Does ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ ignore Freddie Mercury’s sexuality? Lucy Boynton speaks out

Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton seen at the Miu Miu fashion show during Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2018, in Paris, France. Mireya Acierto / Getty Images

Lucy Boynton wants to break free from “jarring” claims that the film Bohemian Rhapsody, about legendary British rock band Queen, ignores the sexuality of frontman Freddie Mercury.

After the release of the movie’s first trailer in mid-May, critics were quick to point out that there was no footage of Malek with other men, despite the well-documented history of Mercury’s bisexuality.

Freddie Mercury onstage with Queen, in Milton Keynes, England, on June 5, 1982. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

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Producer Bryan Fuller (Pushing DaisiesAmerican Gods), who is openly gay, chimed in as well, claiming the movie altogether shies away from that aspect of Mercury.

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Fuller accused the movie of intentionally focusing on Mercury’s heterosexual relationships, specifically with his longtime friend and ex-fiancée, Mary Austin (portrayed by Boynton), as shown for a few frames in the teaser trailer. Calling it “queer erasure,” Fuller said, “If they were out and proud with his bisexuality, they would have indicated he was bisexual.”

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‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ actors become Queen on-screen – Oct 19, 2018

Boynton revealed her frustration regarding these claims in an interview with Digital Spy on Monday morning.

“It’s when people want to have something to criticize that is kind of jarring, especially because it does and the one thing that we’re so proud of with this film is that I don’t feel it ever steps over the line into any kind of exposé or intrusiveness,” she said.

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Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin at an afterparty in London for Dave Clark’s Time – The Musical on April 9, 1986. Dave Hogan / Getty Images
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“I don’t know [exactly] what people wanted to see. They always ask about the darkness of Freddie and such, [but] it’s a celebration and an ode to [him],” she noted.
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Boynton went on to say some “creative interpretation” was needed when recreating the pair’s relationship, because no one was present to share their intimate moments.

“It was a weird moment of trying to navigate the most beneficial way to portray it to give the most impact on the audience, but also what she would be comfortable about seeing now and what was true to the situation then,” Boynton said. “It’s a whole juggling act, it’s really terrifying.”

Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton attend the Miu Miu show as part of the Paris Fashion Week on March 6, 2018 in Paris, France. Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

READ MORE: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ trailer: Freddie Mercury comes to life in first look at Queen biopic

Boynton is the second member of the cast to address these claims. During a recent interview with Attitude, Rami Malek (who plays Mercury), spoke out about Fuller’s comments, stating:

“It’s a shame that people are making remarks after a minute[-long] teaser where you just wanna see the music,” adding, “Let me say that I don’t think the film shies away from his sexuality or his all-consuming disease, which is obviously AIDS.”

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Malek hinted at the importance of Queen’s music in the biopic. Mercury’s sexual orientation is not the focus of the band’s story — his personality, story and tragic death are.

“I don’t know how you could avoid any of that, or if anyone would ever want to. It’s a bit absurd that anyone’s judging this from a minute trailer,” he said.

(L-R) Dave Berry, Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Ben Hardy attend the Carnaby Street Bohemian Rhapsody Light Installation on Oct. 21, 2018 in London, England. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

READ MORE: Does movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ ignore Freddie Mercury’s sexuality? Rami Malek clarifies things

Malek finished off by saying that this movie will paint a perfect portrait of the late Mercury. He urged fans of Queen and music in general to go see the film.

Lucky Canadians can pre-order tickets here for advanced Oct. 31 Cineplex screenings in select Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal theatres.

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(Dressing up as Freddie Mercury is encouraged.)

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is scheduled for a Nov. 2 release in Canada.

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