Not very nice! Sacha Baron Cohen is set to retire his controversial Borat character.
Cohen originally reprised his role as the fictional Kazakhstani journalist before the 2016 election to warn Americans about voting for Donald Trump. Now that the President has lost his re-election bid to Joe Biden, Cohen feels as though his work is done — for now.
The comedian recently revealed that he felt an obligation to make the second film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, to shine a light on the dangers he saw threatening our government.
“I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie,” Baron said, noting that he felt pressure at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic to complete the film and “was emotionally resigned to the fact this this was not going to happen before the election.”
The 49-year-old stressed that he felt even more determined to finish his work after seeing how President Trump went about handling the pandemic. “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,” he added.
The actor said that “rather than run away from how the world was dealing with coronavirus," he decided “we should lean into it.”
“Borat is a fake character, played by me, in a real world ... If we got people to take their masks off, it would be a fake character in a fake world, in a manipulated world, so the basis of the comedy wouldn’t work,” Cohen said.
The sequel to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, premiered in October 2020, with many critics praising the heavily improvised political satire.
The film not only took aim at Trump but also his fiercest allies. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani found himself in trouble after a scene from the film showed Trump’s personal attorney in a compromising position with a conservative journalist.
Maria Bakalova, 23, who plays Borat's underage daughter, Tutar, staged an interview for a fake conservative news program with the attorney. Afterward, she suggested having a drink in a hotel room, which was rigged with cameras.
The two hung out, and Giuliani can be seen lying on his back and reaching his hands into his pants. Cohen — who was dressed as Borat —rushes in and interrupts the pair by saying, "She’s 15. She’s too old for you."
Giuliani reported Cohen's intrusion to the NYPD at the time of the event, but they found that no crime had been committed.
Variety was the first to report that Cohen is set to retire the character of Borat.