Last week in London, I attended the world premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody at Wembley Arena. Unlike most premiere venues, which are lucky to hold a thousand people, Wembley Arena is a massive building that normally hosts concerts and other live events. So for the world premiere of the Queen movie, 20th Century Fox filled the arena up with around seven thousand people, and during the film’s big moments it truly became an interactive experience. When Queen is shown in the studio coming up with the beginning of “We Will Rock You,” the crowd was clapping and stomping along with the band. Then, during the Live Aid portion of the film, when the band is singing “Radio Ga Ga,” the crowd again made it feel like being at a Queen concert — and an experience I’ll never forget.
The day before the world premiere, I was able to talk with Allen Leech. He talked about playing Paul Prenter and his relationship Freddie Mercury, Brian May’s reaction to his work, his reaction seeing Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury for the first time, what it means to premiere at Wembley, filming the Love of My Life scene, and more.
In addition, Leech talked about making the Downton Abbey movie and said the film is “a continuation of their lives but on a much more epic scale. Something occurs in the family and other outside sources that makes it go from a TV show into a movie.” He also went on to say you won’t have to have seen the show to enjoy the movie.
Finally, while the entire cast was great in Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek’s performance was on another level. No matter what review you read or who you talk to, everyone is raving about his amazing performance as Freddie Mercury. His work alone is reason to see the movie.
Scripted by Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour), Bohemian Rhapsody follows the band Queen from their early days playing pubs to becoming one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. The film also stars Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, and Aaron McCusker.
Check out what he had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- How much did he know about Paul Prenter and Freddie Mercury’s relationship prior to filming?
- What kind of footage exists of the two of them?
- Did he talk to Brian May and Roger Taylor about Paul Prenter?
- When did he first see Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury?
- What was it like filming the Love of My Life scene with Rami?
- What is the Downton Abbey movie and will you have to have seen the show to enjoy the movie?
- What does it mean to world premiere the movie at Wembley Arena?
- Deleted scenes talk.
Here is the official synopsis for Bohemian Rhapsody:
Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.
For more on Bohemian Rhapsody:
- Rami Malek on Playing Freddie Mercury and Oscar Buzz
- ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Deleted Scenes: Here’s What Was Cut from the Film
- ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Review: A Showcase of Music and Rami Malek
- Final ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Trailer Finds Freddie Mercury Under Pressure
- Exclusive: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ DP Newton Thomas Sigel on Live Aid, Rami Malek, and Bryan Singer’s Exit