The remaining members of iconic rock band Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor, joined the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody last night in marking the beginning of the Christmas season by switching on the lights on Carnaby Street.
The theme of the display this year is all things Queen, with the lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody put in neon lights along the whole length of the street.
This also marks the beginning of a significant week for the cast, as they prepare to release the Queen biopic to the world.
The team have been on an extensive promotional tour across the UK recently, with leading man Rami Malek heading over to ITV’s Lorraine Kelly to discuss how he prepared for his role as Freddie Mercury. Malek, 37, said: “I’ve watched everything that possibly exists, all the archival footage.”
On when he heard he had landed the role of a lifetime, Malek said: “You get a few moments of absolute elation and an adrenaline rush like you’d never believe, but then you think oh my god, he’s a rock god, he’s an icon, everyone adores him. What a challenge, and why would you?”
The film has been on a difficult path to get to this point, with director Brian Singer allegedly being removed from the film and replaced by Dexter Fletcher weeks before production was due to wrap.
Despite the drama, Malek was determined to make sure the film was finished. He told The Playlist: “Every moment where there was a challenge on set, I just reminded myself: What would Freddie do? And I guarantee, he would’ve seen it through.”
That isn’t the only switch up that was made for this film. Before Malek joined the cast, Sacha Baron Cohen was confirmed to be playing Freddie Mercury, but in an interview with Howard Stern after his departure he revealed the gig was short-lived. In a disagreement with a member of the band, Baron Cohen argued that the untold stories of Freddie Mercury should be told rather than a filtered down version of his life.
Baron Cohen, 47, said: “There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury. The guy was wild. There are stories of little people walking around parties with plates of cocaine on their heads.”
For a limited time only, there is a Queen memorabilia pop-up shop on Carnaby Street in celebration of the film’s release. You can view exact replicas of Freddie Mercury’s iconic stage costumes and even hand-written lyrics to some of their rock anthems. The Voice of London headed down to check it out:
Although the critic consensus is yet to be decided, word of mouth for this film is largely positive. Bohemian Rhapsody hits cinemas on Wednesday – you can book your tickets here.
Words, photo gallery and featured image: Christian Onions | Subbing: Amelia Richardson