Taking in a worldwide gross of $870 million, Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has left countless music fans thoroughly rocked. Charting the history of the band from their inception to that iconic 1985 Live Aid show, the 2018 film detailed most of the group’s crowning moments. With so much ground to cover, however, it’s no surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody also took some liberties with the truth. In fact, you won’t believe just how many facts this film managed to fudge in the name of entertainment.
20. Freddie Mercury knew his bandmates before forming Queen
Every music biopic needs an origin story, and Bohemian Rhapsody is no different. In the film, Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) watches his future bandmates Brian May (Gwilym Lee) and Roger Taylor (Ben Hardy) play a gig with their first group, Smile. When that band’s vocalist Tim Staffell (Jack Roth) quits soon afterwards, Mercury introduces himself to the pair and offers his services as a singer. Following a rousing audition, May and Taylor invite him to join the group, and a musical legend is born.
Certainly, this scene serves as an interesting introduction to the band. But sadly, the group’s formation was a little more prosaic in real life. Rather than meeting May and Taylor at a gig, Mercury actually befriended Staffell first at Ealing Art College. And it was through his fellow student that the singer became acquainted with Smile. Moreover, Mercury didn’t become part of the group instantaneously, either. In fact, it would take months of pestering before May and Taylor allowed him to join.