I'm Sacha Baron Cohen, though you may know me as my comedy characters Borat, Bruno, and my most offensive and unrealistic to date, Donald Trump. I'm doing this AMA on behalf of 'The Brothers Grimsby', which is in theatres on March 11.

Proof: http://imgur.com/HY7JeWf

EDIT: Thank you Reddit! I really appreciate your support. Your questions were intelligent and surprising, and sometimes fucking cheeky. Check out the new film. It's kinda Borat meets Bond; I'm really proud of it. And people are in hysterics around the world.

Comments: 7309 • Responses: 32  • Date: 

Salty_Sweat5244 karma

You is like, a comedyman, innit?

TheSachaBaronCohen5306 karma


tall_and_thin_3753 karma

Will you please, for the love of God, star as Freddy Mercury?

TheSachaBaronCohen3924 karma

Uh, u/Tall_and_Thin, I will not. I explained why on Howard Stern yesterday--check it out.

limbodog3251 karma

Did you catch any flak for your Oscars performance?

TheSachaBaronCohen5186 karma

u/limbodog, yes the producers of the Oscars were upset, but they've been upset with me before. I assume I will not be invited back.

darkestrogue3166 karma

What question would Ali G most like to ask Donald Trump?

TheSachaBaronCohen6225 karma

Trump is a misogynist and I think it is disgusting the views he has on bitches.

lurker_now_accholder3111 karma

What was the worst part of filming Borat?

TheSachaBaronCohen6212 karma

The worst part filming Borat was the naked fight, because I had a 250 lb. man's ass on my face, and his buttocks was so big that I couldn't actually breathe when I was underneath there. So, I had about 30 seconds of air under there before I had to breathe in. And I had a signal with the director, which was when I thought I was going to pass out, I would hit the mattress three times. If you look at the Borat film now, you will see that I do hit the mattress three times, and the director didn't stop filming, which meant I was faced with this very stark choice, which was either to die, or to breathe in the rancid air from my costar's rectum. And when I was underneath there, I decided to die. Luckily, my co-star moved off and I managed to finish the scene. Otherwise, that would have been a very inglorious end to my life.

SimB52931 karma

Which character do you enjoy playing the most?

TheSachaBaronCohen5645 karma

u/simb5, I think it's probably Bruno, because his hygiene is the best. When I was in Borat, I wore a suit that hadn't been washed for a dozen years, and I can't wear deodorant, I'm walking around with a staff for a year at a time, and occasionally I even have a 260 lb. man sit on my face. So it's quite unpleasant to play. But with Bruno, he's clean, he smells great, I have at least one or two people shaving off all my body hair every day, and he's very well moisturized. And of course he has a bleached anus, which any man secretly wants.

PM_me_your_phantasie2652 karma

How hard (not your penis) was it doing the wrestling scene in Bruno?

TheSachaBaronCohen4562 karma

It was very nerve wracking because I almost got killed two nights in a row. We did the first one in Texarkana in Arkansas, and that ended up going very badly. They started throwing metal chairs into the ring and a huge sterioded ultimate fighter ended up jumping into the ring and attempted to beat me up. So I had to escape. We drove through the night to another town in Arkansas and did the cage match again for the second time and it ended up provoking a riot in the stadium. But luckily I had built a trap door in the cage which led to a tunnel that was reinforced, and at the end of the tunnel there was a car that was running with its door open, ran out, and me and my co-star got off scot free.

TheVegetaMonologues2278 karma

Do you worry that American audiences won't get the full comedic effect of the "football hooligan" stereotype?

TheSachaBaronCohen4756 karma

u/TheVegetaMonologues, when I make a film, I'm really just making it for the hard core fans, not the broader audience. My aim is just to make them laugh as hard as they can laugh in any movie theater. So whether it appeals to the masses is not really my main concern.

lux5141894 karma

Do you regret doing anything at all that you've ever done?

TheSachaBaronCohen4775 karma

yes. There was something that I regret not doing, which was, I was on this Australian late night talk show, and the talent booker had made a massive mistake. He booked the Australian Prime Minister on the same talk show. I was doing Bruno, and I had a strip tease routine fully planned, including tearaway pants and this g-string. And my intention was to lap dance the Prime Minister of Australia, and stick my crotch in his face. It would have been an international incident, and probably would have got me barred from Australia. But, unfortunately, I wimped out of doing it, and eventually was also barred by his own security.

TheSachaBaronCohen1704 karma

Here's a little GIF from me; it's something the MPAA deemed was illegal for anyone under the age of 45. Unfortunately for them, we still put it in the movie...Hope Sony don't realise I've done this!

https://imgur.com/E9e1lJU -- NSFW

NotQuiteAWriter1818 karma

Is your haircut in The Brothers Grimsby really based on Liam Gallagher?

