The other day I was talking about Freddie Mercury. I wanted to convey:
Having an outrageously flamboyant stage persona he was a larger-than-life artist.
Ayant un personnage de scène outrageusement flamboyant, il était un artiste plus grand que la vie.
I was barely understood. Googling a bit I found that even the title of the (old) American film "Bigger than life" was changed to "Derrière le miroir".
What is wrong with the literal translation of "larger-than-life/bigger-than-life" and does not work in French? I know, of course, that many literal translations from English to French and vice versa (or from and to other languages for that matter) do not work; I am just wondering about this idiom in particular.
A phrasing like
Ayant un personnage de scène outrageusement flamboyant, il était un artiste truculent.
would be better?