Sacha Baron Cohen Tells Howard Stern the Real Reason He Quit the Freddie Mercury Biopic

Sacha Baron Cohen Tells Howard Stern the Real Reason He Quit the Freddie Mercury Biopic
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen was slated to star in a biopic about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury but quit the project in 2013 due to "creative differences." While Queen guitarist Brian May told Rolling Stone that Baron Cohen left the project on "good terms," Baron Cohen appeared on the Howard Stern Show on Tuesday to elaborate on his departure from the film.

Read more: Sacha Baron Cohen and the Other Oscar Moments That Had Us Groaning

Baron Cohen said he got a lot of pushback on his idea for a grittier depiction of Mercury. "There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury," he told Stern. "The guy was wild. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around a party." But Queen "wanted to protect their legacy as a band," he said.

Baron Cohen also contended with the script, which would've seen Mercury die midway through the film. "'What happens in the second half of the movie?'" Baron Cohen recollects to Stern on his conversation between him and an unnamed member of the band. "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." Mercury died in 1991.

Listen to interview below:

Source: Soundcloud

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrew Leung

Andrew was an editorial fellow at Mic. He is based in New York and can be reached at aleungnyc@gmail.com

MORE FROM

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.

‘Girls Trip’ finishes second at the box office, outperforming expectations

The film's success once again demonstrates how diverse films are underestimated at the box office.

‘Insecure’ season two is television for us, by us — and it’s even better than before

Creator Issa Rae shouldn't sweat the Emmy snub — her connection with her core audience is what really makes this series shine.

We talked to military experts about who will win the Iron Throne

Does Dany have a chance? Historians, tacticians and scholars weigh in on the ultimate outcome of 'Game of Thrones.'

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7, Episode 2 Trailer: New alliances may form in “Stormborn”

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen may have an unexpected intermediary.

Tyler, the Creator is still a “walking paradox” on the rumor-baiting ‘Flower Boy’

Is he queer? Maybe. Does he know how to use the speculation to further his art? Definitely.

Note to Ryan Murphy: ‘American Horror Story’ reveals don’t need to be a scavenger hunt

The title and premiere date of the seventh season of 'American Horror Story' were revealed Thursday.