Sacha Baron Cohen Knew Borat Sequel Would ‘Upset Some Racists’
While making a film that mocks far-right conspiracy theorists, gets up close and personal with QAnon believers and fools Donald Trump’s fans and colleagues, Sacha Baron Cohen knew he was going to ‘upset some racists’.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was released in October 2020 after being shot in secret throughout the previous pandemic-filled months.
The sequel to his 2006 comedy focused on the political climate in the US during Trump’s fourth and ultimately final year in Office, which was filled with protests, rallies and a wealth of controversy.
Speaking about the making of the film in a new interview with The Guardian, Cohen admitted it was ‘the hardest movie to make that [he’s] ever heard about’.
Maybe apart from Fitzcarraldo. The director was taking risks very few directors in the history of film have taken: being chased by an angry mob, armed to the teeth. When people are triggered in a crowd, certain things can happen they wouldn’t do individually.
The actor spoke from the home he shares with his wife, Isla Fisher, though he wouldn’t reveal the location for fear of inviting his haters to track him down.
Cohen said he’s been receiving threats since he created his character Ali G, and he’s learned that publicising them ‘only does one thing: lead to more threats’.
He added: ‘We are in a very violent time. If you’re protesting against racism, you’re going to upset some racists.’
Considering Borat so often finds himself in sticky situations, Cohen has had to acknowledge the risks that come with playing the character. Eddie Redmayne, who starred alongside Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7, said there was ‘no question’ that Cohen had thought about whether people would try to kill him.
Redmayne recently asked Cohen whether he had been able to sleep before a big day on Borat, to which he replied ‘not much’, as he kept running through what might go wrong.
Ahead of Borat’s planned five-day stay in a remote log cabin with two Trump-supporting conspiracy theorists, Cohen had a panic attack as he worried about how he would pull off the extreme prank.
It was 6am and I started pacing around my room, thinking, how am I going to keep in character? They’re going to see through me. It was bloody terrifying.
Thankfully, Cohen managed to make it through the stay and ultimately complete his sequel in one piece. While many of those fooled by the character may wish they got their hands on him while they had the chance, much of the rest of the world celebrated Borat 2 for honing in on America’s issues of racism and extremism.
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