There are few people in Hollywood as dedicated to the craft of acting as Sacha Baron Cohen. So much, in fact, he stayed completely in character for the better part of a week reprising his role as Borat Sagdiyev in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. In a new profile piece from the New York Times, Cohen reveals he went the length to move in with two conspiracy theorists for five days, where he lived in-character while shooting the highly anticipated sequel.
The first Borat very much dove into the world of satire head-first, something Cohen double-downs on this time around as he shines a light on an American political landscape that’s never been as divisive. As the comedian tells the Times, he decided to move in with the conspiracy fiends to show “that they’re ordinary folks who are good people, who have just been fed this diet of lies. They’re completely different to the politicians who are motivated by their own power, who realized that they can create fear by spreading these lies through the most effective propaganda machine in history.”
Also much like the initial feature — which earned an Oscar nomination, mind you — Subsequent Moviefilm looks to draw on similar content that skirts the line between mockumentary and full-on documentary, featuring real people go about their every-day business, no matter how embarrassing or revealing it may be.
Following the premiere of Borat in 2006, Cohen was on the receiving end of a handful of lawsuits from those who appeared in the movie — a topic sure to dominate the news cycle once again later this month after the sequel premieres on Amazon.
According to Cohen, he and the crew had to fly to locations where allowed due to COVID-related traveling restrictions. This led to some potentially dangerous situations where the actor admits he was forced to wear a bulletproof vest during certain situations. In the Times profile, Cohen says he makes sure never tell his wife — actor Isla Fisher — what dangerous stunts he’s about to pull.
“If there’s anything dangerous that I’m going to do, I just don’t tell her until it’s over,” he says. “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.”
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is set for release on Amazon this Friday, October 23rd.