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Ed Sheeran was not the first choice to star in Yesterday, and it’s something he doesn’t let the film’s director, Danny Boyle, easily forget.
“Originally the part was meant for [Coldplay frontman] Chris Martin,” Boyle told PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing host Lola Ogunnaike, explaining that the crooner turned down the film to spend more time with his family.
“So then, of course, we went to Ed Sheeran, and we lied, we said, ‘Ed, you’re our first choice. Would you be interested in this?'” Boyle recalled, adding that Sheeran immediately called him out on the lie.
“He ribbed us mercilessly about it. He never let us forget that Chris Martin was our first choice,” Boyle said.
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Yesterday stars Himesh Patel as a struggling musician who, after a freak accident, wakes up to discover that he is the only one who remembers The Beatles, prompting him to recreate their hits and become an overnight sensation in the process.
Sheeran plays himself in the film, which also stars Lily James and Kate McKinnon.
Watch the videos above for more on the film, including Boyle’s unexpected reaction to Patel’s audition.
- Danny Boyle explains how they pulled off that gasp-inducing Beatles moment in Yesterday
- Game of Thrones alum Joel Fry on becoming the Yesterday scene-stealer — and not really knowing who Ed Sheeran was
- Chris Martin was the first choice for the Ed Sheeran role in Yesterday
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