'Borat,' 'Chicago 7': Sacha Baron Cohen protects democracy - Los Angeles Times

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Sacha Baron Cohen (Sacha Baron Cohen) will play the radical activist Abbie Hoffman (Abbie Hoffman) in 2007. Steven Spielberg planned to direct Aaron Sorkin's script "The Trial of Chicago 7", but the writer's strike cast a shadow over the version of the project.

Cohen continued to produce the comedy "Bruno," and all his research on Hoffman became unexpectedly useful.

Ending with the title "Straight Dave", head to Texarkana, Arkansas for a climactic cage battle with him

To clearly illustrate the homophobia of the audience. Cohen’s lawyer warned him that he could not go too far to avoid aggravating the masses ("Warning, Sasha"), otherwise he might be charged with inciting riots across national boundaries.

Cohen smiled and said, "I thought,'I know this law...this is the law tried by "Chicago Seven" and Abi Hoffman." "In a sense, I have Maintain close contact with Abbie."

On a winter evening, we were talking to Zoom, and Cohen was wearing a black baseball cap, a black long-sleeved T-shirt and showing a black sense of humor. Director Jason Woliner worked on the successful "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" this fall ("It feels like we are a small band of bank robbers, "When Wolinner talked about the secret process of making the sequel), the first thing that surprises you is how much Cohen "cares about what he believes in."

"Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" discovered everyone's favorite vulgar Kazakh reporter. This is the first time in more than ten years that he has returned to the United States. Things have become...politicized.

In our conversation, this enthusiasm is obvious. Cohen has repeatedly championed his cause: curbing slander and false information on the Internet and curbing Trumpism, which he sees now and always as an existential threat to democracy.

Of course, this is Cohen, serious words usually take weird comic detours, obsessed with Stephen Miller’s bowel movements, and he spent five days on the undercover "Bolat" sequel with two QAnon conspiracy theorists. Time, and so immersed in character that he forgot how to practice good dental hygiene. ("It was really hard to pick up the toothbrush, and then I realized,'Oh my God! I'm still Porat!'" Cohen said, adding that he literally hit it back. That was only the third day .He still has 48 hours away.)

Cohen shot the blockbuster "The Borat Subsequent Movie" before starting the filming of "Chicago 7" in October ("I don't know," Sorkin said, "I found out at the same time as everyone else.") Wernana said. The new year came back to this project, promptly dressing Mike Pence as Donald Trump for his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. ...And, you know, they have guns. ")

"People often ask me,'How do the actors prepare for the scene?'" Cohen said blankly. "Then I was going to wake up at 1 in the morning, drove to a motel, sat in a chair for six hours, and a prosthetic team replaced my face with Donald Trump's face, and, yes, dived into CPAC Spent some time in the men’s bathroom. A few hours."

When I was surprised that he was ranked first, he agreed, and then finished the sentence. "Me too! I can't believe it!"

As for how he spent a few hours in the bathroom wearing a 54-inch waistline, Cohen explained: “I have a phone call and I have a Coca-Cola. I put a few lines on the Coke bottle to indicate how much I can drink per hour. At the same time, I am more familiar with the inner workings of right-wing men than those around me. I know their diet. They need more ingredients. It’s too busy there."

If it weren't for Trump, Cohen would never have made a sequel to "Borat". Their path crossed for the first time in 2003

Ali G, a rapper and news reporter, suggested to him the idea of ​​wearing gloves when eating ice cream. In 2012, after Cohen played a role in the movie "The Dictator" and threw Kim Jong Il's cremation "ash" on Ryan Seacrest on the Oscar red carpet, Trump released a paragraph in defense of Seak Lester’s video, called Cohen

The support for this public display may

It is related to Cohen defecating in front of Trump's property in the first "Bolat" movie.

"Borat" star Sacha Baron Cohen said on the "Good Morning America" ​​show that in his performance with Rudy Giuliani, he was worried for actress Maria Bakalova.

"The new'Borat' is indeed a form of peaceful protest for me," Cohen said. He believes that the top priority is to show the movie before election day to "sound the alarm." When the pandemic and its subsequent lock-in occurred in early March, executives at Universal Pictures recommended that the film be postponed to 2021, when the cinema may open. But Cohen could not shake the shots they took at Pence to eliminate the risk of coronavirus in his CPAC speech.

"If this movie will become a prosecution of Trumpism, I must point out that his biggest failure is his indifferent management of this crisis, which led to unspeakable death and disaster," Cohen said. Amazon Studio bought this movie,


Wolinner smiled and said, "It's a bit challenging to know this movie without sounding pretentious." "Can comedy be based on history? I don't know. But that's what Sacha is determined to do."

The Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova knows she is preparing to pair with'Borat'. She even had to convince her parents that this is a "legal" movie role.

"Somehow, Sasha is revolutionizing the world through Porat,"

The sequel is a Bulgarian actress who plays Borat's daughter. "Then you see him as Abbie Hoffman. He devoted his life to revolution. The similarities are great. Their influence comes from this crazy comedy of genius."

Cohen, 49, said that his father had a biography of Hoffman at home, but he did not go to school when he was young, but wrote a university thesis on Jewish involvement in civil affairs when he was introduced to rights defenders at Cambridge University. Rights movement. Hoffman’s purposeful top drama-he once vowed to suspend the Pentagon and end the Vietnam War-resonated with Cohen, who grew up in London and loved the surrealism of Monty Python, Peter Sellers and Louis, Subversive film Buniel.

There is another connection: Cohen studied with the great theater and clown teacher Philippe Gaulier, one of the few art courses.

. Never heard of

? They were wanderers in medieval society and were allowed to return to the village every year to play some dramas that mocked the organization. Cohen said: "This is a form of irony against power." "You will let the extremely deformed person play the French king."

Cohen believes that Hoffman followed

In the 1969 trial, he and the other defendants (initially eight) were charged with conspiracy. Yes, at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, they crossed the national borders to incite riots due to violence. Hoffman and the co-founder of the International Youth Party (yippies) Jerry Rubin (played by Jeremy Strong in the film) will play pranks in court, angering judges and proving that they do not respect the trial.

Cohen said: "On the surface, he is a harlequin, but under all this, he is an unwavering activist, ready to risk his life to challenge injustice." "He showed the power of humor. To expose the disadvantages of society."

Sorkin described Cohen as "happy" and praised the spontaneity he and Strong brought to court scenes, although sometimes he needed to tell them to lower the antics by a notch.

"You will hear me say'cut. That's great. Let's try again, but don't use kazoo," Sorkin said. "They brought a lot of unexpected touches, but it inspired everyone's energy."

While Cohen continued to produce "The Seven Trials of Chicago", he continued to be addicted to Hoffman, sending Sorkin information about new discoveries by email almost every night. "I can't do anything about it," Cohen said. "'What about, Aaron? This is unbelievable. Shouldn't we put it in? Very kindly, Aaron will reply to every email and say, "I think we received it. Let's stick to this script version. '"

"But it's hard not to fall in love with someone like Abbie Hoffman," Cohen continued. When they asked him what the price was, he almost shed tears when he said "his life".

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Glenn Whipp is responsible for the film and TV coverage of the Los Angeles Times, and serves as a columnist for The Times' awards quarterly magazine, Envelope.

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