The Staggering Truth Freddie Mercury Admitted In His Final Interview

The list of late Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury’s accomplishments as a musician during his two-decades-long career is extensive enough to call him one of the greatest frontmen in the history of rock music. Mercury not only defied the conventions of a rock frontman with his flamboyant stage persona, but he also proved himself to be one of the best singers of all time with his four-octave vocal range.

Every Queen fan knows Mercury was known for his highly theatrical style, including his stage performances, over-the-top costumes, and one-of-a-kind statements during interviews. On the other hand, real Mercury fans know that this persona didn’t correspond to his real personality, which was shy, fragile, and lonely.

Although Mercury sometimes revealed his genuine self through his music, he never actually admitted his entire career was filled with pretending until the last interview before his passing. Let’s see why the musician decided to come clean about his personality and admirable music career and break down how he brilliantly did it via his music video for ‘The Great Pretender.’

Freddie Mercury Admitted He’s Pretending As A Performer

Freddie Mercury decided to release a cover version of The Platters’ popular song, ‘The Great Pretender’ on February 23, 1987. Although many other artists have covered the song, Mercury’s version is the most successful one as it reached No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart.

The track’s music video was as monumental as the song itself since it featured the singer parodying himself and many of his Queen personas, including ‘Radio Ga Ga,’ ‘I Want to Break Free,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ The rocker altered those iconic videos with his own self rather than the characters in them, implying that none of them was the actual Freddie Mercury. 

In one of his last videotaped interviews in the spring of 1987 with his friend and film director Rudi Dolezal, Mercury explained that the song was particularly fitting for the way he saw his career and being on stage. Apparently, the Queen icon had always wanted to do a cover song but he couldn’t due to the fact that the band was known for their original material.

In addition to this, Mercury opened up about his feelings on living a dual life as a public performer and private person. It seems like the legendary musician was pretending in all of his stage performances and music videos with Queen, and he didn’t mind it because it was fun.

About the video for ‘The Great Pretender,’ Mercury said:

Most of the stuff I do is pretending. It’s like acting, you know? You go on stage and I pretend to be a macho-man and all that, and then in my videos, you go through all the different characters, and you’re pretending anyway. So, I think it’s a great title for what I do, and it’s sort of suited to what I was doing.

Although the meaning in the song of how it is all to do with love, that he’s pretending about love, I sort of take it a stage further. The way I see it is that I’m pretending, all this is a pretense, and it’s just fun.”

When asked if he saw his music career as an opportunity to create a character instead of being his authentic self, Freddie Mercury gave a touching answer that made his fans realize his challenging life. Mercury had to leave his stage persona once he left the stage since it would be unbearable to live like that in his private life.

According to Express, Mercury said about his stage persona:

“When I go on stage I’m acting out a certain role. When I come off it, I mean, I don’t carry on that way. Otherwise, I’d be dead, you know? So it’s like a pretense. When you go on stage you sort to go through different moods and then you’re putting on… You know you change your costume and you become somebody else. And then after that, you’re own person.”

You can watch the music video for ‘The Great Pretender’ below.