(AFP) – Fourteen years after winning the Golden Globe for best actor for “Borat”, Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the ceremony with two nominations, without having lost the taste for provocation or the concern to denounce the prejudices that have made his success.
The continuation of the adventures of the now legendary Kazakh reporter in mankini, “Borat New filmed mission”, released on Prime Video last year, could earn him the title of best actor on Sunday. The film is also nominated in the categories of best comedy and best actress in a comedy (Maria Bakalova).
Baron Cohen is also named as Best Supporting Actor in “The Chicago Seven”, a drama directed by Aaron Sorkin and released on Netflix last year. The film tells the true story of seven Americans accused of inciting revolt in the 1960s after a peace protest went awry.
This recognition from Hollywoord rewards a career that exploded in 2006 with Borat and the antics of his actor, who does not hesitate to pose in mankini (a bathing suit hanging behind the neck) during the Cannes film festival.
In this film vulgar for some, brilliant for others, Borat, a sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic Kazakh, met ordinary Americans there, in a creaking clash of cultures.
– “Democracy in danger” –
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Baron Cohen explained that the film actually made fun of “people who believe that the Kazakhstan I am describing exists”.
Kazakhstan, which had banned its distribution, furious at the backward image of the country conveyed in the film, finally surfed on this popularity by using the expression “Very nice!” of Borat in a tourism promotion campaign.
In the sequel to the film, Sacha Baron Cohen again slips into the shoes of the mustached reporter who sets out to storm America.
At a pro-gun rally, he masquerades as a singer and trains the audience to sing a song inviting to inject “Wuhan flu” into former US President Barack Obama.
The actor must flee when the crowd realized who was hiding under disguise. “We were surrounded by an angry mob with guns,” he told US radio NPR, vowing not to work undercover anymore.
Sacha Baron Cohen said he took over the role of Borat in an attempt to influence the 2020 presidential election against Trump because “democracy was believed to be in real danger.”
– “Impostor” –
The role, and the associated image, are located a thousand miles from the social environment in which grew up this dark man with the slender figure. Raised in a Jewish family in London by a father who ran clothing stores, educated in private schools and then at the prestigious Cambridge University, he joined the Footlights theater club, which launched stars like Hugh Laurie and members of Monty Python.
He was spotted performing skits on the British Paramount Comedy Channel, creating the character of Ali G, an aspiring rapper from a small town in England, who had his own show, “Da Ali G Show “, broadcast from 2000 on Channel 4.
He interviewed politicians and other personalities who believed they were real interviews, asking them increasingly daring questions.
In this show, he also played Borat, and Brüno, a gay and exuberant Austrian fashionista. Ali G will be entitled to his film in 2002, before Borat in 2006, then Brüno in 2009.
The show made Baron Cohen a star in the UK. Prince William even revealed that he and his brother Harry taught the Queen Mother to imitate Ali G by snapping her fingers and throwing ‘Respec’.
Episodes aired in the United States on HBO. Among those interviewed, Donald Trump, who last year called Baron Cohen an “impostor”, adding: “I don’t find him funny.”
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Sacha Baron Cohen, the king of provocation to storm the Golden Globes