Rami Malek Would Love ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to Be an Hour Longer
Bohemian Rhapsody star Rami Malek said he’d love the movie to have been an hour longer, so it could have explored more of Queen icon Freddie Mercury’s character.
But with the time limit of two hours, he believed Brian May, Roger Taylor and the production team had decided to focus on illustrating how Mercury and the band destroyed stereotypes.
Asked if May and Taylor had tried to leave any aspect of the story out, Malek told The Hollywood Reporter, “I never got that impression. I will say this: They would love to deliver the entire Freddie Mercury story, but we have two hours. And in those two hours, I know that those men want to celebrate Freddie's life, and there was definitely a cognizant effort not to make this a hedonistic, salacious film.”
He added that "I think we all would have loved to show more of Freddie's relationship with Jim [Hutton] toward the end of his life. That relationship is absolutely gorgeous, and if I had it my way, boy, would I love to tack on another hour to this film and fill in a few gaps. It's never going to be perfect in fulfilling the story of a man who we could make countless documentaries about and countless miniseries about.”
When it came to the question of what to include within the running time, Malek said "you have to shine a light on certain aspects of his life, to show how defiant he was as an artist and what stereotypes he destroyed. He, and the band, they brought down every convention of what music should be and how human beings should act in public. He's a revolutionary in that he just refused to be segregated or marginalized in any way.
“I know there's always going to be polarizing aspects to this film. There's no way around it. You can do the other version of this film, but we needed to focus on a finite period of time. … So it provided some obstacles that were difficult to navigate.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he recalled how he’d gone to costume sessions with his Mercury makeup on. “I thought, ‘Rami, this is rehearsal time,'" he recalled. "'You go in there and when you're trying on clothes, you try them on as Freddie Mercury. Don't just think what's the most outlandish or audacious, think about what's going to move well onstage. Think about all the elements of putting on a spectacle as he would.’ …Everybody got a kick out of having this version of Freddie Mercury try on clothes for six hours a day. It was rehearsal because I thought this was an environment he would have been in.”