high profile TV shows such as 24: Live Another Day and Fortitude, before landing a role in The Astronaut Wives Club. More recently, McCusker can be seen in Scott Mann’s Final Score.
Leech plays Paul Prenter, Mercury’s longtime personal manager, who worked for the singer for the better part of a decade and became a close friend. Their friendship came to an end in 1986, when he was fired for selling information about Mercury relationships to an English newspaper. Leech is perhaps best known for playing Tom Branson in Downton Abbey. He also appeared in shows like Rome and The Tudors. His film credits include Cowboys & Angels, Man About Dog, Grand Piano, In Fear and The Imitation Game. Leech is expected to reprise the role of Tom Branson in the film continuation of Downton Abbey, scheduled for release in 2019.
Gillen portrays John Reid, who managed Queen for three years, beginning in 1975. Initially, a theatre actor, Gillen moved to television with roles on The Bill, Screenplay, Queer As Folk, and The Wire. In 2011, he debuted as Petyr Baelish in HBO’s Game of Thrones. The show became a worldwide phenomenon, which gave Gillen international exposure. The actor has also enjoyed a prolific career in film, having appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, King Arthur: Legend of The Sword and the Maze Runner series.
Jim Beach, who stepped in to replace John Reid as Queen’s manager, and soon forged a strong partnership with the band, is played by Tom Hollander. The actor began his career on British television series like Harry, The Bill, and Wives and Daughters. He made the transition to film in the late ’90s, appearing in Some Mother’s Son, True Blue and Bedrooms and Hallways. He also earned roles in high-profile pictures such as Pride & Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Valkyrie, and Hanna. He will next be seen in A Private War and Mowgli.
Beau plays comedian Kenny Everett, who was a close friend to Mercury and an important factor in Queen’s early success. Shortly after ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was completed, the radio DJ played the song on his show, sparking audience interest in the complex tune. Beau is an up-and-coming actor who had small roles in Colette and Channel 4’s The Windsors. Bohemian Rhapsody marks his first major feature film, and we’re excited to see him bring Kenny Everett to life.
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