Sacha Baron Cohen bails on Freddie Mercury biopic

Jewish actor cancels plans to play Queen frontman due to creative differences with remaining band members.

July 24, 2013 13:35
1 minute read.
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen attends the premiere of "Hugo"

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen attends the premiere of "Hugo" . (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer)


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Plans for Sacha Baron Cohen to portray a character who is both mustachioed and flamboyant (a hybrid of Borat and Bruno, one might say) have fallen through.

The Jewish actor has cancelled his plans to play Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biographical film, reports.

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Apparently he is not on the same page as the remaining members of Queen, who have creative control over the project.

The band’s vision is a PG movie, while Cohen was pushing for a “gritty R-rated tell-all centered around the gifted gay singer.”

It’s too bad they couldn’t make things work, as they’re going to have a hard time finding someone who looks more like Mercury than Cohen does.

Comedian Baron Cohen is well known to both Israelis and Americans, though maybe in different ways. His maternal grandmother lives in Haifa and his mother was born in Israel, later marrying a Jewish businessman from Wales. He studied and performed at Habonim Dror, a Jewish Socialist-Zionist cultural youth movement one of the ideals of which is “tikkun olam,” or “fixing the world.”

Cohen has gone on to international fame portraying himself as unusual characters who interview unsuspecting people to bring out the irony, controversy and ridiculousness of the subjects.

Ray Hanania contributed to this report

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