By Esme Douglas
November 09, 2018 at 08:38 PM EST

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018 movie)

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Bohemian Rhapsody star Joe Mazzello admits it was “weird” when Bryan Singer, the original director of that biopic, well, bit the dust, so to speak, during production of that biopic.

“It was sorta weird,” Mazzello, who plays Queen bassist John Deacon, told Lola Ogunnaike, host of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing. “Doing something like [HBO miniseries] The Pacific helps, where you have multiple directors… one director does one episode, another director does another episode. We sorta tried to think of it in that way.”

Singer — who directed the first two X-Men movies, plus Apocalypse and Days of Future Past in that franchise, as well as The Usual Suspects, and more — was fired more than halfway into production by Fox, at the time citing his “unexpected unavailability” (rumors also swirled of creative differences with star Rami Malek, and that Singer was showing up late or not at all to set). Singer hit back, saying Fox wouldn’t allow him to take “some time off so I could return to the U.S. to deal with pressing health matters concerning one of my parents.”

RELATED VIDEO: Joe Mazzello’s friendship with Rami Malek started years before they costarred in Bohemian Rhapsody

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Though the transition was strange, Mazzello has nothing but glowing things to say about Singer’s replacement Dexter Fletcher. “When Dexter came on and brought his energy, that guy, he must have ten coffees a day, because he is the most wonderful man. He’s got the greatest heart and the biggest voice and just like made us pumped up and excited to come to work.”

Despite the initial setback, Fletcher, Mazzello says, brought new life to the project. “A lot of the scenes he did were some of the playful fun scenes near the beginning of the film and so it was really good. Everyone played to their strengths.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is in theaters now.

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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018 movie)

  • Movie
  • Bryan Singer