TheSachaBaronCohen3719 karma

u/NotQuiteaWriter, no. Liam Gallagher's haircut is based on mine in "The Brothers Grimsby". There’s a story I told on Conan about the first time I ever met Liam Gallagher which led him to threaten to stab me in the eye. Which now Liam Gallagher has gone public about and said it was not true and that in fact he threatened to stab me in both eyes.

nomercymayhem1678 karma

Hey Sacha! Have you ever thought of doing a certain character but decided not to because the world isn't ready? Maybe the character was a bit too controversial?

TheSachaBaronCohen3232 karma

Yes. I did used to do a comedy character on the circuit who was called the Mujahideen, and he was a very nice fundamentalist terrorist who just wanted to be loved and deliver stand-up comedy lines. In the end the character was too divisive. Fine by me, I then came up with Ali G.

iamnotevensorry1506 karma

Hi Sacha, you have done a lot of crazy things along your way. Is there anything you wouldn't do because it's too gross or freaks you out?

TheSachaBaronCohen3709 karma

u/iamnotevensorry, yes there are lots of things I would not do. I only ever really do something if I find it hysterically funny. And I have a mental problem, which is, I don't see the consequences of my actions. So, I will often come up with something in the writers room, with me and my colleague, and not really think through how I'll feel when I get to the day when I have to shoot it.

So, case in point, the naked fight seemed very very funny when I started talking about it in the writers room, but it got to the day, and when I was confronted with a naked 260 lb. man, who had not cleaned his asshole for 25 years, the joke suddenly did not seem very funny.

dokal1231 karma

Would you rather have penis sized nipples, or a nipple sized penis?

TheSachaBaronCohen2401 karma

A nipple-sized anus is what I want to have, and what I do have.

Char10tti31225 karma

Isn't it just called Grimsby? Or is it a regional thing?

Edit: that audience reaction shot to that clip was... Something else.

TheSachaBaronCohen2111 karma

Yes, it's called Grimsby in Australia and England, but it's called The Brothers Grimsby here. That wasn't my idea.

rekips1220 karma

I love hearing you every time you are on Howard Stern. What are your favorite things to do to publicize a movie? Are there anything's the studio has you do that you dread doing?

TheSachaBaronCohen2649 karma

u/rekips, I tend to do whatever I want when I'm publicizing a movie. In Cannes, it was my idea to go in a green thong on the beach and surround myself with some girls. And when I was publicizing Borat, the studio did not want me to stand outside the Kazakhstan embassy and deliver a press conference, but because I own the characters, I have the freedom to do whatever I want with them. So, I managed to avoid the normal boring press junkets that other actors are forced to do. And of course, pretend that they enjoy.

kc3071218 karma

Hey Sacha! Couple questions for you

What's the craziest fan experience you've ever had?

Have you ever had a fan believe you to always be one of your characters, rather than an actor, due to the style of some of your movies?

Thanks very much! Much love

TheSachaBaronCohen2693 karma

Well, when I started out doing Ali G, nobody knew what my face looked like. So there were a number of Ali G impersonators who were going around pretending to be me. One of them gave an interview in one of the newspapers saying that if the real Ali G had slept with half as many women as he had, then he'd be a very happy man. Unfortunately at the time I was in a monogamous, very unhappy relationship, so I was particularly resentful of him. It was one thing him pretending to be me, but quite another him sleeping with my groupies. So I met another of these Ali G impersonators, and again people really thought that they were me, and this guy only did gigs with the mafia in London. So there was a notorious family called the Krays, he did one of their funerals, and he did exclusively east end mafia gangs. I was a little bit perturbed by this and he said "Don't worry, they love you. Well me. Who cares." and that led to a few unpleasant encounters with gangland members during the beginning of Ali G who thought that they had been swindled by my Ali G impersonator.

Mandoolah1050 karma

Hi Sacha! Big fan of your work, looking forward to seeing the new movie. If you had to pick one out of your characters to live as for the rest of your days, who would it be and why?

TheSachaBaronCohen2148 karma

It would probably be Nobby from the new movie, The Brothers Grimsby. He's a family guy, he gets drunk, and he does a very sensible amount of drugs.

__fubar__986 karma

So what in the Hell was censored from tv and can we expect more of that from your new movie??

TheSachaBaronCohen2280 karma

yes, most of the movie is impossible to show on TV. I just came off The Today Show, and they complained that every single clip that we've submitted has been barred from the MPAA. I'm personally slightly suspicious that the MPAA have got it in for me, now that I've revealed my tactic of submitting scenes that are much longer than the scenes that I want actually to go on film. But yes, the movie is a collection of very outrageous scenes that so far people are absolutely loving. But I would warn you, if you are a Donald Trump supporter, don't go and see the movie, because something very bad happens to him.

