Sacha Baron Cohen bids Borat, Ali G goodbye
British comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen is bidding farewell to the two alter egos that brought him international success: the dim-witted hip hop interviewer Ali G and uncouth reporter Borat.
The Cambridge University-educated performer is retiring the two over-the-top personas because they have become too well-known to be able to dupe unsuspecting interviewees, Cohen told The Daily Telegraph newspaper in an interview published Friday.
"The problem with success, although it's fantastic, is that every new person who sees the Borat movie is one less person I 'get' with Borat again, so it's a kind of self-defeating form, really," Cohen said.
"When I was being Ali G and Borat, I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing."
The 36-year-old British actor, who now lives in Los Angeles with actress-fiancee Isla Fisher and their infant daughter, rose to fame with his cult cable TV hit Da Ali G Show. The program showed Cohen portraying severalcharacterswho conducted often-silly interviews with unsuspecting subjects, including the likes of Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump.
His questions and comments were usually offensive and laced with double entendres, with the result being that interviewees either revealed their own prejudices or flailed uncomfortably in his presence.
In 2006, Cohen scored a major international hit with his film Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which featured his moronic, anti-Semitic, mysogynistic, homophobic Kazakh reporter character.
Cohen makes a flashy cameo appearance in Tim Burton's gruesome film adaptation of the stage musical Sweeney Todd, hitting North American theatres on Dec. 25, while a production featuring another of his alter egos — gay fashion reporter Bruno — is set to hit the silver screen sometime next year.
With files from the Associated Press