Brian May: Freddie Mercury Film Would Suffer From Sacha Baron Cohen's Big Personality

Queen guitarist explains why Baron Cohen left the project   20-Oct-13

Brian May: Freddie Mercury Film Would Suffer From Sacha Baron Cohen's Big Personality
Photo by Mark Kent

Sacha Baron Cohen has been nailed-on to play the part of Freddie Mercury in the forthcoming film about the Queen singer's life since 2010, so why did he leave?

There were suggestions that Brian May and Roger Taylor had fallen out with Sacha Baron Cohen, and even suggestions that the Borat and Bruno actor wanted the Freddie Mercury film to be too 'adult'.

But Brian May, who alongside Roger Taylor has ultimate creative control and power of veto on any decisions made on the direction of the film, has cleared the air by explaining exactly why Sacha Baron Cohen is no longer involved in the movie.

"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," May told Ultimate Classic Rock.

Brian May went on to say that unfortunately, Baron Cohen's personality is so big that he simply wouldn't be believable as Freddie Mercury.

"In the end, we felt that his presence in the movie would be very distracting, 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 that could really happen with Sacha."

The British actor, famed for his characters such as Ali-G, Bruno, Borat and The Dictator, has been heavily involved with the film, and Brian May praised him for his dedication and hard work on the Freddie Mercury film.

"We owe Sacha a lot. He had so much enthusiasm for the project and it really helped us kick it into the start position," said May.

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