Sacha Baron Cohen has played some pretty scandalous characters, from the extravagant Ali G to the well meaning Nobby, but none have been as controversial as Borat.
It has been eleven years since the 2006 film, which saw the ignorant Kazakh journalist head to the US, where his bizarre behaviour and dramatic stunts caused great commotion among unsuspecting Americans, was released.
It turns out that while convincingly entering into the character of Borat, Cohen actually attracted unwanted attention from the FBI, he revealed when speaking to WTF with Marc Maron,
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[The FBI] got so many complaints there was a terrorist traveling in an ice cream van… that they started compiling a little file on us and eventually they came to visit us at the hotel. I obviously went missing when I heard because they were like ‘FBI’s downstairs’.
The actor admitted that he actually had to hire a man to protect him, the crew and even his wife, Isla Fisher after Kansas police said they’d arrest him if he carried on with his antics.
I can see why some red flags may have been raised by the FBI after he tried to kidnap Pamela Anderson at a book signing, sang the Kazakhstan national anthem in front of a load of deep south rodeo fanatics, and drove an ice-cream van around, pranking strangers and branding people gypsies.
During filming, the father-of-three jumped out of a window under the advice of his bodyguard, in the process breaking his heal and shutting down production for a while.
We hire a guy and his job is, he’s a bit like [Grimsby’s] Nobby, actually… his job is to prevent me from being arrested.
When filming continued the police were called, and ridiculously Cohen had to jump out of a window under the advice of his bodyguard, breaking his heel in the process and shutting down production for a while.
In more recent news, Baron Cohen’s alter-ego Ali G actually prompted and English town to change it’s name. The white suburbanite who plays at being a streetwise rapper, claims to live in the heart of the “Staines Ghetto.” The location serves as an in-joke for Brits familiar with the relatively affluent London commuter town. So Staines has changed it’s name to a much fancier sounding Staines-upon-Thames.
As well as changing the course of Staines, Borat actually strained the relationship between the UK and Kazakhstan, and Cohen received a call from former Prime Minister Tony Blair in regards to it.
As for Kazakhstan, they actually thanked Borat for ‘boosting tourism’, the BBC reports, after ten times the number of people were applying for visas.
The British star’s latest comedy creation, Greed, is inspired by disgraced former BHS chief Sir Philip Green and will be centred around a retail billionaire.
The 46-year-old actor pushes all boundaries of comedy, with his most recent Brothers Grimsby included a scene that can only be describe as elephant bukkake.
By taking risks that no one else would, the reason Borat is so funny is because he crosses the line of unacceptable to create the ultimate shock factor.
If he’s not getting in trouble with the FBI, is he even doing it properly?