Who else could it be? He arrived at the Sydney premiere of Brüno in a pink stretch Hummer, attended by a scantily-clad troupe of male and female dancers. And then he began pouring tomato sauce all over himself.
But this was no Sacha Baron Cohen. It was just a promoter for a fast food chain, who was summarily evicted once security realized what was up. Then the real Brüno showed up in his typical fashion, leading a white horse and decked out as a knight in shining, but unusually revealing, armor.
It was the final stop on his world premiere tour for Brüno and Cohen left those in attendance with the hope that his movie, like herpes, would "continue to infect audiences for the next 1,000 years." Posted 06.30.09 by reelz
Some early reviews of Bruno, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, are in. Unfortunately, the response seems a little more muted than we were hoping for.
Jimmy O of JoBlo.com, who gave the movie an 8 out of 10, says:
So yeah, Brüno is outrageous, sick and offensive but pretty damn hilarious.... Bruno may not have the freshness that Borat had, but it will please Cohen's fans nonetheless.
Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter says:
The calculations behind Baron Cohen's ambushes too often are mean-spirited. We sense, as we never did with Borat, the comic behind the character. Especially when his accent keeps changing — from an unconvincing Austrian to his own British and even to a whisper of Borat himself.
Consequently, the character's gayness reads false. Baron Cohen needs to spend more time in certain gay bars if he wants to learn how to do "flamboyant" and "fabulous." It's a ghost of the real thing.
Todd McCarthy of Variety concurs:
[The movie's jokes] should be enough to make any movie fly. But there is also a pronounced nasty streak to the innumerable provocations staged by the title character.
We're curious as to what could possibly seem more "mean-spirited" and "nasty" than Borat's hilarious antics at the Alabama dining club, his candid-camera takedown of drunken frat boys, or his point-blank insults of New York feminists. But if Cohen can pull those off, we suppose we shouldn't put anything past him. We'll keep you posted as more reviews continue to trickle in. Posted 06.29.09 by reelz
His brand is controversy and outrage. But in this case, even Sacha Baron Cohen thought it would be going too far. Following the sudden death of Michael Jackson on Thursday, footage involving an unsuspecting LaToya Jackson, which had been included in press screenings earlier this week, was cut from last night's premiere of Brüno.
In the scene, reportedly a setup similar to his ambush of Paula Abdul, Cohen's character Brüno creates a pretext to get Michael's number from her Blackberry. UPDATE: The scene will be cut from the theatrical release, as well.
Otherwise, the premiere went off in his typical over-the-top fashion, with Cohen arriving in character and in style at Grauman's Chinese Theatre straddling a gun turret on top of a glittery tank.
Later that night, he took things even further with Conan O'Brien. The clearly nervous talk-show host asked Brüno to show off his dance moves, but was still unprepared for just how up close and personal that would turn out to be. Posted 06.26.09 by reelz
Perhaps just to prove — to homophobes, to gays, to Austrians, to nationalists of all stripes — that he is an equal opportunity offender, Brüno took on Spanish cultural stereotypes in a bullfighting ring in Madrid. He strode around the arena dressed as a bull sporting hooves and a typically inappropriate attempt at anatomical correctness.
As for political correctness, he proved he could do that pose too, proclaiming to the audience:
Ich have come to redress the wrong done to the gay community by that Hollywood movie on Harvey Milk which was acted by Sean Penn, who's not even gay.
Oh, the irony. Statements like this make the rumors that he re-shot parts of Brüno at the behest of an outraged gay community seem rather less likely. For Brüno, clearly, any sort of outrage is a feature, not a bug. Posted 06.19.09 by reelz
Interested in seeing Brüno and his "marching band" parade the streets of London while donning the bearskins of Her Majesty's guards? We thought so.
In yet another promtional stunt for the Brüno movie, Sacha Baron Cohen arrived in Leicester Square with a cadre of scantily clad marchers. They proceeded to strut their stuff while a marching-band version of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" played in the background.
