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How Queen's Roger Taylor Really Feels About Sacha Baron Cohen Almost Playing Freddie Mercury

Long before Rami Malek took home an Academy Award for his portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury in 2018's "Bohemian Rhapsody," the project to produce a movie about the Queen frontman took a number of unexpected twists and turns. The film had been in the works for the better part of a decade and was previously set to star Sacha Baron Cohen. Around the time work on the project was announced in 2011, Queen guitarist Brian May told Daily Record that he thought Baron Cohen was "perfect" for the role, but stressed that "Freddie's legacy is very precious." May also noted that the project was primarily moving forward because of Baron Cohen's enthusiasm. 

Three years later, Baron Cohen abruptly departed the role amid what Deadline classified at the time as "creative differences." Per Deadline, Baron Cohen wanted "a gritty R-rated tell-all about the gay singer," while the living members of Queen wished for a more PG film that could tell the story of the band's history. Three years after Baron Cohen's exist, it was announced that producers had instead cast "Mr. Robot" actor Rami Malek as Mercury (via Variety), a choice that would certainly prove to be a well-made match for both parties.

However, some fans still wonder today what a film led by Baron Cohen might have looked like. One of the people not interested in that never-made film, however, is Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who recently shared his unfiltered opinion on Baron Cohen in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine.

Roger Taylor is thankful for Rami Malek, less so for Sacha Baron Cohen

When recently asked by Classic Rock Magazine about the one-time possibility of Sacha Baron Cohen playing Freddie Mercury, Queen drummer Roger Taylor didn't mince any words. "I think he would have been utter sh*t," Taylor said (via Metro).

The musician pointed out that the "Borat" actor doesn't quite meet the physical requirements to fill the shoes of the legendary Queen singer. According to CelebHeights, Sacha Baron Cohen stands at 6 feet 3 inches tall. Contrastingly, CelebHeights reports that Freddie Mercury stood at 5 feet 9 inches tall, only two inches taller than Rami Malek stands now, but a sizable distance from that of Baron Cohen. 

However, Taylor's problems with Baron Cohen didn't really begin or end at height. He also described Cohen as "pushy" and said, "I watched his last five films and came to the conclusion he's not a very good actor." While Taylor is clearly thankful that Baron Cohen never got the chance to play his former colleague, Taylor admitted that he "could be wrong" and noted that he appreciates Baron Cohen's comedic work. "I thought he was an utterly brilliant subversive comedian," Taylor said. "That's what he's great at."

Taylor also took the opportunity to praise Rami Malek's portrayal of Mercury saying, "I think Rami did a brilliant job in an almost impossible role."