THE TELEGRAPH – After production ended on Lucy Boynton’s latest film, Bohemian Rhapsody, the 24-year-old British actress was surprised to find herself dating Freddie Mercury.

The film begins in 1970 when Farrokh Bulsara, a Zoroastrian Indian immigrant (played by Rami Malek), is working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. By the final scene, set 15 years later, he has become Queen’s lead singer, performing a Live Aid set watched by a packed Wembley Stadium and a TV audience of 1.9 billion. When filming wrapped in February, Boynton and Malek started seeing each other.

After watching the film, it’s impossible to imagine anyone but Malek as Mercury, who died of Aids-related pneumonia in 1991 at the age of 45; the 37-year-old American actor disappears entirely into the role. Learning to speak – and sing – through prosthetic teeth was only a small step on the way to a transformative performance that Brian May, Queen’s guitarist, has called “flawless”.

“He became Freddie so closely that I assumed many of those idiosyncrasies must be his own,” says Boynton. “Then we started hanging out, and I realised that he could not be more different. Having got to know him better, and then gone back to watch the film, I just think… how?”

In Bohemian Rhapsody, Boynton plays Mary Austin, Mercury’s one-time fiancée, who remained his closest friend and muse long after their romance had dwindled and he was living out his true sexuality. The relationship between the two characters is the emotional heart of a film that has had a far from straightforward journey to the screen.

Talk of a Mercury biopic first began in 2008, to be scripted by The Crown’s Peter Morgan and produced by two of the surviving members of Queen, May and the drummer Roger Taylor. Two years later, Sacha Baron Cohen was said to have been cast as Mercury. But in 2013, he quit, amid reports that he wanted the film to be a “gritty, R-rated tell-all centred around the gifted, gay singer”, while May and Taylor were intent on a more respectful narrative.

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THE BEAUTIFUL MIND SERIES – Actress, Lucy Boynton, on being a woman in film and embracing the darkness in alternative selves.

Stepping in and out of other selves
When you’re becoming another human, you have to find something in them that resonates with you. But it’s not that they have to be like you. In fact what excites me most are the characters that I don’t see in myself. In no other job do you get to step in and out of other selves like this.

Why I’m drawn to the dark
There’s something dark in actors. To be able to be so transient in identity there has to be a certain amount of yourself that is – empty is the wrong word – open. You have to be an open wound. I love the darker material because it is an extreme that I don’t experience in my own life. It quenches some kind of absence in me.

The darkest character I will ever have played…
Is one I’m going to play in Medusa, an upcoming film by Osgood Perkins. He’s the director I also worked with in The Blackcoat’s Daughter and I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives In The House. The films Osgood writes are dark and devastating but also beautiful and rooted in grief and loss. Violet, my character, is dark but only in the sense of absence of light. There’s an innocence to her darkness.

The empowering feeling of instilling fear
Being brought up as a woman, you have a sense of vulnerability projected onto you, in the way you are taught to take care of yourself walking home at night and so on. But in this film, Violet is the one the others fear. For someone who looks like me, someone you might mistake as vulnerable, it’s empowering to instil fear in others.

Wow this is dark!

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GALLERY LINKS
Magazine Scans > 2017 > Crash UK (Fall)
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 017

CRASH – Fresh and talented young face Lucy Boynton is one of the most promising actresses of her generation. Playing in movies and TV series since the age of twelve, she stands head and shoulders above the rest for the precision of her acting. Recently on screen in John Carney’s “Sing Street,” she has portrayed her first lead role with grace and spontaneity.

What made you want to act in films?
When I was ten there was a new drama teacher at school, Helen Kaye, who was an actress herself, and must have been the first actress I’d met. She was so glamorous and taught us that acting isn’t about pretending to be someone else, but working to really feel like someone else, departing from your own instincts and idiosyncrasies to feel someone else’s. It was a pretty wild and inspiring thing to discover at such a young age. This is one of the few jobs that offers one the opportunity to live a thousand lives as a thousand different people, I don’t know how you could say no to that.

At twelve, you got your first role in Chris Noonan’s film titled “Miss Potter,” about the life of children’s author, Beatrix Potter. How did you live this experience at such a young age?
It was very intimidating but an utterly thrilling experience. I had grown up reading Beatrix Potter books so I was well aware of the reputation and the remarkable human I was portraying, so I felt pressure of course to do her justice. I had also never done anything like it before so I had no idea what to expect. But it was the most magical experience, and Chris Noonan was the kindest most nurturing leader. I feel incredibly lucky to have had that be my introduction to this industry.

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C MAGAZINE – An air of mystery surrounds British actor Lucy Boynton. “I’m a very private person,” she admits. “I don’t tend to reveal too much of myself, which is why I love my job.” It’s a quality she shares with her characters—whether it’s Allison Adams in the Naomi Watts-fronted Netflix series Gypsy, Raphina in 2016’s critically acclaimed musical dramedy Sing Street, or opposite Nicholas Hoult as J.D. Salinger’s second wife, Claire Douglas, in the biopic Rebel in the Rye, slated for release in September. “The first impression of them isn’t everything that they are,” she says of the enigmatic characters she plays. “I enjoy that slow unraveling.” Boynton made her feature film debut portraying a young Renée Zellweger in 2006’s Miss Potter. “I’ve been working for, like, 10 years now, which is a very strange thing to say when you’re 23,” she laughs. “So much of this job is getting used to rejection, so to actually be working is nice.”

The daughter of journalists, Boynton says her itinerant upbringing has proven helpful in navigating Hollywood. “I thrive on that nomadic lifestyle,” she says of splitting time between L.A., London and New York when she isn’t elsewhere shooting. Boynton will next appear as the elusive Countess Andrenyi in the Kenneth Branagh-directed film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, out in November with Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley and Michelle Pfeiffer. “My first day of work was in this exquisite train carriage with the entire cast,” she says. “To look down that carriage at all of these faces I’ve grown up admiring was surreal.”

GALLERY LINKS
Studio Photoshoots > Outtakes & Sessions > 2017 > Session 011

THE NEW POTATO – Vogue called her the “beauty experimenter;” we’re calling Lucy Boynton our new style inspiration. Seriously, have you ever seen anyone with more perfect skin? We sat down with the actress to talk about everything from Mad Men to her favorite beauty products. Spoiler: she loves pancakes almost as much as we do and might just inspire you to go pescetarian. Happy reading…

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
Pancakes for all three meals.

How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I’m trying to be pescatarian which feels much better in every way. The movie Okja was a pretty rude awakening and is, I think, all the motivation anyone should need.

What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I cleanse my face twice a day with Pai camellia and rose cleanser and moisturize with their rebalancing cream. Then every few days I’ll use a mask of theirs. I have really sensitive skin so it’s a relief to find products as gentle and pure as Pai.

How do you get into character?
It’s really different for every character I play, but I’m trying to evade answering this question so I don’t give myself away.

Where do you love to travel? What won’t you travel without?
Because I mostly live in London traveling anywhere where you don’t have to be constantly armed with an umbrella is thrilling, and I’ll never travel without a good book or two.

Do you have any go-to workout routines?
I rather loathe any exercise that feels like exercise. Instead, I take ballet classes whenever I can. It’s bloody hard work, but I like that the purpose and focus is improvement of a skill.

What’s always in your fridge? What do you snack on when you’re on set?
Dark chocolate and dark chocolate.

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