Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed the purpose of his Borat sequel was to convince viewers to vote against Donald Trump in the presidential election and the infamous Rudy Giuliani honey trap scene that captured him with his hand down his pants makes him ‘happy’.
Cohen released the mockumentary comedy ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ in October during the build up to the presidential election and it shows him crashing the Conservative Political Action Conference, filming a fake interview with Trump’s lawyer Giuliani and rubbing shoulders with QAnon conspiracy theorists at anti-lockdown protests.
The movie tells the story of his character Borat Sagdiyev, a fictional Kazakhstani journalist, venturing to America to offer his daughter Tutar, played by Maria Bakalova, as a bride to Vice President Mike Pence.
‘I don’t want to egotistically imply that people would watch Borat and not vote for Trump, but that was the aim,’ Baron Cohen said in a feature interview with Variety magazine.
In one scandalous scene Borat’s daughter tries to interview Giuliani at a hotel suite for a documentary ‘Keeping America Alive’, but he was clueless it fake, and once there he laid on the bed and put his hand down his pants.
‘I do feel happy that 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,’ Baron Cohen said on the scene.
Sacha Baron Cohen has revealed in a new interview with Variety the purpose of his Borat 2 sequel was to convince people to not vote for Donald Trump in the presidential election and the infamous Rudy Giuliani honey trap scene that captured him with his hand down his pants makes him ‘happy’
In the scandalous movie scene Giuliani is interviewed by Borat’s daughter who poses as a conservative reporter in a hotel room, where he reclines on a bed and appears to put his hand down his pants. Rudy Giuliani pictured leaning back after actress Maria Bakalova takes his mic off
He claims that scene almost didn’t take place because Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, refused to take a rapid COVID test, violating the strict safety protocols Baron Cohen and his producers set to shoot the film amid the pandemic.
‘There was this debate of what do we do? Do we go ahead with this scene? What happens if he has coronavirus? We concluded that it was worth the risk,’ the comedian revealed.
Footage of the scene immediately went viral and Giuliani insisted he was tucking his shirt in – but the Borat cast disagree. He believed he was going to be genuinely interviewed and had no idea it was a set-up.
‘The movie is out, and everybody can see it the way they want to see it,’ Bakalova, who had pretended to try to interview him in the scene, said.
‘I felt like he would not do that with a man, and I should be seen as a woman and not as a sexual object,’ she added.
Much of the film sought to expose the shortfalls of Trump’s administration and the president’s bigotry.
Baron Cohen’s boldness in taking risks with his projects is what sets him apart from other actors.
‘There were moments in making this movie where I thought, why the hell am I doing this? This is illogical. You think, am I mad? Have I got something deeply wrong with me?’ he said on making the film.
‘It is so daring and there is so much peril involved, but there’s also a big discrepancy between who he is as a person and who you see on-screen,’ longtime friend actor Seth Rogan said to the magazine.
‘He’s a neurotic Jewish guy when you get down to it, and the fact that he has chosen a line of work where he genuinely puts himself in danger doesn’t add up,’ he added.
Rudy Giuliani insisited he was tucking in his shirt in the movie scene and didn’t have his hand down his pants
Actress Maria Bakalova, who played Borat’s daughter in the movie and who was able to honey trap Giuliani, pictured above
When asked if he’ll reprise the Borat figure for another film, the comedian said he’s ready to hang up his character’s costume.
‘I brought Borat out because of Trump. 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,’ he said.
Borat, as well as much of his other works, are commentaries on the American psyche and the dichotomy between progressive left and the countervailing right – in this case those who support the Trump administration.
When off-screen Baron Cohen is an outspoken critic about social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In November 2019 he spoke at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never Is Now summit where he blamed the social media platforms for the rise in hate crimes and prejudice.
He said their refusal to monitor political ads and take down fake news in the name of free speech allows for conspiracy theories to take off and threatens democratic ideals.
‘I don’t want to egotistically imply that people would watch Borat and not vote for Trump, but that was the aim,’ Baron Cohen said on the film. Pictured above as Borat in the movie
Borat and his daughter Tutar pictured in the moving in a ballroom scene
In the film Borat put on a Trump mask and crashed CPAC carrying his daughter over his shoulder shouting to speaker Vice President Mike Pence, ‘I have the woman for you!’
He even reached out to the leaders behind these platforms – the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, only to receive ‘a polite brushoff’.
‘My general conclusion is that these are very nice people, who are doing horrible things they justify to themselves by saying that there is no good without bad,’ Baron Cohen said.
‘I don’t agree with that principle. I think you should try to have a business that is good and try to get rid of the bad,’ he added.
‘On the internet, everything can appear equally legitimate. Breitbart resembles the BBC. The fictitious Protocols of the Elders of Zion look as valid as an ADL report. And the rantings of a lunatic seem as credible as the findings of a Nobel Prize winner. We have lost, it seems, a shared sense of the basic facts upon which democracy depends,’ he said.
When asked about why he decided to come forth as a critic of these social media giants he said: ‘I’ve been a very reluctant celebrity. I’ve spent my entire career trying to shy away from publicity. I also am very wary of the concept of someone being famous pushing their views on the people.’
When the COVID-19 crisis emerged and threatened the production of the film, Baron Cohen said it only made the film all the more pressing.
‘I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie. The movie was originally about the danger of Trump and Trumpism. What coronavirus demonstrated was that there’s a lethal effect to his spreading of lies and conspiracy theories,’ Baron Cohen added.