Indian artises on who would be best suited to play Freddie Mercury

Updated: Nov 12, 2016, 13:32 IST | Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya |

On the 25th death anniversary of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, as news of his upcoming biopic is creating a buzz, Indian artistes pick actors who might be best suited to play the music icon

Freddie Mercury’s biopic is titled Bohemian Rhapsody and is going to be directed by Bryan Singer with Rami Malek in the lead role. Pic/AFP
Freddie Mercury’s biopic is titled Bohemian Rhapsody and is going to be directed by Bryan €ˆSinger with €ˆRami Malek in the lead role. Pic/AFP

“We watch the shows, we watch the stars, on videos for hours and hours; we hardly need to use our ears, how music changes through the years,” goes the song of Queen’s Radio Ga Ga. Freddie Mercury kept up with time, and wrote an ode to radio, whose popularity dropped in the 1980s after the arrival of television. Genres came and went, music underwent changes but Mercury’s powerful range and stage presence still lingers. He remained constant even if time moved on. In the 25th year of his death anniversary, there are talks that Mercury’s biopic titled Bohemian Rhapsody will hit the floors early next year. The Bryan Singer-directed film will see Mr Robot star, Rami Malek in the lead role. But playing Mercury will require a showman, who can swing on stage.

Some of Mumbai’s popular musicians and industrywallahs pick who could play Mr Radio Ga Ga.

Uday Benegal, Vocalist, Indus Creed
I don’t even know who Rami Malek is but you need to have a strong character to play someone like Freddie. He was unique. To portray him, the actor would require to sing like that as well. I would opt for a young, undiscovered bawa (considering Mercury was Parsi) with a soaring voice. My first exposure to Queen was the song, We Are The Champions. Biopics should be made only when we can do justice to them.

Geetu Hinduja, Singer/songwriter
I like Rami Malek. I think he is a good choice for the role. He matches the legend more than anyone else because I remember catching a glimpse of the young Mercury, years ago at Montreux (Switzerland). A glass elevator was rare those days but the hotel, where we put up, had one. I was suddenly caught in a commotion when I saw him. Their music is pretty classic. It remains a point of reference in one’s life, the words keep resonating.

Ehsaan Noorani, Music director/guitar player
Robert Downey Jr could do well if offered the role. As an actor, he would be fabulous. I think this is a good time for Mercury’s biopic because the new generation will know more about the man. There is more to him than the track, We Will Rock You, that kids play in college. The film will create awareness. Within India, if someone had to play Mercury, Shiamak Davar could do the role with the right kind of make-up.

Devraj Sanyal, CEO, Universal Music Group, South Asia
I would go for Robert Downey Jr for his cockiness. We have seen him on screen and we have all heard Freddie. He is a strange f**ker. An actor should be incredibly Freddie Mercury-esque in attitude. Downey is also a singer, plays with a band and all. From India, the only one who I really think (not look-wise) could play the character is Ranbir Kapoor. It is because of his innate talent, not Bollywood flair. You anyway can’t film a biopic with somebody who is 50.

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