LaBullit811 karma

Do you still wear that Borat Mankini sometimes?

TheSachaBaronCohen2100 karma

Yes. Only when I'm making love to my wife.

tattoolemky745 karma

Hi Sacha, thanks for doing this AMA. I have just one really, really important question - Is Nobby the secret love child between Richard Ashcroft & Liam Gallagher?

TheSachaBaronCohen2395 karma

No, he’s the secret love child between Liam Gallagher and Noel Gallagher.

Char10tti3721 karma

You probably get this one a lot so I've given you a choice ;-)

What's the most dangerous/awkward situation you've been in while filming or in production?

Cheers :-)

TheSachaBaronCohen3433 karma

There were a lot of dangerous situations, particularly on Bruno, because there's one thing about being a Kazakhstani reporter where people get freaked out. If you're a gay Austrian guy in the middle of Arkansas, people want to kill you. There was one time where I was out with three guys hunting, and we're there in the middle of the night around a campfire, and I'm playing Bruno, this gay Austrian character. And I say, "So tell me, which is your favorite Sex and the City character?" And one of them said, "I don't watch *Sex and the City." I said, "Well, that is such a Samantha thing to say!" And then I look up in the sky, and I go, "I tell you what, looking at all the stars up there, you realize how many hot guys there are in the world," at which point these three guys went and got their rifles, and loaded their rifles. And the worrying thing for me was that I knew, an hour later, I was going to try and sneak into one of their tents naked, with the excuse of a bear having eaten all my clothes.

drDOOM_is_in661 karma

Holy fucking shit dude!

Of all the people doing AMA's you must be my favorite up to date.

Ok, questions:

What is your favorite bud?

How do people in Israel react to you, I know that your movies have been extremely censored in the Arab countries, is it the same in Israel?

Who were your comedy heroes growing up?

How fucking awesome is it to be you on a day to day basis?

Also, you have made my day a lot of times in the past, I particularly remember in the Ali G show when you destroyed the DEA guy, hysterical. "Youz is gettin' ripped of man."

Oh yeah, Who the fuck is 'me Julie'?

TheSachaBaronCohen1629 karma

  1. I can't reveal that, but I would reveal that Ali G's is Moroccan Black.

  2. No, they aren't censored Israel, and actually my movies are the only ones that end up being hits in Israel and Lebanon simultaneously. I think there was a moment in Borat where, during the Israeli preview someone shouted "Holy fuck, he's speaking in hebrew!" and then the audience started cheering.

  3. Well definitely Monty Python, and Peter Sellers. Life of Brian was the first comedy movie I ever snuck into at the age of 8, and seeing the audience roll around with laughter and be shocked and stunned and cheer has been the inspiration for me to make movies that provoke a similar reaction.

  4. It's pretty amazing. I look in the mirror and get so turned on that I become visibly erect.

  5. Me Julie is Ali G's girlfriend. So you should definitely check out a video that I did with Shaggy called Me Julie that we shot in Jamaica. One interesting story there was Shaggy's manager said to me, the director, brought us up to his villa and said "Listen, I've cast Me Julie." and we said "No no no, don't worry about that, we've actually cast Me Julie, we found her in London and brought her to Jamaica." and he said "No no no, you see that woman over there?" We look over and see a semi naked woman in his bed. He goes "That is Me Julie. What time should she be on set?" and we said "No, we don't want her on set" and he reached into his trousers and pulled out a gun, put it on the table, and said "what time should she come?" and we said "9:00. 9:00 in the morning is great," but if you look at the video now, you see there's a woman who gets hit in the head with a soccer ball, and that was the girl. That was my own revenge that if this guy had forced me to cast this woman, she'd get smacked in the head with a soccer ball 15 times for every take.

LucidThump597 karma

How was it to work with Martin Scorsese on Hugo?

TheSachaBaronCohen1521 karma

Incredible! A dream come true. He is the maestro, probably the greatest living film director, and possibly the greatest film director of all time. I had the privilege of studying how he made movies for six months. He usually sits alone watching the movies, and I asked whether I could sit quietly next to him and learn how to direct. And after a month, he allowed me in the chair next to him, and it was incredible.

The guy is unparalleled.

courtiebabe420587 karma

What is the question you get most tired of being asked?

TheSachaBaronCohen1377 karma

"Did you almost get killed while making one of your movies?"

Points_out_shit551 karma

Hello Sacha! I'm super excited to see The Brothers Grimsby!

I have a few questions:

  • What was the best part about the making of your new film (without any spoilers!)?

  • Approximately what percentage of your lines are ad-lib, versus actually scripted?

