OnlyOnAOL: Sacha Baron Cohen takes aim at Donald Trump
BY DONNA FREYDKIN
No, Sacha Baron Cohen doesn't have ESP or a crystal ball. When he wrote "The Brothers Grimsby," opening Friday, he had no idea that a certain New York real estate developer named Donald Trump would wind up the Republican presidential frontrunner.
"Three months ago, when I stuck him in the movie, no one thought that he would still be in the race. I had no idea. The crazy thing about democracy is that people can get in who you never expected to get in. The great thing about history is, it shows that ranting demagogues on stage in rallies encouraging racial hatred have never led to anything bad. So we're all fine," says Baron Cohen.
He's kidding. Very much so. In fact, there's an operatic scene at the end of "Grimsby" that takes full, unapologetic aim at Trump. We won't reveal any spoilers here.
"Something bad happens to Donald Trump. In a movie like this, you have to make sure it's a deserving target. I've been completely blown away that there's a unanimous response around the world, in audiences around the world, that they cheer and they literally stand up and give an ovation when this terrible tragedy happens to (him)," says Baron Cohen.
OnlyOnAOL: Sacha Baron Cohen is serious about his comedy
Trump aside, there's sex aplenty in the film. Most notably, with Gabourey Sidibe, who has a small but crucial part as a hotel maid. "There was a lot of things going on in that scene so it was six days (to film)," says Sidibe.
An explosion, for starters. "It wasn't always sex," says Baron Cohen. "There was foreplay."
The two first met at a party, when Baron Cohen spotted Sidibe and had an inkling that the "Empire" star was funny. He wasn't disproven. Sidibe, meanwhile, was struck by Baron Cohen's non-slapstick approach to his work.
"What you do is very technical. You're very serious and very smart about everything. It's interesting to watch you figure out where the joke is and where the laugh will be and where the understanding will be," says Sidibe. "I was surprised by how serious a person he is, how seriously he takes a joke. I guess I kind of thought you'd be kind of silly all the time."
Every facet of Baron Cohen's films is thought out, including his character's very standout attire, which this time includes baggy shorts, scraggly tops, sideburns, and shower shoes. "I was looking to create an idiotic, slightly violent Northern English character and coincidentally Liam Gallagher had the same look. So the similarities are completely coincidental," he says.