HE WILL, HE WILL ROCK YOU!
Ben Hardy tells us what’s it like to play a legendary musician in the upcoming box office hit “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Ben Hardy tells us what’s it like–and what it takes–to play a legendary musician in the upcoming box office hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” Photography Mitchell Nguyen McCormack
Drums can be quite tricky to portray in movies. With other instruments, the movie can “cheat” a bit, mainly through clever camera angles. But it’s all too easy for viewers to notice when the drummer— or rather, the actor playing the drummer—is off by even a single beat. So, the pressure was definitely on for english actor Ben Hardy, who was selected to play Roger taylor, drummer for legendary rock band Queen, in the long awaited biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which covers the rise of the band up to the famous live aid concert of 1985.
of course, Hardy is no stranger to challenging roles or undergoing special training in preparation for a role. Back in 2015, for instance, when he was cast as the winged mutant angel in “X-Men: apocalypse,” he took up indoor skydiving to get a better appreciation of how the human body would look like in flight.
other than that, Hardy can also count being a series regular of “eastenders” and joining the all-star cast of “only the Brave” among his accomplishments. that being said, it’s probably safe to assume that his appearance in “Bohemian Rhapsody” will be the one to rock audiences all around the world for years to come.
DAMAN: Hi, Ben. Awesome to have you with us. How are you? Ben Hardy: i’m good, thanks. Happy to be here.
DA: So, obviously, we’re looking forward to see you in “Bohemian Rhapsody” this November. Personally, what do you see as the best part of the movie?
BH: the best part? that’s a tricky one. Push comes to shove, i’d say the live aid performance in 1985 may be one of the strongest parts of the movie.
DA: By the way, can you also tell us how you were initially cast as Roger Taylor?
BH: yeah, sure. i actually really chased this one. i’d worked with director Bryan Singer before on “X-Men: apocalypse” and when i heard he was going to be directing “Bohemian Rhapsody” i reached out to him to see if he’d consider me for Roger taylor. He was open to the idea but had reservations based on the fact he wanted the actor playing Rog to be able to play the drums. i wanted the part so bad i told him i could play. He asked me to put a song in video so he could see. i panicked, went away and bought the cheapest drum kit i could find and a local instructor to help me learn the song. Sent the video to Bryan. and a couple of auditions later and yeah, here we are.
DA: We’ve also heard that you had to take an intense crash course in drumming to secure the role. How did you manage to pull it off?
BH: obviously, i could never be as skilled a drummer as Roger taylor in the limited timeframe we had, and most likely could never be as good as him! But i wanted to do my best to pay tribute to the man’s talent. So, basically i just spent all day, every day locked away with my drum kit practicing over and over. i also had a great instructor in Brett Morgan. there’s no way i could have learnt to play so quickly without his help.
DA: On that note, what else did you have to do, train in or learn in a hurry in order to portray Queen’s legendary drummer?
BH: ah, man, i just spent days on youtube watching videos of him to learn as many of the characteristics, mannerisms, vocal qualities and idiosyncrasies i could find. i didn’t want to be doing an impression of Rog in this film but i wanted to give as much of an essence of him as i could.
DA: And we also have to ask: What was it like playing as Roger Taylor while the man was also on board as producer?
BH: initially, i was sh-t scared to meet Roger and for him to be on set and see my portrayal of him. But he was so supportive from the outset that it was really great to have him around. and learn as much as i could from him on all things Roger.
DA: What was the biggest challenge you faced while working on “Bohemian Rhapsody”?
“IF YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY WITH YOUR CURRENT SITUATION YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE HAPPY EVEN IF YOUR FIVE YEAR PLAN WORKS OUT”