Why Sacha Baron Cohen won’t play Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury and Sacha Baron Cohen. Image Source: Redhot,org

Freddie Mercury and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Image Source: Redhot,org

Of all the many British comedians to have come out in the past couple years, Sacha Baron Cohen is probably my favourite, and, since 2010, he’s been attached to a biography of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. However, recently, he pulled out, allegedly because Baron Cohen and Queen were unable to agree on what kind of movie they wanted to make, but Roger Taylor finally said: “We felt Sacha probably wasn’t right in the end. We didn’t want it to be a joke. We want people to be moved.”Brian May recently elaborated: “It’s quite difficult to talk about because we owe Sacha a lot. 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.  What led us to that conclusion was the last three movies that he’s made – The Dictator, Les Miserables and Hugo – in which he makes outstanding performances, but they’re very much Sacha Baron Cohen performances. And we thought there has to be no distraction in the Freddie movie. You have to really suspend that disbelief – the man who plays Freddie, you have to really believe is Freddie. And we didn’t think that could really happen with Sacha. 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.”

May insists that Sacha Baron Cohen and the band are on good terms: “It’s a shame that there were these sensationalist stories about him walking out. None of that was true… We remain friends with Sacha and hopefully there will be another project that we will work on together in the future.” The biopic, despite the disappearance of Baron Cohen, is still going ahead, and they are even close to casting a replacement, whose identity Roger Taylor has confirmed. But before we explain who they’ve got lined up, let’s tease with someone who rejected the role: Daniel Radcliffe was rumoured to play the role, but said, simply, “I am completely wrong for that part!”

Who is playing the role, you may ask? An up-and-coming star of such films as Skyfall, Brideshead Revisited, and Cloud Atlas: Ben Whishaw.


  1. avatarPeter says

    Actually, a few years ago hosting the MTV EMAs as Borat in 2005, he said in costume, prophetically, “Look at me, I’m Freddie Mercury”

    • avatarDerek says

      Of course, that said, if you look at other Borat media, the character seems to have a love of Freddy Mercury. I remember one bit where me went to an acting class and he asked if Mercury was a homosexual, and in the book, it’s occasionally mentioned he’s popular in Kazakhstan; of course, he seems to think Mercury was a “ladies’ man.”

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