Queen’s Roger Taylor on why Sacha Baron Cohen was dropped from playing Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

The role was taken over by Rami Malek

Queen‘s Roger Taylor has opened up about why Sacha Baron Cohen was dropped from playing Freddie Mercury in the Bohemian Rhapsody movie.

Released yesterday (October 24), the film chronicles the 15-year period between Queen’s formation as a band and their famous performance at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985.

Baron Cohen had been set to star as Mercury when the film was announced in September 2010 but in the summer of 2013, he pulled out of the project.

At the time of his departure, it was stated that he and Queen, who have script and director approval, were unable to agree on the type of movie they wanted to make. Baron Cohen added that Brian May is an “amazing musician” but “not a great movie producer.”

“There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury,” he explained. “The guy was wild. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around a party.” However, Baron Cohen learned that these stories would not make the film. “They wanted to protect their legacy as a band.”

Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury

Now, the band’s drummer has revealed more about the fall out. “There was a lot of talk about Sacha and stuff. It was never really on,” he told the Associated Press. “I don’t think he took it seriously enough — didn’t take Freddie seriously enough. But I think, really, it’s a long road, but we’re at the end of it now.”

Speaking of Malek, who has been praised for his portrayal of the singer, Taylor said: “He’s amazing. Thank God we found him. He’s just an incredible guy — in every way. He’s lovely to be around, he’s dedicated utterly, and he’s incredibly talented. My God! He got Freddie to a tee. I mean, he’s wonderful. We couldn’t have done better.”

Meanwhile, Malek recently revealed that after filming, he kept a set of false teeth that were modelled on Mercury’s. “I had the teeth cast in gold,” he said.

“It is the most ostentatious thing I have probably ever done, and, in the spirit of Freddie, being as outlandish as I could, I said, ‘What would be more him than casting these in gold?’”