By: AnnMarie Scaramuzzino
This past summer, it was revealed that actor Sacha Baron Cohen would not be portraying Freddie Mercury in a forthcoming biopic about the late Queen singer’s life.
At the time, it was rumored that Cohen and the surviving members of Queen had different visions for the film, with Cohen wanting to document Mercury’s life in a more raw and real fashion, while Brian May and Roger Taylor were looking to make a more family-friend film.
However, in a recent interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Brian May is giving a very different explanation of why Queen and Cohen parted ways.
“It’s quite difficult to talk about because we owe Sacha a lot,” the guitarist explains. “He had so much enthusiasm for the project and it really helped us kick it into the start position. But in the end we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting.”
May continues on to say that Cohen’s recent appearances in movies such as The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo made it apparent to the band that, despite his striking resemblance to Mercury, the actor could not completely step away from his “Sacha Baron Cohen” performance-style for a convincing enough portrayal of the singer.
“You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t that could really happen with Sacha,” May tells Classic Rock Magazine. “That’s not any criticism of his talent whatsoever, it’s just a feeling that it was not going to work – that the pieces didn’t fit together anymore. But we parted company on very good terms.”
Meanwhile, May says that they’re “in good shape” when it comes to casting a new “Freddie,” but wouldn’t reveal any further details from there.
For more on Brian May’s interview with Classic Rock Magazine, click here, and tell us who you think should play Freddie Mercury in the upcoming biopic in the comments section below!