Brian May lashes out at Sacha Baron Cohen

Brian May
(Image credit: Getty)

Brian May says that actor Sacha Baron Cohen “became an arse” when they were working on a film based on the life of Freddie Mercury.

The guitarist says that claims from the actor that the band wanted to whitewash the late Queen frontman’s life are untrue – and says Cohen wasn’t right for the role.

May tells the Daily Mail: “Sacha became an arse. We had some nice times with Sacha kicking around ideas but he went off and told untruths about what happened.

“Why would he go away and say that we didn’t want to make a gritty film? Are we the kind of people who have ever ducked from the truth? I don’t think so.

“We decided he wasn’t right for the role for very good reasons, which will become apparent if you watch what he’s done recently.

“It’s obvious that it wasn’t going to work, him playing Freddie. It wouldn’t suspend your disbelief. We’re hoping Ben Whishaw will do it. He’s fabulous – a real actor.”

Cohen left the film project in 2013 amid reports of artistic differences. Last month he said he quit because members of Queen wanted the film to focus on the band’s legacy following the singer’s death.

Queen will play a string of European shows in spring, including a headline appearance at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

Queen tour dates 2016

May 27: Cologne Rheinenergiestadion
Jun 05: Tallinn Tallinn Lauluvaljak
Jun 9-12: Isle Of Wight Festival, UK
Jun 15: Brussells Palais 12, Belgium
Jun 17: Hinwil Rock The Ring, Switzerland
Jun 21: Bucharest Constitutei, Romania
Jun 23: Sofia Stadion Georgi Asparuhov, Bulgaria
Jun 25: Piazzola Sul Brenta Anfiteatro Camerini, Italy

Former TeamRock news desk member Christina joined our team in late 2015, and although her time working on online rock news was fairly brief, she made a huge impact by contributing close to 1500 stories. Christina also interviewed artists including Deftones frontman Chino Moreno and worked at the Download festival. In late 2016, Christina left rock journalism to pursue a career in current affairs. In 2021, she was named Local Weekly Feature Writer of the Year at the Scottish Press Awards.