By Filip Teovanovic
Sasha Baron Cohen has revealed the reason he didn’t portray legendary singer Freddie Mercury in a Queen biopic.
In an interview with US radio host Howard Stern, the 44-year-old actor revealed a creative clash with the band’s surviving members is what made him drop out of the film back in 2013.
Sacha wanted to tell the R-rated story of sex, drugs and rock and roll and planned to play a more edgy role of Freddie Mercury.
“There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury,” he told the radio host.
“The guy was wild. There are stories of little people walking around parties with plates of cocaine on their heads!”
But Queen “wanted to protect their legacy as a band,” he explained.
Not only did an unnamed Queen member want a PG-rated narrative, Sacha said, but they also wanted Mercury’s 1991 death from AIDS complications to happen in the middle of the movie with the second half following the band moving on without him.
“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,’” Sacha said.
Brian May previously told Classic Rock magazine Queen didn’t really want Baron Cohen to play Freddie. “We wanted an amazingly good actor in the purest sense,” Brian said.
“At the end of the day, it really was an artistic difference,” Sacha told Howard Stern.
“Brian May is an amazing musician, but he’s not a great movie producer.”
Sacha is currently promoting his new movie Grimsby, in Australian cinemas now.