  • I know it must be hard to stay in character while cracking extremely funny lines. Do you have a story of the funniest time when you couldn't manage to keep your composure?

Thank you very much for the AMA! Can't wait to see the new movie!

TheSachaBaronCohen2008 karma

  • The best part was creating this new style of action, because we wanted the movie to be better than Bond or Jason Bourne, and for it not to be a spy spoof. So, together with Louis Leterrier who’s directed Marvel movies, and Now You See Me, and this amazing Russian director, Ilya Naishuller, we developed this first-person-shooter style of action, where we got the best stunt guys in the world, attached a kind of helmet-cam onto their heads, and they went and fought and did all the stunts for real in one continuous go.

So they were fighting seven people at a time, getting run over by cars, jumping of bridges, climbing onto trucks, jumping off buildings before they exploded, all for real. So, it's a bit like playing Call of Duty, but done with real people.

  • It varies from movie to movie. So, in like Borat, it's probably 70% ad-lib. In Grimsby, it's probably 40% ad-lib.

  • Well, at the beginning when I started doing Ali G, I would start laughing, and obviously that would destroy the interviews. They would think that I was ripping the piss out of them,and they would end the interview. So soon, I developed techniques for stopping laughing, including biting my cheek, squeezing my leg, and eventually I found the most effective method was reminding myself that I was Ali G, and that Ali G didn't find the joke funny. He was just an idiot.

Jess1491531 karma

What is your favorite book?

TheSachaBaronCohen2203 karma

My favorite book at the moment is a book called "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by professor Kahneman, which is a book on how the brain reacts in instinctive and often illogical ways to stimuli. And it explains things like why we would vote for a presidential candidate who could destroy our country.

gobberpooper503 karma

How have you managed to have so much creative freedom in what you do and say? Have there been things that the studio or distributor said no to and you had to fight for? Have they ever won?

TheSachaBaronCohen1825 karma

Yes, there are continual fights with every movie. Luckily, I managed to get something into my contract years ago which is something called "final cut", which very few people have anymore; ...Scorsese...Tarantino...Fincher...which means that if a studio buys a project, ultimately I can choose what goes in.

But still, there are fights. And even on this movie, there is a scene where something very bad happens to Donald Trump, and that became a bit of a challenge. The studio wanted me to put up a disclaimer saying Donald Trump is not HIV positive, which I was reluctant to do since I've never seen his STD report. After all, Donald's been quite a promiscuous man over the years and there's no stigma attached to HIV anymore. But, in the end after a long struggle, we managed to come up with a compromise.

CrazySwayze82502 karma

Hey Sacha,

I'm a big fan and didn't realize you were doing an AMA today, so I guess my timing is VERY NICE.

My question is out of all of the people you interviewed while doing the Ali G show who was your favorite and if you feel like it your least favorite to interview?

Edit: a letter

TheSachaBaronCohen1824 karma

There was a guy called Mohamed Al-Fayed whose son, Dodi Al-Fayed, tragically died with the late Lady Diana in Paris. He came on the Ali G show and was hilarious. So he was probably my favorite.

My least favorite was I did an interview with David Duke as Ali G, and it was quite unpleasant because he brought some neo-nazi security with him and my researcher had to spend the evening keeping the security guards away from me. And even though my researcher is Jewish, he had to pretend to be a complete antisemite and neo-nazi in order to keep the body guards attention and let me interview Duke alone. In the end, I never showed the Duke interview, because his views are so extreme and horrifying that giving any publicity to him felt immoral.

pwnograph337 karma

Hey! Have you ever considered coming to Brazil to film parts of a movie? What's your critic view of our country?

TheSachaBaronCohen597 karma

u/pwnograph, I love Brazil. I know a few lines in your language, but I mainly used to use them in my youth, when I was trying to approach women. "Tudo bem?" "Oi, tudo bom?"

I would love to go back there. I had two of the best weeks of my life in Rio, Salvador, and Iguazu Falls.

Jess1491137 karma

What is your favorite music band?

TheSachaBaronCohen280 karma

I'm into quite an eclectic range of stuff, ranging from old school hip hop, to rare groove, to jazz fusion, raga, and world music. I even listen to some of the modern favorites. I was lucky enough to get Ed Sheeran to see the movie and get to write a new track for it, which only appears in the movie, and it's called Brothers in Blood.

TheOnlySniffy88 karma

Being British and a comedian, was Charlie Chaplin any inspiration on you comedy and filmmaking?

TheSachaBaronCohen386 karma

I know I'm meant to say yes, but he wasn't. To be honest the guys I really loved growing up from England were Peter Kirk, Peter Sellers, and Peter Sutcliffe. That's a name joke because he was a mass murderer.