Sacha Baron Cohen: 'Too Dangerous' to Play Borat

Sacha Baron Cohen says he's retiring the character
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2021 10:55 AM CST
Sacha Baron Cohen Is Retiring Borat
In this 2006 file photo, actor Sacha Baron Cohen arrives in character as Borat for the film premiere of "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)

If you're eagerly looking forward to the next installation of Borat, it's apparently going to be an eternal wait. Sacha Baron Cohen—the actor-comedian who created and played on TV and in two movies the satirical character of Borat Sagdiyev, a supposed journalist from Kazakhstan who often gets himself into hot water while interacting with famous and not-famous personalities—says he's done with the role. Baron Cohen tells Entertainment Tonight that while his most recent acting part in Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 posed challenges, it simply got "too dangerous" to continue on as Borat, who often spewed bigoted, sexist remarks to get his "unwitting scene partners [to] reveal their true beliefs," per NPR. "There were a couple of times I had to put on a bulletproof vest to go and shoot a scene," he tells ET. "I was pretty lucky to get out this time, so no, I'm not doing it again."

He reveals he couldn't sleep the night before he'd shoot his Borat scenes, not only having to worry about logistics like how accurate his accent was, but also stuff like: "If a bunch of guys with guns come from that side of the stage, have I got a way to get out? ... What if a bunch of people start shooting me?" Per, Baron Cohen says he'd never break character, as "it can go very badly. The police will be called." NPR notes that Baron Cohen has been chased, sued, and even almost arrested for his Borat antics, and that while shooting a scene for his second Borat movie at a gun rights rally, he actually feared for his life. "At some point, your luck runs out," he says. Baron Cohen also talks with NPR about the "ethical gray area" in deceiving people as Borat, defending his most recent movie with: "I have no doubt about the morality of this film. I'm very proud of it." More here. (More Sacha Baron Cohen stories.)

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