Sacha Baron Cohen built a career for himself through taboo-breaking satire, but reprising his role as Borat amid the 2020 presidential election led to one especially nerve-wracking experience.
The actor and comedian appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday to chat about his latest project, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Now streaming on Amazon Prime, the well-received sequel to 2006’s Borat finds Sacha as the titular Kazakh TV journalist returning to the US with 15-year-old daughter Tutar (Maria Bakalova), hoping to offer her to Vice President Mike Pence.
One segment in the movie shows Cohen attending the Conservative Political Action Conference disguised as President Donald Trump. Transforming into the president, he said, required him to wear prosthetics and a fat suit. Getting past security, however, presented a different set of challenges.
“I got into a different disguise,” the actor and comedian told Ellen. “I did Trump’s hair differently, got past the CPAC security. ... The [Transportation Security Administration] were kind of wanding me ... and it beeped.”
“I was terrified, obviously,” he continued. “The moment they touch my body, it’s a fat suit. So I wouldn’t have been allowed in.”
After some quick thinking, Sacha told the security guard it was a pacemaker ― only to have the wand beep a second time when it got to his lower abdomen.
“[The guard] said, ‘Well, what’s that?’ And I didn’t know what to say,” Sacha said. “And he said, ‘Well, hold on, it’s the wire to the pacemaker, yeah?’ And I go, ‘Yeah, yeah, of course.’ And he let me in.”
Released last month, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm has received mostly positive reviews. It’s also generated early awards buzz for Sacha, whose credits include The Spy and the 2012 film adaptation of the musical Les Misérables.
One person who’s apparently not a fan, however, is Trump himself. When asked about Cohen, the president reportedly said, “That’s a phony guy and I don’t find him funny. To me, he’s a creep.”
Watch a clip from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ellen DeGeneres Show interview below...