Sacha Baron Cohen played the iconic character of Borat in the new film, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’, which features a controversial clip with Trump aide Rudy Giuliani. Here are five things you should know about him.
One of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s most memorable characters, Borat Sagdiyev, is at it again in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the sequel to 2006’s Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. In the mockumentary comedy, which was released by Amazon Studios on Oct. 23, the 49-year-old actor’s hilarious character, who is a journalist, deals with issues like racism, President Donald Trump, 74, and the COVID-19 pandemic that’s entangled Trump’s attorney, as he brings his 15-year-old daughter (played by actress Maria Bakalova, 24) to the United States to offer her as a bride for Vice President Mike Pence. One controversial scene from the film that’s getting a lot of attention shows Trump aide and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, 76, apparently tucking his hand into his pants while in a bedroom suite, where Borat’s daughter was interviewing him.
On Oct. 21, Giuliani called the scene, which was filmed in July, a “hit job” by Sacha and claimed he was only taking off his microphone and nothing more. “I had to take off the electronic equipment,” he said in the radio interview. “And when the electronic equipment came off, some of it was in the back and my shirt came a little out, although my clothes were entirely on. I leaned back, and I tucked my shirt in, and at that point, at that point, they have this picture they take which looks doctored, but in any event, I’m tucking my shirt in. I assure you that’s all I was doing.”
Here are five things to know about Sacha, his career, and his reaction to the controversy.
1.) He jokingly defended Giuliani and the controversial scene while in character, but not in real life. “I here to defend America’s mayor Rudolph Giuliani,” Sacha said as Borat in the Oct. 22 Twitter clip, which can be seen below. “What was an innocent sexy-time encounter between a consenting man and my 15-year-old daughter have been turned into something disgusting by fake news media.”
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM BORAT SAGDIYEV pic.twitter.com/vM92Lam5vV
— Borat (@BoratSagdiyev) October 23, 2020
On Oct. 23, Sacha responded to the scene with his own reaction during an interview, which can be seen below. “I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there ‘appropriate behavior,’ then heaven knows what he’s done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,” he told Good Morning America. “I urge everyone to watch the movie. It is what it is.”
He added, “[Rudy] did what he did. And, make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us.” Maria, who was also present for the interview, said that despite the headline-making moment with Giuliani, she never felt unsafe. “I always felt safe with our team, with our crew, with Sacha in our corner. I actually never felt like I was in danger. That’s why I’m lucky – because I had them,” she said.
“I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior then heaven knows what he’s doing with other female journalists in hotel rooms.”@SachaBaronCohen weighs in on the Rudy Giuliani scene in #Borat2 that has made headlines. pic.twitter.com/RfeNJeWPdw
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 23, 2020
2.) His real-life encounters with people in the Borat films haven’t always gone well. Even though Sacha is in full character during the interactions, the prankster has fooled many, and even Giuliani himself, admitted to filing an NYPD police report on him back in July, when he burst into the door during, what he thought, was a legit interview with his character’s daughter. “This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down so I reported it to the police,” Giuliani told The New York Post in July. “He then ran away. I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled, and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”
3.) In addition to Borat, he has played other impressive fictional satirical characters. Some of them include Ali G, Brüno Gehard, and Admiral General Aladeen. Some of his most popular films are the Borat films, Bruno, The Dictator, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
4.) Sacha Baron Cohen Is Still Married To Isla Fisher. If you’re curious about the type of woman who would say “I Do” to the man behind Borat, look no further than Isla Fisher. The Scooby-Doo actress met Sacha in Sydney, Australia, around 2000. “She was hilarious,” he told The New York Times. “We were at a very pretentious party, and me and her bonded over taking the mick out of the other people in the party. I knew instantly. I don’t know if she did. It’s taken her about 20 years to know.”
The couple were married in 2010, after a six-year engagement (and after she converted to Judaism.) What does she think about Sacha’s edgy stunts and pranks? “If there’s anything dangerous that I’m going to do, I just don’t tell her until it’s over,” Sacha told The New York Times. “I made a mistake with her. She once came on set just for fun. On set means coming to the minivan, which carried me around when we were shooting Bruno. And there ended up being a police chase. I was in a separate car and the police were trying to find me. She found the whole thing so upsetting, and she never came back on set again.”
5.) Sacha Baron Cohen Does Have A Daughter In Real Life — Two, in Fact. One of the breakout stars in Borat Subsequent Movifilm (and one of the principal agents in the Rudy Giuliani scene) is Tutar, aka “Borat’s Daughter.” Borat’s teenage daughter was actually played by 24-year-old Maria Bakalova, a relatively unknown but award-winning actress from Bulgaria. Sacha is actually a father of three kids – daughters Olive, 12, and Elula, 9, and son Montgomery, 5. However, both Sacha and Isla have done their best to keep their children out of the spotlight and afford them a little bit of anonymity.