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Blake Lively to play Freddie Mercury`s girlfriend in new movie

London:`Gossip Girl` actress Blake Lively is reportedly lined up to play Freddie Mercury`s former girlfriend Mary Austin in the upcoming biopic.

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen will portray Mercury in the film about the rock star`s life and career, while Tom Hooper is rumoured to be helming the project, reported Digital Spy.

Mercury had a long-term relationship with Austin in the early 1970s after being introduced by Queen`s Brian May. The couple lived together for several years until Mercury had an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records.

However, the pair remained very close friends until the singer`s death in 1991.

Mercury said of Austin in 1985, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn`t replace Mary Austin, but it`s simply impossible. The only friend I`ve got is Mary and I don`t want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that`s enough for me."

Cohen is said to be taking singing lessons in order to perform as Mercury in the currently-untitled film.