Bohemian Rhapsody had a fantastic weekend at the box office, earning $50 million. With Queen having yet another resurgence and the band’s music being introduced to yet another generation in a big way, new fans will see the band’s legendary Live Aid performance for the first time. And then they’ll be impressed to see that the performance was recreated in its entirety for Bohemian Rhapsody.
While only 10-minutes of the performance made it into the theatrical cut, fans will be able to see Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee and Joseph Mazzello tear down Wembley Stadium in full when the movie gets a digital and physical media release. Malek revealed that the entire performance had been edited together and would be released as an extra during a recent cast interview with Collider.
“Doing the entire run-through of that concert, you feel the peaks and valleys of where the adrenaline is kicking in,” Malek says. “You’re so high off adrenaline that you realize that’s exactly how they were able to do what they were doing. It’s that quality that makes you feel, even just for a moment, that you’re superhuman.”
The rousing sequence was shot over the course of a week on an old air strip in North London, where the stage of the since-demolished Wembley was built to scale. Cameras were hoisted on cranes and throughout the audience of 2,000 extras, who were multiplied with CGI to replicate the 70,000 concertgoers who packed the stadium for the benefit.
Malek and his co-stars Gwilym Lee (who plays May), Ben Hardy (Taylor) and Joseph Mazzello (bassist John Deacon) had six weeks of rehearsal prior to shooting Live Aid, in which they worked with movement coach Polly Bennett and meticulously studied footage from the show on YouTube. After performing a different song every day, they ran through the whole set three times consecutively on the last day of filming – a Herculean feat that left Malek feeling “exhausted but elated.”
Live Aid took place on July 13, 1985. Performing between Dire Straits and David Bowie, Queen stole the show in front of a crowd of over 70,000. Queen’s 21-minute performance featured “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Hammer to Fall,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions.”