While attending the unveiling ceremony of a mural by Sir Peter Blake at the Royal Albert Hall, Brian May was asked by London Live about the Freddie Mercury Biopic and how that was progressing.
Brian May on Freddie Mercury Biopic (RAH 29 April 2014)
TRANSCRIPT BY Jen Tunney
BRIAN MAY: “All I can say is filming is a damn long road and it’s going well, but it’s going slowly and we seem to be getting through Directors at a great rate.
We’re a little bit ‘hands-off’ to be honest, you know. We have a great Producer in Graham King and we talk regularly, but really the reins are in his hands and where we end up with actors and with the technical staff and even with the Director, rests with him. So we’re speaking to a new director this week strangely enough. (laughs) Very mysterious isn’t it. I don’t want to say too much because there are so many considerations. It’s a tricky balancing job putting a team together to make a film. I didn’t realise quite how difficult it was.
It has to do Freddie justice – that’s what we we’re concerned with. We get one shot and I would rather we did it than anyone body else because we have that love and respect, obviously, for Freddie, so we’ll be very very careful that it’s an honest and decent portrayal of him – something worthy of his legacy if you like.
That’s it really, you know. It has to have truth. It has to have humour, because Freddie had those qualities, and it has to be entertaining as a film. Now those three variables are not that easy to reconcile, strangely enough, because films, I’ve discovered that films never tell the truth and unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, we all look at a film and think we’re seeing reality, but we’re not. We’re seeing somebody’s idea of what reality might have been and in some cases it’s way, way removed from the truth. So we’re trying to tread that line between it being entertaining and [it] being meticulous about truth, which you probably can’t be.
It bothers me, actually. To tell you the truth, it bothers me. I would like it to be a million per cent truthful.”
BRIAN MAY WANTS FREDDIE MERCURY MOVIE TO BE ‘ONE MILLION PER CENT TRUTHFUL’
01 May 2014 by Daisy Wyatt
Brian May has said he would like the Freddie Mercury movie to be an “honest and decent portrayal” of the Queen frontman, but acknowledged it would be difficult to achieve.
May said the band wanted the biopic to “do Freddie justice” and be entertaining while remaining as truthful to the legendary singer’s life as it could.
He said Queen were taking a “hands off” approach to the film, which has been plagued with difficulty since Sacha Baron Cohen left the project last summer. Cohen was said to have left the film because of “artistic differences” with the band members, who reportedly wanted to make a family-friendly film about Mercury that did not sex-up his past.
Speaking to London Live about the biopic, May said: “It has to have truth, it has to have humour, because Freddie had those qualities, and it has to be entertaining as a film. Now those three variables are not that easy to reconcile. It bothers me actually, it bothers me, because I would like it to be one million per cent truthful.”
Skyfall actor Ben Whishaw has since been confirmed to play the lead role in the biopic, which will tell the coming of age story of the band, culminating in Queen’s headline performance at Live Aid in 1985.
Ben Whishaw has been confirmed to play Freddie Mercury in a biopic about the Queen frontman Ben Whishaw will play Freddie Mercury following Sacha Baron Cohen’s exit The film ran into more problems earlier this year when director Dexter Fletcher left the project, also citing “creative differences”.
May insists Queen are taking a back-seat approach to the film’s production, which he says lies in the producer’s hands. He said: “We’re a bit hands off to be honest. We have a great producer in Graham King and we talk regularly, but really the reigns are in his hands. And where we end up with actors and with technical staff and even with directors rests with him.”