May said he gained a new respect for the thespian craft while helping actor Gwilym Lee prepare for and eventually perform in the Academy Award-winning film.
"I was a little nervous to have somebody play me on the screen," May told Radio X. "It's not an easy thing to contemplate. I think we all were like — certainly Roger [Taylor] as well — 'How's this going to be? Is it going to be embarrassing?'"
But all of May's doubts were assuaged as soon as he met Lee. The now-37-year-old actor was already a guitar player when he was cast in Bohemian Rhapsody, so when he and May spent time together, they played guitar and discussed May's unique stye. May thought Lee was focusing on the guitar side of the role, but he was doing more than that.
"He managed to absorb a lot of my riffs," May said. "What I didn't realize was he was absorbing me as a character as well. He was absorbing my voice, my body language, my whole kind of presence so much so that when I showed [the film] to my kids ... they thought that I'd done his voice.
"They said, 'He's really good, isn't he dad? He really gets you down, but obviously, you did the voice, right?' Well, no. He did it, and he's amazing in the film. I love the guy."
May added that he considers Lee "a hero" and a dear friend since the film production wrapped.
Check out the full Radio X Q&A via the player above.