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Lucy Boynton responds to criticism over Bohemian Rhapsody movie

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Moya Lothian-McLean
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You might already know actor Lucy Boynton’s face from 12 years in the business – now get ready to see her fly

“I’m so ready for sweater weather,” Lucy Boynton exclaims, full of sheer delight at touching down to a chilly London. “I’ve been in LA since July.” 

The 24-year-old American-Brit (her accent is English) has been in the States filming for her role in the top secret Ryan Murphy project The Politician, alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Zoey Deutch. “I’m too intimidated by the Murphy empire to spill anything, but it is so refreshing to see the topics [The Politician] addresses – everything being called out is very relevant,” she says.

The TV series will be the next stop following her appearance as Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury’s ‘common law wife’, in the upcoming Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, out on 26 October. 

Boynton is no naïve ingénue though; acting since the age of 12 – you might have caught her as the fresh-faced young Beatrix in Miss Potter (2006) or as Margaret Dashwood in the BBC’s Sense And Sensibility (2008) – has left Boynton’s feet firmly planted. Stylist snagged a minute to chat…

Bohemian Rhapsody

Lucy Boynton in Bohemian Rhapsody

How did you prepare to play the part of someone who’s still alive [Mary Austin is now 67] for Bohemian Rhapsody?

It was really daunting, especially as [Austin] wasn’t involved in this film. You want to be as honest as possible but she’s very private and has set up boundaries. My first step was to watch interviews to gauge what she’s comfortable speaking about. Brian May was my main source; he introduced her to Freddie.

Some are unhappy with the focus on a male-female relationship when Freddie was famously gay. What’s your response?

People are in this mindset of needing to categorise others to make sense of them. Freddie and Mary’s relationship is an example of how sexuality is fluid; you can’t plan your life, you just go with it as it comes. It transformed as they went along.

You’ve been in the entertainment industry since you were a child. Have you noticed a sea change in the way women are treated?

People have lived with this awareness of the industry imbalance – now there is this feeling of empowerment and that you can always, always speak up. There is a long way to go – the fact we’re having this conversation in 2018 is disappointing – but it does at least feel like a conversation that there’s no excuse not to be aware of.

What’s inspiring you currently?

I always have a book on the go. Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies [by Scarlett Curtis] was everything I needed in this climate.

You said you love London winters – what’s the number one wintery activity to do in the city?

Holing up in the corner of a cosy pub. Very British.

Bohemian Rhapsody is in cinemas from 24 October

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Moya Lothian-McLean

Moya Lothian-McLean is Stylist’s editorial assistant where she spends her time inventing ways to shoehorn Robbie Williams into pieces. A reoffending dancefloor menace, a weekend finds her taking up too much space at disco nights around the city and subsequently recovering with dark sunglasses and late brunch the next day. 

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