After getting the role, the actor quickly hired a music teacher to put him through a drumming crash course, playing for 10 hours a day to perfect the new talent.
Actor Ben Hardy snagged his Bohemian Rhapsody role as Queen rocker Roger Taylor by lying about his ability to play the drums.
The Brit reveals he had reached out to director Bryan Singer after learning his X-Men: Apocalypse filmmaker was taking charge of the new biopic, and asked if he could be a part of the long-gestating project.
“He had reservations based upon the fact that he wanted the person who played Roger Taylor to be able to play the drums, because you can cheat the other instruments with camera angles, but in the wide shots you can see if the drum is out of sync,” Ben explains to People.com. “So I told him I could play the drums – which I couldn’t at the time.
“I wanted the job really bad (sic). Who doesn’t want to play a rock ‘n’ roll star? So I told him a little white lie/big lie, that I could play the drums. So he was like, ‘Great, can you put this song on film for me to show to the producers?'”.
The 27 year old flew into “a massive panic” and quickly hired a music teacher to put him through a drumming crash course, playing for 10 hours a day to perfect the new talent.
“There wasn’t enough time – I bought the cheapest drum kit I could find and found a drum teacher locally and was like, ‘Look, here’s the deal: I need to learn to play this song as soon as possible, what can you do?'”.
Ben recalls Singer chasing him up for the video recording: “I was like, ‘Here is the moment, gonna have to do it,’ so I put it on film and just prayed,” he laughs.
His intense training paid off, and he was added to the line-up of Bohemian Rhapsody, which stars Rami Malek as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
Ben also had to work on shedding a few pounds from his athletic frame to match the slender physique of Taylor during the band’s heyday, and after shooting the movie for several weeks, he was granted the unique opportunity to receive a private drum lesson from Roger himself – at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios.
“I had so many questions to ask him,” gushes Ben. “He gave me a mini drum lesson, which was so cool. Who gets to say they got a drum lesson from Rodger Taylor at Abbey Road Studios? Then we had lunch at this little French place down the road”.
Production on Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t all smooth – Singer was fired by studio bosses in December (17) over allegations of unprofessional behaviour and reported disputes with leading man Malek, and he was replaced by British director Dexter Fletcher.
The biopic opens in November.
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