WATCH: Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals Why He Quit Freddie Mercury Biopic

9 March 2016, 12:51

Sacha Baron Cohen Interview Howard Stern

The actor claims the remaining members of the band only wanted the first half of the film to feature the legendary frontman.

Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed he didn't end up playing Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic because Queen "wanted to protect their legacy".

The Grimsby star suggested to US DJ Howard Stern he had to abandon the project because Queen's surviving members didn't want to show the "wild" side of the late frontman, who died from AIDS in 1991.

Watch the interview below:

Speaking to the shock jock, when asked if the band wanted to hide the sexual side of Mercury - who died of Aids in 1991, Cohen replied: "Definitely. There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury.

"The guy was wild. He was living an extreme lifestyle. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around parties." 

He added: "You gotta remember: they are a band. They want to protect their legacy as a band. They want it to be about Queen and I fully understand that."

The Borat star then revealed to the DJ that he shouldn't have "carried on" with the project after their first meeting, when a member of Queen member revealed they intended the first half of the film to be about the late frontman. 

He explained:"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 of the movie.'

"And I go, 'What happens in the middle of the movie?' He goes, 'You know, Freddie dies.' ... "

He added: "So 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 a movie where the lead character dies from AIDS and then you carry on to see how the band carries on.'

While the actor wouldn't confirm which Queen member said it, he did add that while Brian May is a great musician, he's "not a great movie producer".

It has been previously reported that Brian May said Cohen would was too "distracting," while Roger Taylor told Mojo they didn't want the film "to be a joke" and wanted audiences to be "moved".

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