Sacha Baron Cohen Says He Was Lucky to Escape a Far-Right Rally 'In One Piece' While Filming 'Borat 2'

Justin Kirkland, Gabrielle Bruney
·4 mins read
Photo credit:  Moviestore/Shutterstock
Photo credit: Moviestore/Shutterstock

From Esquire

It's been 14 years since the original Borat film debuted, which, for most movies, would be an incredibly long time to go between franchise installments. But Borat's wildfire success made impressions of Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakh journalist so inescapable that it's probably for the best that the performer waited for the calls of "My wife" to fade before returning to the role.

With 2018's Who is America, Cohen proved that no election year is complete without his uncanny ability to highlight the horrifying absurdities of American politics. So it makes sense that his next project is due to drop just before November's election. With a new film officially confirmed, here's what you should know.

A mysterious teaser dropped online before Tuesday's presidential debate.

A couple hours before Donald Trump debated Joe Biden early this fall, a Twitter account called "Republic of Kazakhstan" congratulated the president on winning the debate, and posted a 35-second clip in which a familiar-sounding voice praised Trump as the "strongest premier in history" who "never had stroke."

We reached out to Amazon Studios, who has been announced as the Borat sequel's distributor, and to Cohen's publicist for confirmation that he's behind the clip, and are still awaiting response from them. But Cohen retweeted the video, which is a pretty sizable hint that he may be behind it.

The clip was released on the same day it was announced that Amazon Studios had acquired the film.

The teaser's release didn't just coincide with the debate—it also coincided with the news that the film would be released on Amazon Prime in late October.

Deadline reported that the film was with union approval during the pandemic shutdown, and that some of the sequences shot for the film found Cohen in situations dangerous enough that he had to wear a bullet-proof vest.

The problem with Cohen's prank interviews has always been that the more famous they become, the harder it is to pull the wool over his target's eyes. Collider reported that, to get around the fact that Borat is now one of the most famous movie characters of the last 20 years, the new film finds him going undercover to conduct interviews—which likely means that we'll see Cohen donning a new disguise or two.

The film could feature big names from American politics.

On Thursday, Amazon announced the film's title: The Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. It'll debut on October 23.

And last month, it emerged that Rudy Giuliani was the subject of one of Cohen's prank interviews. Giuliani told Page Six that he called the police after Cohen, wearing a bikini and a mesh top, surprised him during an interview. (In his signature bigoted style, Giuliani referred to the getup as a "pink transgender outfit.")

Cohen's viral performance at a right-wing event will appear in the new movie.

In June, footage of Cohen singing a racist, anti-journalist COVID-19 anthem at an Olympia, Washington militia rally went viral. Cohen was wearing heavily padded overalls and looked nothing like mustachioed Borat, so at the time it looked like the prank could be a segment for Who Is America? But upon second viewing, the accent Cohen deploys is deeply weird. It doesn't sound like an American accent—it sounds like Borat trying to do an American accent. The video may be a sneak peak at the upcoming movie.

The performance was only half the story though.

In an op-ed for Time Magazine, Cohen opened up about some of the close calls he's had through his career—one of the freshest being the stop he made in Olympia this year. He wrote, "An angry crowd blocked our way and started pounding on the vehicle with their fists. Under my overalls, I was wearing a bulletproof vest, but it felt inadequate with some people outside toting semiautomatic weapons." It's a common theme in Cohen's appearances for him to be revealed and make a quick escape. This time was a bit more ominous. He adds, "When someone ripped open the door to drag me out, I used my entire body weight to pull the door back shut until our vehicle maneuvered free. I was fortunate to make it out in one piece. The next few weeks will determine whether America will be so lucky."

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