Allen Leech got "'X Factored'" when he learned he'd landed his role in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.
The Irish actor was told he'd been unsuccessful when he tried out to play Freddie Mercury's partner Jim Hutton in the musical biopic but was just registering his disappointment when his agent broke the news he'd landed the bigger role of Paul Prenter, comparing the experience to when hopefuls on the talent show are swiftly praised when they think they are about to be rejected.
He said: "I remember reading about Paul Prenter, Freddie's manager and one-time lover and thinking, 'That's a great part for whoever's going to get it', but I'd already been approached for the role of Jim.
"The phone call came through from my agent and it was like, 'It's not going to work out for Jim Hutton... But they want you to play Paul Prenter.' That's a Simon Cowell thing to do isn't it? I felt like I'd been 'X Factored', without the soundtrack. That's where Coldplay usually kicks in."
You have free articles remaining.
The 'Downton Abbey' star admitted he drives his agents "crazy" because it's not easy for a project to gauge his interest, even when they encourage him to take it because it's likely to be a commercial success.
He told Red magazine: "I've never been driven by awards or accolades but by characters and they're harder to come by these days.
"I drive my team crazy sometimes. I'm like, 'This is great, but I don't get it.'
"Then they spend a lot of time convincing me I should still meet the producers."