Right after this portion of last night’s Rami Malek interview, Scott Feinberg brought up “the elephant in the room” — director Bryan Singer. I described Malek’s reaction last night — empathy for Singer’s alleged victims, a terse and steely dismissal of the director himself. We all understand the campaign narrative — Singer may have directed 90% of the film but he’s currently radioactive, so his contributions are dismissable.
It’s significant but unsurprising that the Santa Barbara Film Festival video team decided to lop off the portion of the interview in which Singer was discussed.
Here’s a thought passed along by a director friend as Tatyana and I watched the Golden Globe awards at his home. His idea or theory was that on a certain level Bohemian Rhapsody is Singer’s mea culpa.
Singer has reportedly lived a ravenous, serpent-like sexual life, allegedly predatory and without the usual restraints and, to hear it from some accusers, in the service of an appetite that has defied the bounds of decency. Mercury was also quite the hound in his day, not pursuing minors (i.e., twinks) but certainly diving into the sexual pit without hesitation or any concept of moderation (“Don’t Stop Me Now”).
The director believes that Singer saw his obsessive behavior in Mercury, and that Singer is vaguely saying to the audience in a roundabout way, “Look, I’m not trying to excuse anything but there was a kind of insatiable serpent-beast in Freddie, certainly up to the point that he got sick, and there’s also a kind of beast in me, and as deplorable as you may find some of my alleged or reported behaviors sometimes the beast is much stronger than other parts of a person, and he basically runs the show.” Or something like that. My director friend was basically saying, “These guys are not dissimilar.”
By the way: Each and every person who’s chosen to look the other way about Singer’s allegedly abusive behaviors (as well as the late Michael Jackson‘s) needs to read this 1.31 Guardian piece by Marina Hyde, titled “R Kelly, Michael Jackson and Bryan Singer. Who knew? Everyone.”