Here are some pictures and a video, courtesy of Empire Online. Posted 06.18.09 by reelz
Sacha Baron Cohen has already played cover girl for Marie Clarie, so his latest cover stunt (striking a Jennifer Aniston pose for the cover of GQ) is perhaps not so surprising — although his homoerotic take on the football field is admittedly a head-turner.
But what's up with Bruce Willis, who seems to have been channeling his inner Brüno in a bizarre S&M/sci-fi photo spread with his wife for W Magazine? Perhaps he's getting the mood for his role in the upcoming sci-fi thriller Surrogates. In the trailer for the movie, he can be seen intermittently trying out a whole different kind of new look — hair of all things — with somewhat problematic results. Posted 06.17.09 by reelz
In Paris on the French leg of a promotional tour for Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen was, as usual, never out of character. Driving down the Champs-Élysées in a car decorated with feathers and the head of a swan, and attended by an entourage of models decked out in his own peculiar brand of Austrian fetish-wear, Brüno was, fashion watchers concluded, "très Village People."
He was clearly out to see if he could shock even the jaded Parisian audience into seeing his movie. Appearing on a popular French talk show, he reprised some of his more outrageous promotional tweets:
The film I have just made is the most important documentary about a gay white guy since The Passion of The Christ ... I thought of calling it the fashion of the Christ.
And then he really got down, stripping off his hot pants to reveal a thong with French President Sarkozy's face on it. The audience was reportedly quite amused. Posted 06.16.09 by reelz
It appears that the British tabloid The Sun has published a review of sorts for Brüno. It's actually more like a spoiler that offers a little endorsement.
There's no information on how writer Gordon Smart got an advance peek at the Sacha Baron Cohen vehicle, which isn't due in theaters until July 10. But he describes the plot and many of the stunts in explicit detail. If you'd prefer to see the movie unspoiled, maybe it'd be best to avert your gaze from this one. Posted 06.16.09 by reelz
Although Sacha Baron Cohen is (relatively) straight, the character he has created for Brüno draws on and pumps up nearly every stereotype of a gay man one can imagine. Not too surprisingly, this has stirred up a certain amount of controversy in the gay community, typically over-hyped in the Drudge Report headline: "Gay Groups Growing Concern Over Bruno."
Truth is, reactions are mixed. No one is accusing Cohen/Brüno of homophobia, but he sure does provoke it. And that's the point. Early on the movie was given the mock title "Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt." Plausible enough that several media outlets mistook it for the real thing.
In one particularly provocative scene shot in a southern honky-tonk, Brüno gets into some homoerotic cage-fighting, with a predictably ferocious audience response. A piece in the New York Times notes that filmmakers had contacted Elton John to see if they could use his hit from The Lion King, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," as an ironic counterpoint for the scene. Apparently, that was a little much for Sir Elton, who said no. But then he said yes to contributing to the movie's closing song.
The response of gay rights groups is similarly ambiguous. While some have expressed concerns, others find worrying about the educational value of Brüno a bit straight-laced. Posted 06.12.09 by reelz
The Austrian press has begun to batten down the hatches in preparation for the arrival of Brüno, pondering the extent of possible damage to its national brand -- and dignity.
In Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen plays a flamboyant gay Austrian fashionista possibly modeled on a real Austrian television presenter, Alfons Haider. Haider, who is known for his own diva-like style on screen, has no problems with the comparison -- for the most part. He is a little worried, though, about some of the right-wing stuff that Bruno comes out with.
That's a worry underlined by Brüno's recent statements off-screen elevating a notorious Austrian sex criminal to the status of national icon and flippantly bringing up a Hitler connection that the country would rather forget. "Will Nazi replace our Dirndl image?" reads one recent headline on the controversy. In light of what happened to Kazakhstan's reputation after Brüno's predecessor Borat had his way with it, perhaps not an entirely misplaced concern. Still, you'd think they might be a bit more concerned about the impact of his yellow lederhosen hot pants. Posted 06.11.09 by reelz