If you hadn’t heard of Queen, then you certainly have now and after Rami Malek‘s continual sweep at every award ceremony this year, musical biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is considered a true cinematic masterpiece. A short but monumental 15 years, the film perfectly captures not only the major events that occurred during that time, but every member behind music’s greatest hits. From ‘We Will Rock You’ to ‘Killer Queen’, if the film affirms anything, its that Mercury was nothing without his group, and fronting one of those members is Ben Hardy.
Known for his long-running appearance in BBC EastEnders, the English actor was thrust into the limelight with his hollywood debut, starring in X-Men: Apocalypse. Co-starring as winged mutant Archangel, his jump from soap operas to sci-fi films was considered a bold move, but one that has come with great reward.
In 2017, Hardy faced films Mary Shelley and Only The Brave and in 2018, followed up a busy year playing the lead of Walter Hartright in the BBC adaption of The Woman in White. Perhaps his greatest film to-date however, is his incredible performance as Queen’s drummer and songwriter, Roger Taylor. But what is it really like to front such an iconic musician?
“I think everyone is subconsciously aware of Queen without even thinking about it because every time you go to a sports game there’s the stomp, stomp, clap of We Will Rock You,” he said. “You see an advert and I Want To Break Free will be the sound track. You can’t not know Queen’s big hits.”
After working with former director of the film, Bryan Singer on X-Men, the 28-year-old was a shoe-in for the role of Taylor, not only for his talent but his eerily similar appearance. Pushing himself to encapsulate the musician, on everything from his vocal ability, to playing the drums and even subtle nuances, Hardy’s research was extensive.
“The first time we met Roger was actually at Abbey Road Studios, which was amazing in itself; it’s just so iconic. We were there to do some pre-record stuff… I remember I was so nervous, partly because I’d watched so much footage of them… I don’t usually get star struck, really, but to meet someone who you have literally obsessed over, for work, for the past few weeks, was a really strange experience.”
“I watched everything. In terms of character there is a really interesting interview with him and Brian in 1982 or 1984 in Austria. It is really interesting because you can see the relationship between him and Brian. There’s a bit of friction there as well but also there’s respect and there are a lot of idiosyncratic movements that he does, little nervous tics and things like that… It is about trying to decode that.”
Despite having no drumming experience – “I told them I could [play]” – Hardy’s adaption was almost uncanny, and hitting off 2019, fans can now expect to see the star alongside Ryan Reynolds and Dave Franco in Six Underground.
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