Sacha Baron Cohen Talks Trump, Comedy & HIV in The Brothers Grimsby | EXCLUSIVE
Sacha Baron Cohen, the comedian provocateur behind Borat, Ali G, and Bruno, is back in glorious ribald form. His latest opus, The Brothers Grimsby, is a raunchy, hilarious romp that will have you falling out of your seat laughing. Marketed as Bond meets Borat by Sony Pictures, The Brothers Grimsby pushes the R-rating further than any film in recent memory. There are scenes that are so crude and vulgar; you almost can't believe what you're seeing. The humor is decidedly low brow, but it's pretty damn funny. I'll say this, you'll never look at an elephant in the same way after watching this movie.
Cohen stars as Nobby Butcher, an on the dole townie and English soccer hooligan with eleven children. Separated from his younger brother by tragedy as a child, he never gives up hope in finding him. Pure chance reunites him with Sebastian (Mark Strong), who is an elite MI6 agent. Nobby bumbles his way into Sebastian's life, causing chaos at every turn. The pair finds themselves on a globetrotting adventure to protect a wealthy philanthropist (Penélope Cruz).
Controversy arose from early screenings of The Brothers Grimsby. There is a scene where U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump contracts HIV. It's spectacularly offensive, without a doubt, but brings you to tears funny. Audience reactions will probably vary depending on political affiliation. Cohen has made no secret his tremendous dislike of Donald Trump, calling him a demagogue in the press. Trump, so far, has not commented. It would be publicity gold for the film if he did.
The interview with Sacha Baron Cohen was pleasant and forthcoming. I had no idea what to expect from him. The press was initially told he was going to be in character as Nobby during the interviews. That was scrapped at the last minute with no explanation. So it was anyone's guess what he would do. Cohen played it straight. He was relaxed, cordial, and very professional. It would have been interesting to see the prankster persona, but in the end there's a multi-million dollar film to promote. He wanted to speak honestly, as himself, about The Brothers Grimsby.
Cohen tackled the Donald Trump issue directly. He didn't hold back on his opinions, and the audience reaction to the HIV scene. He also spoke about his comedic process and how the idea for the film came to be. Our full interview with Sacha Baron Cohen is below.