Sacha Baron Cohen says he won't be playing Borat again
Sacha Baron Cohen is unlikely to ever play the role of Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev on screen again.
The 49-year-old comic brought back his prankster persona this year for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, but has now told Variety he does not currently see a reason to retrieve his grey suit from storage.
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“I brought Borat out because of Trump,” he said. “There was a purpose to this movie, and I don’t really see the purpose to doing it again. So yeah, he’s locked away in the cupboard.”
Cohen said he was surprised by the lack of recognition for Borat among the public when he performed a skit as the character for Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2018, which prompted him to bin the script for a planned Who Is America? spin-off movie in order to focus on a Borat sequel.
Watch: Trailer for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
The project was set aside to allow Cohen to shoot his role as protester Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7 — a movie which was due to premiere before the presidential election.
Cohen, however, said he wanted Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to also arrive before the vote, noting he “felt democracy was in peril” and the movie could help in some way.
He said: “I don’t want to egotistically imply that people would watch Borat and not vote for Trump, but that was the aim.”
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Cohen added he drew significant pleasure from how often the now notorious actions of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani were brought up during the election and its aftermath.
“Every time his name is mentioned as he tries to undermine the election, people are reminded that this is the guy with his hand down his underpants,” he said.
Cohen’s return to the role of Borat was a successful one, with the movie second only to the Disney+ recording of Hamilton in the league table of subscription video-on-demand hits from last year.
The film also earned critical plaudits, with an 85% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes and plenty of buzz for the upcoming awards season.
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Cohen’s co-star Maria Bakalova — who plays Borat’s teenage daughter Tutar — is particularly in the frame for her supporting role and has already scooped numerous accolades from critics’ groups.
Not everyone is won over, though, with the Kazakh American Association penning a letter urging ceremonies including the Oscars and Golden Globes to disqualify the film for its “ethnic stereotyping and xenophobia”.
Watch: Isla Fisher doesn’t want to know about husband’s Borat plans