Sacha Baron Cohen Lived in Character for Five Days While Filming ‘Borat’ Sequel

Cohen took method acting to a whole new level during the making of director Jason Woliner's "Borat Subsequent Movie Film."
20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection

Borat Subsequent Movie Film: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” is quickly becoming one of the year’s most talked-about movies even ahead of its release on Amazon next week, on October 23. In the sequel to the 2006 Oscar-nominated mockumentary, Sacha Baron Cohen reprises his role as the fictitious Kazakh journalist who ruffles the feathers of the ignorant across increasingly wild (and very real) scenarios. And because Cohen’s character is bent on duping actual people, the actor had to stay fully in character, even when the movie wasn’t filming.

In a recent New York Times interview promoting director Jason Woliner’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” Baron Cohen opened up about the toll of the process, which takes method acting to a whole new level. “The hardest thing I had to do was, I lived in character for five days in this lockdown house. I was waking up, having breakfast, lunch, dinner, going to sleep as Borat when I lived in a house with these two conspiracy theorists. You can’t have a moment out of character,” he said.

New York Times profiler Maureen Dowd added that the movie will leave audiences “gobsmacked.” One especially harrowing scene finds Baron Cohen infiltrating a Mike Pence speech at a Conservative Politician Action Conference. (The movie was shot in secret earlier this year.) Costumed as President Trump, Baron Cohen brought to the event an actress playing his daughter as a Kazakh gift for “Vice Premier” Pence.

“Obviously, I’m wearing a fat suit,” the star and movie’s producer said. “How do I get in and how do I get out?” He added that security was on hand to “check everyone’s bodies going through. Bear in mind, I spent five hours in makeup that morning with the prosthetic team changing my face into Trump’s face. This fat suit is huge. It’s a 56-inch fat suit to turn my waist into Trump’s because we had estimated that was the most realistic.”

When Baron Cohen set off a security guard’s wand, he said he improvised that it was due to a defibrillator. “Then I ended up hiding in the bathroom, listening to conservative men go to the toilet for five hours until I broke into the room. We were surrounded by Secret Service and police and internal security.”

Baron Cohen is also in the Oscar race right now for portraying Abbie Hoffman in Aaron Sorkin’s Netflix protest drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” but expect the latest “Borat” to boost his profile even further when it hits homes everywhere later this month.

Head over to The New York Times to read the full interview.

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