January 5, 2007

Sacha Baron Cohen on "Fresh Air."

Hear him speak in his real voice. It's a little startling. He discusses, among other things, how the scenes for "Borat" were planned and accomplished. The scenes had to advance the plot, but they could not be sure exactly what people would do and say. The scene in the church was pivotal, and the predicted dialogue turned out verbatim. With fundamentalists, it seems, you actually do know what they will say, for example, if you say, "No one can save me."

On many occasions, people called the police, and Cohen stayed in character as "Borat" even after the police arrived. You never know what useful footage you'll get. I guess we'll see that on the DVD.

Cohen thinks he's the victim of his own success, or so he says. He's so recognizable that he can no longer go out as a funny character and trick people. Or can he? He's saying now that he'll have to write scripted movies and work with actors, but that would be a useful message to send out if he wants to keep up the real-life tricks. He's awfully good at disappearing into his characters -- note that he studied acting and has performed in Shakespeare plays -- and, as he says, people consistently believed Borat was real. I think the tricks will go on, in some way or other.

6 comments:

Hamsun56 said...

Thanks for the link! He comes across as a very articulate mensch. I definitively have a more positive view of him now. Might even pay to see his film.

MadisonMan said...

It was a great interview (I listened yesterday while chauffering a kid around). I especially enjoyed the description of the China Shop scene in Borat. Like Ms. Gross, I am bracing for a slew of bad Cohen imitations.

Zeb Quinn said...

I find it annoying that this guy, apparently on his own little mission to expose stereotypes and bigots, has no compunction about trafficking in stereotypes about and bigotry against US southerners and southern culture generally. To me he's just as ignorant as those he presumes to lampoon.

BJK said...

He can certanily still do the same Ali G / Borat / Bruno bits that he does now....he'll just have to come up with new characters with which to do them. That's the real challenge -- will the audience be drawn in by new characters that haven't had years of being developed via Cohen's other comedy projects.

That being said, he could also be very successful bringing his character acting to scripted work. Over Christmas, I watched Talledega Nights for the first time with my extended family. One of my Uncles, who had just been talking up Borat earlier that day, didn't recognize SBC as the French Driver.

vbspurs said...

I can't believe a Daily Show regular like you, Ann, didn't see Sacha Baron Cohen being interviewed, en clair, some time ago!

You can view him on Youtube, or by clicking on my blogpost about the whole Borat Phenomenon.

Amongst other things, I liken his dedication to his craft, to that of Harpo Marx, who was at pains never to be out of character in public -- FOR 60 YEARS.

I may not like Borat, but I like Sacha Baron Cohen.

P.S.: I just commented on my blog that I had left Chez Althouse because of the troll problem. Now I see that you have comment approval. Huzzah!

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

I can't believe a Daily Show regular like you, Ann, didn't see Sacha Baron Cohen being interviewed, en clair, some time ago!

You can view him on Youtube, or by clicking on my blogpost about the whole Borat Phenomenon.

Amongst other things, I liken his dedication to his craft, to that of Harpo Marx, who was at pains never to be out of character in public -- FOR 60 YEARS.

I may not like Borat, but I like Sacha Baron Cohen.

P.S.: I just commented on my blog that I had left Chez Althouse because of the troll problem. Now I see that you have comment approval. Huzzah!

Cheers,
Victoria