CANNES -- Sacha Baron Cohen is usually nothing if not in control.
But on Wednesday it was a camel that got the last laugh when the actor, dressed in character as Admiral General Aladeen from The Dictator, lost his balance just after mounting the animal during a photo-op in front of the famous Carlton Hotel.
Baron Cohen lurched backward and nearly tumbled off the camel, prompting a rousing response from a crush of photographers as he righted himself.
The Dictator begins opening around the world on Wednesday, including in North America. The R-rated comedy is expected to do especially well at the foreign box office, and with the international press gathered in force for the Cannes Film Festival and market, Paramount thought it the perfect opportunity to promote the comedy.
The camel wasn't Baron Cohen's only stunt of the day. Earlier, he was spotted in character aboard a yacht wooing George Clooney's bikini-clad ex Elisabetta Canalis in the Cannes harbor. After faking a row with her, he and another man pretended to throw her overboard in a body bag.
Once arriving on the Croisette via the same yacht, Baron Cohen changed into a polo outfit from the film and appeared for the photo-op in front of the Carlton (he remained mum throughout).
Minutes before the stunt, his wife, Isla Fisher, who is in Cannes plugging her DreamWorks Animation film Rise of the Guardians, entered the Carlton, commenting to a member of her entourage, "I don't know how the camel is going to fit in there."
There were rumblings that Baron Cohen might even ride the camel, but he ended up staying in one spot before dismounting and leading the camel away to a nearby sidewalk table at Le Voilier brasserie, where he sat down and sipped on coffee as the photographers snapped away. Next, he visited the Ralph Lauren store next door (Ralph Lauren helped sponsor the event, since Baron Cohen's polo outfit was provided by the clothier).