Queen Fought to Keep Key ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Scene in Movie
Brian May recalled how he and Roger Taylor fought to keep a key scene in the final cut of Bohemian Rhapsody, even though the real-life moment had been difficult for them.
In the movie – set to become the most successful music biopic in U.S. history – Rami Malek played out the moment when Freddie Mercury told his Queen bandmates he was going to work on a solo album.
Describing the scene as his “favorite” in the whole film, May told Classic Rock that “it’s a wonderful piece of acting – and a lot of that wasn’t in the script. And when I watch it I feel that is so Freddie. He’d talk quietly, puff on his cigarette, not want to come out with the words. Eventually he did it – in a very cut-and-dry manner. But you can see the angst inside.”
He noted that the scene "nearly got cut from the movie – that’s a little secret – just because there’s always this pressure to make things shorter. But we fought for that scene to stay in, because the realism of it is quite gut-wrenching. That was a difficult moment for us. It’s Freddie kinda leaving his family.”
May also explained why Gwilym Lee, who portrays him in the movie, is seen in one of the film's trailers playing guitar with a violin bow, even though it never really happened and the scene didn't make the final version.
“The funny thing is, the trailer people work from film stock which is their own,” he said. “So a lot of what’s in the trailers is not in the movie. The scene with me and the bow was shot as part of a bunch of experimental things. We weren’t there for the shoot. And when I saw it I went, ‘No, that’s not what happened. And don’t let’s even pretend it happened, because that’s a Jimmy Page thing, that’s not me.’ But the trailer people liked it. That’s all I can say. But no, you won’t see that in the movie.”