Biopics are a hard type of film to cast, especially when the subject has thousands of hours of visual media featuring them in existence. It's one thing to make a biopic of, say, Abraham Lincoln. There are a few photos and a painting or five, but in reality, there are only a few images of what the man actually looked like. Freddie Mercury, on the other hand, was the frontman of Queen, and there are two decades of concerts and videos fans have already watched to death out there. But the Bohemian Rhapsody cast vs. Queen shows the filmmakers knew what they were doing when they cast the production.
When comparing the originals to the real deal, the resemblance is downright uncanny. This doesn't just go for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury either, though he is perhaps the most important one. Bohemian Rhapsody isn't billed as a Freddie Mercury biopic, but a Queen biopic, which meant all four members of the band needed to have spot-on casting. Like Freddie, fans have seen images of Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon in videos before Bohemian Rhapsody. The movie made sure to capture all four nearly perfectly.
Check out the photos of the real deals next to their movie counterparts:
Rami Malek was praised first and foremost for how much he looked like Freddie Mercury in the early promotional images. The movie doesn't neglect the resemblance either. But the place where Malek nails the look most seems to be in the Live Aid sequence that bookends the film.
The image on the left is from the YouTube video of the real thing and the shot on the right is the movie version. The only difference between the two images is the movie magic sheen on the right.
Brian May has been at the forefront of keeping the Queen torch alive. He was heavily involved in the making of the film. (Some might argue too involved, but as the holder of the rights to Queen's music, there was no getting around it.)
But the upshot is that the casting of Gwilym Lee in the role of a young Brian May is more freakishly spot-on than Malek as Freddie. In fact, of all the actors cast in the film, Brian May's may be the closest to the real thing on screen.
Before there was Queen, there was a group called Smile, which both Brian May and Roger Taylor were members. It was natural, then, the two of them stayed close after Freddie's death, and have gone on tour as Queen with substitute frontmen.
It's also not surprising he also was heavily involved with this film. Comparing actor Ben Hardy to this YouTube interview shot of the real Taylor is almost creepy in how dead-on the look is.
John Deacon was the only member of Queen to join the band after Freddie's arrival. He was the first to say "the band can't go on without him" after Freddie died. Deacon was not as involved with this film as the others.
Though Joseph Mazzello has the right face for it, his wigs are not as dead-on for Deacon's long-haired period as the rest of the band, but three out of four perfect replicas are still impressive.