ENTERTAINMENT

Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals The Bizarre Reason He Walked Away From The Queen Biopic

The 'Grimbsy' star finally sheds light on why he won't be playing Freddie

09/03/2016 13:40 GMT | Updated 09/03/2016 13:59 GMT

Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed the reason he walked away from his role playing Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic.

In an interview with US radio host Howard Stern, the Ali G star said the surviving members of the band wanted much of the film to focus on them instead of Freddie’s wild lifestyle.

Cindy Ord via Getty Images
Sacha Baron Cohen was all set to play the late, great Freddie Mercury

The flamboyant Queen frontman’s hedonistic ways was the stuff of legend, but his bandmates were more concerned with protecting their legacy on the big screen.

Freddie was wild. There are stories of little people walking around parties with plates of cocaine on their heads!”

The comedian and actor, who was involved in the project for six years, said: “A member of the band – I won’t say who – said: ‘You know, this is such a great movie because it’s got such an amazing thing that happens in the middle.’”

“And I go: ‘What happens in the middle of the movie?’ He goes: ‘You know, Freddie dies.’ ... I go: ‘What happens in the second half of the movie?’ He goes: ‘We see how the band carries on from strength to strength.’

“I said: ‘Listen, not one person is going to see a movie where the lead character dies from Aids and then you see how the band carries on.’

“There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury. The guy was wild. There are stories of little people walking around parties with plates of cocaine on their heads!”

AP
Queen: John Deacon, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury

But the British star explained that Queen’s surviving members did not want those stories told.

He added: “They wanted to protect their legacy as a band.”

The ‘Grimsby’ star quit the project in 2013, with Queen drummer Roger Taylor later stating he had been ‘let go’ because the band didn’t want the film to become ‘a joke’.

The film, which is still set to go into production, is now reportedly set to star Ben Whishaw as Freddie.

Listen to Sacha Baron Cohen talking about the Queen biopic below...

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