Sacha Baron Cohen is a Hollywood actor unlike any other. While other performers work on movie sets with tightly controlled environments, Cohen made his name playing "undercover" characters like Ali G and Borat, to film himself taking part in real-world, frequently disturbing events. In a recent interview with CBS This Morning, the actor declared that his days of playing undercover characters are past, and that Borat 2 is his final one.
"Uh, no. I can't do it again. I was lucky to make it out of [the Borat sequel] fully intact. So... no."
While Tom Cruise is often lauded for putting his life on the line to pull off daring movie stunts in real life, what Sacha Baron Cohen does is arguably much more dangerous. In his various disguises, Cohen has frequently been in the middle of bloodthirsty crowds baying for his insides, such as when he found himself inside a caged wrestling ring while spectators threw projectiles at his head. In an op-ed for Time, Cohen revealed how he very nearly lost his life while filming the Borat sequel.
"While filming my latest Borat film, I showed up as a right-wing singer at a gun-rights rally in Washington State. When organizers finally stormed the stage, I rushed to a nearby get-away vehicle. An angry crowd blocked our way and started pounding on the vehicle with their fists. Under my overalls, I was wearing a bulletproof vest, but it felt inadequate with some people outside toting semiautomatic weapons. When someone ripped open the door to drag me out, I used my entire body weight to pull the door back shut until our vehicle maneuvered free."
Of course, Cohen's intent with his daring stunts is not to needle crowds without purpose, but rather to use his characters to shine a light on the worst aspects of society, from racism to homophobia. Arguably none of the actor's movies do this so well as the Borat sequel, so it makes sense that Cohen would want to leave the genre of such types of movies on a high note.
But just because Cohen is quitting undercover roles does not mean he is giving up on acting altogether. In between his better-known turns as Ali G, Bruno, and Borat, Cohen has built a solid acting profile, working with the likes of Martin Scorsese on Hugo, and Aaron Sorkin on The Trial of the Chicago 7. In fact, fans are hoping Cohen will now be able to devote more time to scripted comedies like The Dictator and The Brothers Grimsby, which proved that even when not relying on "undercover" roles, the actor is one of the funniest people working in Hollywood today.
Directed by Jason Woliner, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bride to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman and Lee Kern, with a story by Cohen, Hines, Swimer and Nina Pedrad. The film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.