Few actors would be capable of bringing Freddie Mercury to life on the big screen and fewer still would be able to convince moviegoers that they are, in fact, the iconic singer. And yet, here we are, with Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek having accomplished exactly that with Bohemian Rhapsody.
Malek’s casting certainly drew some criticism when it was first announced, but there’s no denying that the actor looks the part as Queen’s legendary frontman and captures the persona of Freddie perfectly, especially in those scenes where he’s rocking out with his band on stage in front of a legion of screaming fans. And though the film itself ultimately turned out to be pretty enjoyable – even if critics haven’t exactly showered it with praise – it definitely didn’t have an easy road to theaters.
As you may or may not know, Bohemian Rhapsody ran into some production troubles early on, after things were brought to a screeching halt back in December when reports surfaced that said original director Bryan Singer (X-Men) had become unstable, lashing out on set and ultimately, losing control of his film.
Now, in a recent interview with PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing, Joe Mazzello, who plays Queen bassist John Deacon, has opened up on the director drama, saying that it “was sorta weird” to have Singer depart halfway through the film.
“It was sorta weird. Doing something like [HBO miniseries] The Pacific helps though, where you have multiple directors… one director does one episode, another director does another episode. We sorta tried to think of it in that way.”
Of course, Singer has since released a statement about the entire ordeal and in his place, Eddie the Eagle director Dexter Fletcher stepped in to handle the remainder of production. And speaking about Fletcher, Mazzello had nothing but good things to say.
“When Dexter came on and brought his energy, that guy, he must have ten coffees a day, because he is the most wonderful man. He’s got the greatest heart and the biggest voice and just like made us pumped up and excited to come to work. A lot of the scenes he did were some of the playful fun scenes near the beginning of the film and so it was really good. Everyone played to their strengths.”
Despite all the drama behind the scenes, it seems everything worked out alright in the end. As we said above, Bohemian Rhapsody is playing pretty well with audiences and making a nice chunk of change at the box office. It may have several historical inaccuracies which are hard to overlook, and the script may stumble more than it sprints, but Rami Malek’s powerhouse performance is more than enough to hold things together.