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Why Roger Taylor From Bohemian Rhapsody Looks So Familiar

The epic musical drama "Bohemian Rhapsody" managed to distinguish itself in a heavily saturated genre following its release in October 2018. While its reception with critics was mixed, per the scores on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was a global box office smash hit. Five months after its release, the BBC reported the feature had raked in more than $900 million globally. The electrifying concert sequences in "Bohemian Rhapsody" and its stellar cast contributed to the picture earning a bevy of Academy Awards for best actor, best film editing, best sound editing, and best sound mixing. The 20th Century Studios release was also nominated for best picture.

While the cast is anchored by the Oscar-winning star power of Rami Malek as lead singer Freddie Mercury, the supporting actors are no less impactful and recognizable. Among the big names on the "Bohemian Rhapsody" call sheet are the eternally funny Mike Myers and "Game of Thrones" alum Aidan Gillen. As for the actors playing members of Queen, drummer Roger Taylor is brought to life by British actor Ben Hardy. Viewers might be familiar with the actor's other film and television roles before and after he appeared in the award-winning flick.

Ben Hardy got his start on a British soap opera

British actor Ben Hardy cut his teeth on television in a variety of BBC productions. In 2013, he took over the role of Peter Beale in the long-running soap opera "EastEnders," as noted by Radio Times. The role was significant for the young actor, given his family had been loyal fans of the show for years (via Digital Spy). The actor left the U.K. soap in 2015, just before he made his feature film debut. 

Per his IMDb profile, in 2018, he returned to the television work in the lead role of Walter Hartright in a BBC adaptation of Wilkie Collins' 1859 novel "The Woman in White." The part of Hartright was especially attractive to Hardy, who described Walter as "the audience's eyes and ears throughout this extraordinary story" (via BBC). Even after his jump to the silver screen, he is sticking to his roots as a BBC star. In March of this year, Variety reported he joined the cast of the forthcoming BBC One/HBO Max series "The Girl Before."

He made his film debut as a popular X-Men superhero

Two years before taking a seat behind the drum kit in "Bohemian Rhapsody," Ben Hardy made his feature film debut in another Bryan Singer film, 2016's "X-Men: Apocalypse." In the movie, he plays Warren Kenneth Worthington III, better known as Angel, a mutant with bird-like feathered wings that grow out of his back. He went through strenuous preparation for the role, even taking up indoor skydiving (via Comicbook). His conditioning was so intense that he sprained his ankle during the first day of filming, leading the young actor to fear he would be fired, which he revealed in a 2017 interview with Coach magazine.

"X-Men: Apocalypse" was successful at the box office, earning $543.9 million worldwide on a $178 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). While lucrative, the venture proved potentially binding for Hardy, who admitted he "signed my life away to them [20th Century Fox]" while speaking with Digital Spy. He continued, "Anything I do, everything I do, I have to ask them if I can do it first," he said.

Ben Hardy showed up in a Michael Bay Netflix blockbuster

After "Bohemian Rhapsody," Ben Hardy's next movie star turn came in Michael Bay's 2019 Netflix action flick "6 Underground." The Brit plays Billy, aka "Four," a member of an elite team of vigilante operatives enlisted by tech billionaire Magnet S. Johnson (Ryan Reynolds) to depose a brutal dictator. The pic was a hit with Netflix viewers, garnering 83 million watches during its first four weeks of streaming, among the highest for the streamer's original titles (via The Hollywood Reporter). Critical reception, however, was underwhelming, earning just 36% Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Having already taken up extensive conditioning for his debut in "X-Men: Apocalypse," Hardy was up to the physical demands of starring in a Bay blockbuster, doing a few of his own stunts (via NME). However, for liability purposes, the most dangerous stunts (chiefly the movie's renowned parkour sequences) were done by professionals.