Bohemian Rhapsody could have been a very different movie if original Freddie Mercury star Sacha Baron Cohen had had his way. The Borat star had wanted to explore the darker, seedier side of the Queen singer’s private life, which no doubt would have been a 15.
But Cohen left the project and the Oscar-winning film ended up with a lower age certificate.
As a result, some Bohemian Rhapsody critics felt the film “whitewashed” Freddie’s private life and sexuality.
However, Peter Freestone, who was Freddie’s PA for the last 12 years of his life, disagrees with this assessment.
Speaking with Sky News, he said: “It was a PG. You’re not going to have Freddie jumping in and out of bed with other men all the way through the film.”
Bohemian Rhapsody is actually a 12A, but adults can take children younger than that as they see fit.
Freestone continued: “You know, they had people on set controlling how many cigarettes were smoked. All these things.
“But Jim [Hutton, Mercury’s partner] featured in it. He was there.
“And even at the end, [it said] Jim lived with Freddie through to the end of his life. It was all there.”
Freddie’s friend and personal assistant added: “People tend to see what they want to see, and if they don’t, if they’re not handed something on a plate, they’re not happy to work for it, having to use their brain.
“Everybody wants just to see it and have instant gratification.
“It’s not a film about sexuality, it’s a film about people and their music.”
Freestone also gave his verdict on Bohemian Rhapsody, admitting to being in tears.
He said: “It sounds incredibly stage but it was my life up there as well.
“Watching some of those scenes being filmed was really strange.”
“He knew before he died there would be books about him and I suppose must have had an idea there would be a film.
“I understand people’s objections to moving bits and whatever.”
On seeing the film, Freestone added: “I could feel a lump in my throat.
“And when I watched the film, I had tears coming down me.
“Also the part – which again, didn’t happen like it did in the film – when Freddie tells the band he has AIDS.
“I cried at that as well.”