Freddie Mercury’s biographer has lashed out at the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic saying the Queen frontman’s life and personality “were too complicated” to be captured in a movie.
Lesley-Ann Jones first published her book Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury in 2011. It has been recently selling well again due to the success of the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic.
Jones was called in as a script consultant in the early versions of the film but has since been pretty scathing about the finished article.
Classic Rock reports that Jones told Billboard, “Freddie was 45 when he died. No two-hour flick could portray his whole life story, or capture his true essence. His life and his personality were too complicated for that. The film is a superficial montage of snapshots.”
Jones also believes there is another film which could be made about Freddie’s childhood and teens because she believes the singer’s formative years were the most fascinating era of his life. During this period, Mercury attended boarding school and rarely saw his parents. The big sea change came when he moved to London to sign up for art school and discovered Jimi Hendrix for the first time.
Jones, who spent a lot of time with the Queen frontman, also described him as “an incredibly shy man” who felt “imprisoned by fame” and harbored a burning desire for “anonymity and normality.”
Jones explained, “Over the years that I toured with Queen, I had more than my share of downtime moments with him. He was candid with me about the ways in which fame and fortune had compromised and even ruined him. He craved anonymity and normality, much of the time.”
The writer said her most poignant memory of the singer was a night in 1986 she spent sitting with him on the banks of Lake Geneva in Montreux. During their conversation, Mercury confessed to feeling “imprisoned” by fame. He also stressed that when his death came, he wanted to be buried without pomp or ceremony.
Jones said, “Even then he already knew his days were numbered. ‘Just throw me in the lake when I go,’ he said.”
Not everyone has been so damning about the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic. The Belfast Telegraph reports that Queen guitarist Brian May is enthused with the film and believes Rami Malek deserves an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury.
“Without doubt he’ll be on the nominations list for an Oscar and well deserved as well. He inhabited Freddie to the point where we even started to think of him as Freddie. Really remarkable.”