The new Freddie Mercury biopic proceeds apace. Various news reports reminded us of how Sacha Baron Cohen will not be playing the role of Freddie Mercury in this film after all. It seems that Cohen’s vision of the film was that of an anarchic Swiftian livewire, but not everyone agreed with his approach. Classic example of ‘artistic differences.’
But Brian May has recently revealed that Freddie Mercury once found himself in a very similar situation for the previously little known Francis Ford Coppola biopic of Disraeli. The latter edgy arthouse flick, by now, is ignobly confined to late night History Channel re-runs and David Cameron’s ludicrously antiquated and irrelevant stash of Betamax Z-movies.
The director had high hopes for Freddie, but before long, tempers started fraying. Disraeli was known for his ‘top bants’ in Parliament, as is well enough known…
But Freddie just didn’t fit the bill. The director said:
I wanted someone to be a handsome, charismatic, witty, genially flamboyant English gentleman with a preening persona of glamour and a gorgeous swagger; with just that little hint of tall, glossy-haired Oriental winsomeness.
But this dumb-ass casting director has given me this Freddie Mercury guy from that stupid England country?
I just couldn’t think of a worse choice to play Benjamin Disraeli!
I mean, I just wish this bitch would quit prancing around and bursting into laughter and making this frickin’ lame-ass jokes! I don’t want a guy with this weirdly spontaneous and unpredictable personality in my studio!
I am the fuckin’ boss of this joint, and I just ain’t havin’ none of it! Capisce?