One of actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s most famous characters, Borat, recently returned with Borat 2 on Amazon Prime. The film was a big success, and it prompted real-life headlines based around Cohen’s undercover interviews. But Cohen wasn’t always interested in making the film, and he says he likely will not make a third movie with Borat down the road.
In a new interview with Variety, Baron Cohen goes deep on why he revived Borat after so many years after being hesitant to do so. The actor said he was “fairly traumatized” after 2009 comedy Bruno because of all the heat he got.
“For about six months afterwards whenever I heard a police siren, I would start to get tense, because I’d been chased by the police so much. I vowed never to make another undercover movie again,” Baron Cohen explained.
But the actor and writer had a change of heart as the years went on, and he ultimately decided to make the second Borat movie because he wanted to help inform people about the implications of the Trump presidency.
“I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie,” Baron Cohen said. “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.”
Baron Cohen said he had a lofty goal for Borat 2, which is officially titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. He wanted people to see the movie and decide to not vote for Trump.
“I don’t want to egotistically imply that people would watch Borat and not vote for Trump, but that was the aim,” he said.
Borat 2 was originally planned for a theatrical release, but due to COVID-19 and the closure of numerous cinemas, Baron Cohen opted to sell it to Amazon so it could release ahead of the November US Presidential election. The aim was “how do we get as many people as possible to watch this before Nov. 3?” he said.
Also in the interview, Baron Cohen speaks about whether or not he would revive Borat for a third movie–it doesn’t sound likely.
“I brought Borat out because of Trump,” he said. “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.”