Jonny Greenwood on the chances of there being a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ style Radiohead movie

Who would play who?

Jonny Greenwood has downplayed the chances of there ever being a Bohemian Rhapsody-style movie about Radiohead.

The guitarist and composer was speaking to NME in the winners’ room of The Ivors 2019, after he’d won for Best Original Score for his work on Phantom Thread. However, we should probably expect Greenwood to stay behind the camera when it comes to movies, as he shot down the chances of there ever being a Radiohead biopic.

“Well, you’re experiencing in real-time how awkward and unengaging I am, so it would just be awful. It would be gruesome,” said Greenwood. “When we started, we were obsessed with recording ourselves and listening to ourselves. We weren’t that interested in spreading it beyond that. We were a very inward-looking group.”


Asked who would play the role of him in such a film, Greenwood replied: “Who’s that guy from Saturday Night Live who’s slightly unusual-looking? He made that comedy recently about that Hitman who ends up becoming an actor.

He was referring to Bill Hader. As for the rest of the band, he didn’t know who would play frontman Thom Yorke, but suggested Stephen Merchant play the role of guitarist Ed O’Brien.

Thom Yorke
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood

Meanwhile, Greenwood also told NME that he was currently devoting all of his attention to the new music he’ll be making for the BBC Proms 2019 – adding that Radiohead were on the backburner due to Thom Yorke’s upcoming “dystopian anxiety” album and the “Brazilian-inspired” debut solo record from Ed O’Brien. Despite not having heard O’Brien’s solo material, Greenwood added that Yorke’s next solo album “sounds great” and “has some great strings on it”.

Asked if his orchestral work would be inspiring and informing his work with Radiohead, Greenwood replied: “You learn lots about different instruments and you learn to get a really deep respect of orchestral players and the sounds that they can make. It’s referring back to music lessons. You realise that these people have dedicated their lives to playing the violin and suddenly there are 48 of them in front of you.

“All of that time and all of that effort is distilled into those five minutes you have with them, and that’s a really exciting thing.”


For Radiohead fans, Yorke recently revealed that the band were planning to “do something really cool” with archive material from ‘Kid A’ and ‘Amnesiac‘.

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