Rami Malek won the Oscar for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, but when the project was first proposed back in 2010, it was Sacha Baron Cohen who was originally cast as Mercury in the film. Now, Queen drummer Roger Taylor says he thinks Cohen would have been terrible in the role.
Cohen exited the project in 2013 over creative differences, and Malek was eventually cast. Now, Taylor tells Classic Rock magazine that he thinks Cohen would’ve been “utter s**t” in the role of Freddie.
“Sacha is pushy, if nothing else. He’s also six inches too tall,” Taylor continues. “But I watched his last five films and came to the conclusion he’s not a very good actor…I thought he was an utterly brilliant subversive comedian, that’s what he’s great at. Anyway, I think Rami did a brilliant job in an almost impossible role.”
“We kind of got it right in the end,” Taylor adds of Bohemian Rhapsody. “We wanted to take people on a journey, make them feel up and then down, then joyous at the end.”
The Academy might disagree with Taylor about Cohen’s acting abilities: He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the 2020 movie The Trial of the Chicago 7.
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