Chris Martin was first choice for Ed Sheeran's part in Yesterday, director Danny Boyle reveals

21 June 2019, 14:43

Ed Sheeran has a starring role in the upcoming fantasy Beatles film Yesterday - but director Danny Boyle told Heart that he wasn't the first choice for the part...

Yesterday - a fantasy film set in a world in which only one man remembers the Beatles existing - is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of the summer, and will hit UK cinemas on 28 June.

It was written by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings, Notting Hill) and directed by Danny Boyle (The Beach, Slumdog Millionaire), and stars Himesh Patel and Lily James.

Ed Sheeran also appears as himself in the film - as the mentor of fictional character Jack Malik (Himesh Patel), a struggling songwriter who achieves international fame after releasing The Beatles' songs as his own.

Ed Sheeran stars as himself in Yesterday
Ed Sheeran stars as himself in Yesterday. Picture: Universal caught up with Danny Boyle ahead of the film's release, and he revealed that Coldplay's Chris Martin was actually the first choice for the role.

"The truth is, we offered it to Chris Martin first. Which of course we tried to disguise from Ed by saying 'Ed, you're our first choice!' But he knew we'd offered it to Chris Martin.

"And in fact he said: 'not only did you offer it to Chris Martin first but you went to Harry Styles after Chris Martin before you came to me.' And we said 'not that isn't true!' and, of course, it isn't true.

"We went from Chris Martin to Ed Sheeran, so he rips us mercilessly about that, and quite rightly so," he continued. "So he's got a terrific sense of humour, generally, which is always a wonderful thing. And also he's very deprecating about himself.

The part was originally offered to Chris Martin
The part was originally offered to Chris Martin. Picture: Getty

"But when we were with him at Wembley, he walked out in front of 80,000 people and electrifies them for two hours with no aid whatsoever - just entirely on his own with his own songwriting skills. Extraordinary really. Then he's off stage and keen to have a drink and a chat. Wonderful guy."

Speaking about what it was like to work with Ed, he continued: "We saw quite a lot of him. He's in a lot of the film. People are quite surprised that he's quite a major character in the film. He has extensive scenes and quite comic scenes which he plays brilliantly. He is like you see him. There's no other side to him at all. He's absolutely a straight down the line guy. He's very sweet and kind and thoughtful."


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