After making waves with Borat in 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen‘s fictional reporter from Kazakhstan disappeared for nearly 15 years, even if many of his catchphrases did not. But last year, the ignorant, inappropriate journalist returned in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and against all odds, it was perhaps even better than Borat’s first big screen outing. However, the success and critical claim doesn’t mean Borat will be back again anytime soon.
Speaking with Variety, Sacha Baron Cohen explained why he brought back Borat last year, even as the coronavirus pandemic threatened to stop the movie from being completed:
“I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie. 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.”
Cohen felt a duty to use Borat to call attention to something heinous that was happening in America, just as he did with the original Borat movie during the George W. Bush presidency. It’s also why he delayed production so he could team up with Aaron Sorkin to tell the relevant story of The Trial of the Chicago 7. Unfortunately, he wasn’t expecting COVID-19 to throw a wrench in his plans for completing the Borat sequel. Thankfully, he and his crew figured out a way to make it happen in the midst of the pandemic.
But the success of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm doesn’t mean we’ll see him throwing the mustache back on for another round with the character. Cohen added:
“I brought Borat out because of Trump. There was a purpose to this movie, and I don’t really see the purpose to doing it again. So yeah, he’s locked away in the cupboard.”
Plus, I imagine part of the reason Borat Subsequent Moviefilm worked so well was because no one was expecting it. Sure, Cohen had to disguise Borat as different characters in order to pull off many sequences, but there were still scenes where unsuspecting citizens had no idea who Borat was. Many people are probably on higher alert in the wake of Rudy Giuliani’s shocking appearance in the film, but it’s been proven time and time again that plenty of people will still believe almost anything.
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