Chris Martin was meant to play Ed Sheeran role in 'Yesterday' says Danny Boyle

Greer McNally
Contributor
LA PLATA, ARGENTINA - NOVEMBER 14: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the 'A Head Full Of Dreams' Tour at Ciudad de La Plata Stadium on November 14, 2017 in La Plata, Argentina. (Photo by Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images)

From Game of Thrones to Bridget Jones’s Baby, Ed Sheeran is getting his fair share of cameos on screen these days. But it turns out that his latest one – in director Danny Boyle’s new movie Yesterday – actually wasn’t meant for him but for Chris Martin.

The director spilled the beans in an interview with EW this week. “In the first script, it was written as Chris Martin from Coldplay,” he explained.

But that wasn’t to be. Martin wanted some time at home with his family, leaving Boyle and screenwriter Richard Curtis to then offer the role to Sheeran.

Ed Sheeran with director Danny Boyle, writer Richard Curtis, and the rest of the Yesterday cast attending the UK Premiere in London, UK. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

“Richard Curtis knew Chris because they’d done something for Red Nose Day for Comic Relief,” explained Boyle, “but he also knew Ed because they live near each other in Suffolk.”

“We had a very fun moment with Ed where we said, ‘You’d be so good for this, you’re our first choice. We can’t think of anyone [else],’ and he goes, ‘Hang on, you’ve already asked Chris Martin.’”

Read more: Richard Curtis: I warned Ed Sheeran his film cameo would not be respectful

Sheeran, who is known for his ability to not take himself too seriously, took it all in his stride. He even jested that he knew he’d actually been their third choice, after Harry Styles also turned down the role – a fact that wasn’t true.

The musician was warned ahead of time that the comedy might make fun of him on screen.

“He’s very funny,” Boyle added. “He doesn’t mind having fun poked at him, which obviously the film does. But he comes with that as well. So he remorselessly teased us about being second choice to Chris Martin.”

Read more: Ed Sheeran mocked over rapping in trailer for Danny Boyle film 'Yesterday'

But the Coldplay frontman didn’t get away completely clean either. Curtis made sure to get a comic line comparing Martin’s band to the Beatles into the final cut.

After Himesh Patel, who plays the film’s lead Jack, sings Yesterday to his friends, he tells them it’s one of the greatest songs ever written – to which Sophia di Martino, who plays Carol, responds “Well, it's not Coldplay - it's not Fix You.”