“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?”
They’re questions nearly 300 college students may have pondered as they attended a free advance screening of “Bohemian Rhapsody” Monday night at AMC Loews Boston Common, followed by a Q&A with stars Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, and Joe Mazzello. Angie C of WZLX hosted the chat.
Malek, who stars as frontman Freddie Mercury in the new movie about beloved British rock band Queen, told the Globe on the red carpet that he connected with the late musician through their similar backgrounds. Malek is of Egyptian descent, while Mercury was of Parsi descent.
Malek, who won a lead actor Emmy in 2016 for “Mr. Robot,” called “Bohemian Rhapsody” a “crowd pleasing” and “entertaining” film.
“The story alone is such a great celebration of a man’s life,” Malek said. “And then to tack on a score unlike any other — the undeniably everlasting music of Queen is something that could take any movie to heights, but the concert sequences alone are very special.”
Lee, who portrays guitarist Brian May, echoed those sentiments, hoping that audiences will “take away a sense of joy, and a sense of celebrating live, and a kind of fearlessness to express yourself.”
The actor also expressed excitement that Mike Myers appears in the film, as fictional EMI record executive Ray Foster.
Myers used the operatic Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the opening scene of 1992’s “Wayne’s World,” and “introduced Queen music to a whole generation at that time,” Lee recalled.
“Hopefully, this will be an occasion where we are introducing it to another generation of the world.”
According to Mazzello, who plays guitarist John Deacon, the movie, slated for Nov. 2 release, offer viewers an escape from the stresses of work and school.
“If you want to get away from life for a little bit, and [get away from] the hardships of life…. I think this movie gives you that escape,” Mazzello said. “That’s something John always felt was important about Queen — that if you get some enjoyment out of it, that’s the main point, and I think that’s the same for the film.”Kaya Williams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Kaya_Noelle.