Brian May Says Sacha Baron Cohen Would Have Been Distracting in Freddie Mercury Biopic
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 10.20.2013
He's sad that the Borat star didn't work out...
Brian May has explained why he and rest of Queen felt like Sacha Baron Cohen was wrong for the starring role in Freddie Mercury's biopic. May spoke with Classic Rock and said that it was decided that Cohen would be "too distracting" as the late frontman for the band.
"It's quite difficult to talk about because we owe Sacha a lot," said May. "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."
He added that they didn't leave on bad terms with Cohen, saying, "It's a shame that there were these sensationalist stories about him walking out. None of that was true. So we're in a very good place with the movie, and we remain friends with Sacha and hopefully there will be another project that we will work on together in the future."