Lucy Boynton was just 12 when she landed her first acting gig, as young Beatrix in 2006’s Miss Potter. But it wasn’t until 2016’s Sing Street—from Once director John Carney—that she really found her groove. “Because I started at such a young age, I went in with a ‘take what comes, do what I’m told’ approach,” says Boynton, now 24. “Sing Street was the first time I’d worked so collaboratively. [Carney] would say, ‘I hate this scene—let’s rewrite the whole thing.’ The amount of control he gave the actors was amazing.” Boynton, who was born stateside to travel-writer parents and moved to the U.K. at age 5, calls those two films “bookmarks” in a résumé that also includes the BBC’s 2008 Sense & Sensibility miniseries and last year’s Murder on the Orient Express.

This fall, Boynton stars opposite Rami Malek in the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. She plays Mary Austin, the Queen frontman’s longtime companion, confidante, and muse, whose place in Mercury’s story is often overlooked. “Their relationship was such an exquisite thing to explore—how deeply supportive they were of bringing out in each other the most honest and real versions of themselves,” Boynton says. Before Bohemian Rhapsody hits theaters, on November 2, Boynton portrays the daughter of an early-20th-century cult leader in the Netflix thriller Apostle, which starts streaming October 12. “The difference between the two demonstrates my favorite thing about this job,” she says. “You get to live so many lives.”

Boynton’s Netflix run continues with The Politician, an upcoming comedy series that’s part of Ryan Murphy’s buzzed-about nine figure move to the streaming giant. (The series also stars Dear Evan Hansen’s Ben Platt and, reportedly, Barbra Streisand and Gwyneth Paltrow.) “It’s kind of terrifying,” Boynton says with a laugh. “It’s impossible not to be aware of the Ryan Murphy empire, but he is so kind and funny, and you feel in such safe hands every day.” As for roles Boynton would love to tackle, there’s a when rather than a who on her bucket list. “It was a bit of a whirlwind year in terms of jumping in and out of different time periods, but I haven’t done anything in the Jazz Age,” she says. “I’d love to do that.”

Lucy and Rami Malek attended the Louis Vuitton And Virgil Abloh London Pop-Up on October 19, 2018 in London.

On October 8, Lucy attended a press conference in Beverly Hills for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Head over to our gallery for high quality pictures!

Studio Photoshoots > Portraits & Press Conferences > 2018: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Press Conference

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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