Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' has proved a box office hit, but how much of the movie is true to what really happened? Let's take a look at key moments and characters in the film and reveal if they're fact or fiction.
Getting the Band Together
In Bohemian Rhapsody, a young Farrokh Bulsara (who would later change his name to Freddie Mercury) approaches guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in a car park after a gig and impresses them with his vocal talents. In reality, the three were sharing an apartment when a vacancy arose in the band and Mercury was the natural choice to step in.
Mike Myers plays Ray Foster, an overbearing music executive at record label EMI who hates the adventurous "Bohemian Rhapsody." However, the character is a composite of several record execs who weren't sold on what would become Queen's masterpiece. "No one is going to be head-banging in the car to 'Bohemian Rhapsody,'" says the character, in a nod to Myers' iconic scene in Wayne's World.
John Reid (Aidan Gillen) was Queen's manager from 1975-1978. In Bohemian Rhapsody, Reid is dramatically fired in the back of a car after being manipulated by a close friend of Mercury. Not only does this take place in the early 1980s, when Reid had already stepped down from working with Queen, but the split was amicable and Jim "Miami" Beach took over managerial duties.
Allen Leech (pictured) plays Paul Prenter in Bohemian Rhapsody and is portrayed as the villain of the story, coming between the band and Freddie Mercury. The singer fires Prenter after learning he had not told him about Live Aid. In reality, Prenter was reportedly fired after throwing a party at Mercury's home and trashing the residence. Prenter died in August 1991, three months before Mercury's passing.
Freddie Mercury's long-time love and muse was Mary Austin, played in Bohemian Rhapsody by Lucy Boynton. In the movie, Mercury sees her while performing for the first time with his Queen bandmates. In reality, Brian May had already dated Austin and Mercury sought permission from the guitarist to ask her out.
According to Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury was distanced from the band as he pursued a solo career and almost had to beg for his bandmates' forgiveness to reform. In reality, Queen took time off after releasing Hot Space in 1982 and both Taylor and May had explored solo projects. In addition, they didn't agree to share songwriting credits for an entire album until 1989, despite the movie suggesting this was agreed to in 1985.
The character of Jim Hutton (Aaron McCusker) is introduced as a server at one of Freddie's wild parties and is later tracked down by the Queen frontman before the Live Aid gig. In reality, Mercury met Hutton at a London club, and they rekindled the relationship some time later after another chance meeting at a club. Hutton took care of the singer during his illness and passed away in 2010.
In Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury learns he has AIDS in 1985, shortly before the band's legendary show at Live Aid. But, according to those closest to the late musician, Mercury was diagnosed in April 1987.