Brian May makes acting debut ‘Very emotional experience, I got teary reading script’ WATCH | Music | Entertainment
Asked how he ended up playing a mythical version of himself from the Planet Rock on children’s television, Brian May told Express.co.uk it was all down to his actress wife. The Queen guitarist shared: “It’s just one of these things that came out of the blue. My Mrs [Anita Dobson] does a lot of wonderful work on TV and her agent was sorting out for her to do an appearance in the Andy and the Odd Socks series. And they said, ‘There is a part that would be perfect for Brian, do you think he would consider it?’ So I said to Anita, ‘Look I’m finding it hard to deal with what I’ve got on my plate at the moment, I don’t think I could take anything else on. I’m not really an actor, so probably not.’ But Anita looked at her husband and she said: “I think you should read the script before you say no!” Little did the rock legend know that this would lead to a “very emotional experience” for him.
Brian shared: “I actually got quite emotional just reading the script; I got quite kind of teary. So I thought, ‘No, I have to do this’. The real-life band, Andy and the Odd Socks are all about anti-bullying, they’re all about recognising that every kid is different and we should all be proud of our differences. And that’s why they’re called the Odd Socks; that’s why they wear odd socks because they’re that little bit odd. Strangely enough, it’s not a million miles from what is said in the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.”
The 74-year-old pointed out the scene where Rami Malek, in his Oscar-winning performance as Freddie Mercury, told their manager John Reid, “We are the misfits.”
The Queen guitarist added: “It’s kind of similar and there’s a lot of truth in that. A lot of people end up in bands because of that: they are the odd people out.”
On his episode of Andy and the Band series 2, which airs next week on CBBC and BBC iPlayer, Brian said: “It’s a wonderful moral tale for kids and for me it’s something that’s kind of in my blood, I suppose. It’s such fun to just step into that role of being the Godfather of Rock in my Rock cave on Planet Rock! The story’s brilliant, I won’t give it all away. Rio, who’s the guitar player suddenly finds that he can’t find his air guitar. His air guitar is very important to him but he’s told, ‘Don’t be stupid, air guitars aren’t real – get over yourself!’ Andy says, ‘But this is very important to him, it’s very real to Rio. It’s part of him, his air guitar.’ So what do they do? He says, ‘Well I’m gonna go off and talk to my Godfather of Rock.’ And off they go to this Planet Rock and there I am sitting in my Rock cave!
“Basically what it comes does to is that in losing his air guitar, he’s lost his self-confidence, he’s lost his belief in himself. So that’s what he needs to find out, to re-find, to regain. He needs to find his self-confidence and the Godfather of Rock manages to find a way for him to do that; to put him in touch with the part of himself that believes in himself and then his air guitar comes back. So it’s a lovely thing for kids to see who do lose their self-confidence, as we all do. And it’s a reminder that you’re not alone and this can be fixed.”
On the episode’s track which fans can see a snippet of at the top of this article, Brian said: “It’s very well done. The song that we play in the show is great. I didn’t write it, but I contribute to the way it’s arranged and played on it. Also, it will be a single!”
On his first time playing a character on TV, the 74-year-old said: “It’s kind of an acting debut. I have done a few things, I have done some comedy appearances like Monty Python’s Spamalot. But as regards a straight acting role, which this is even though it’s a kid’s programme, it’s a drama, then yes it is my debut. I took it very seriously. I felt an obligation to learn my lines and turn up knowing what the hell I was doing because otherwise, you waste everybody’s time. Anita had great advice for me. She said, ‘There’s two rules for being an actor: You have to learn your lines and not bump into the furniture.’ And by the sounds of it, the Queen legend isn’t entirely closing the door to more acting in the future.
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Asked why he hadn’t previously followed in the footsteps of other rock stars like Mick Jagger and starred in movies, Brian said it hadn’t tempted him in the past.
The 74-year-old, who heads back on tour with Queen and Adam Lambert this summer, said: “No, not really so far. I’m a busy person you see with a lot of different avenues: Astronomy to Stereoscopy and Animal Rights. And trying to be a decent family member as a father and a grandfather. So there isn’t a lot of room for another career, but you never know!
“See, I kind of have an agent by default now because Anita’s agent looked after this for me, so she’s made a few little wisecracks to me saying, ‘Okay, I’m going to find you your next role’, and I don’t know how serious she is, but we shall see…”
Andy and the Band Series 2 arrives on CBBC and iPlayer from January 24, 2022. The Planet Rock episode, featuring Brian May, will air on CBBC on January 27.