The highly anticipated film, Bohemian Rhapsody, was released in theatres on November 2nd. With Robot star Rami Malek playing Freddie Mercury, the movie celebrates Queen and explores the extraordinary life of its leader. In this day and age, many of us have only experienced the iconic music of Queen, but don’t know all the details of Mercury’s revolutionary existence. Here’s a quick crash course to prepare you for the movie:
- Freddie Mercury was the main vocalist for Queen and he wrote some of their most popular songs including “Somebody to Love,” “We Are the Champions,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody."
- He died at the age of 45 due to bronchial pneumonia, a complication of AIDS. 24 hours earlier, he issued a statement about his diagnosis of the disease.
- Mercury had a great affinity for cats, which began when his long–time best friend and part–time fiancée, Mary Austin, bought them cats for their home. In his lifetime, Mercury hosted 10 different cats. He even dedicated Mr. Bad Guy, one of his albums, to his cats Jerry, Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany.
- Mary Austin was 19 and Mercury was 24 when they first met through Queen guitarist, Brian May. They were each other’s closest friends, and when Mercury died, he left most of his property to her.
- Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania. However, he grew up in India and his family practiced the Zoroastrianism religion. The community Mercury grew up in was extremely conservative, which came into conflict with his sexuality throughout his life. For the last six years of his life, Mercury had a boyfriend named Jim Hutton.
- Mercury was born with four additional incisors, meaning he had a huge overbite, which became iconic to his look. He was afraid that if he got them fixed it would affect his vocal ability.
- Mercury’s career took off in the UK after working as a baggage handler at the Heathrow airport. The guitarist, Brian May, and the drummer, Roger Taylor, were in already in a band together called Smile when Mercury met them for the first time. Later John Deacon, the bassist, was added to the group.
- Mercury came up with the name Queen because he thought it sounded “splendid.” He also designed the logo, which combines the zodiac signs of all the members of a band.
Hopefully, this quick guide encouraged you to see the movie and will help you enjoy it more. Rami Malek’s stellar performance may be just what you need to get through finals. Or just listen to "We are the Champions" on repeat if you need some cramming motivation. But be warned: after listening to Spotify's Queen playlist, you will be running to the theater to see the movie.