Spoiler alert! The following contains minor spoilers about the ending of Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
NEW YORK – Playing Freddie Mercury on the big screen is daunting enough. But having to re-create the Queen frontman’s most iconic concert on the very first day of shooting?
“It was a baptism by fire,” says Rami Malek, who charismatically performs the British rocker’s entire Live Aid show at the end of the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (in theaters now). “You walk out there on that stage as it was replicated from the day, and there was a feeling like you could never imagine of extreme euphoria. You just need to live up to that moment.”
Live Aid, the massive charity concert for famine relief in Africa, drew more than a billion TV viewers worldwide when it was staged on July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The star-studded lineup included pop and rock acts such as Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Elton John, U2 and Queen, who played a 22-minute set featuring hits “Radio Ga Ga,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.”
It serves as the centerpiece of the electrifying finale of “Bohemian,” which comes just after Mercury’s (Malek) devastating diagnosis with HIV/AIDS. Unsure how much time he has left, the ailing Mercury agrees to do the show and make amends with his former bandmates, whom he alienated when he left Queen to pursue a solo career. (In reality, Mercury hadn’t yet been diagnosed, and the band was still together.)
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