Wednesday 23 October 2019

Sacha Baron Cohen: I needed to vent my anger and disappointment about Trump

The comedian said he did not care if his latest show was a success.

Sacha Baron Cohen (Ian West/PA)
Sacha Baron Cohen (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Sacha Baron Cohen has said he did not care about the success of his show Who Is America?, but made it because he needed to vent his “anger and disappointment” at the election of Donald Trump.

The series, which aired on Channel 4 in the UK, saw the comedian create a string of new characters to interview people from across the political spectrum.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: “The show I just did, Who Is America? — a guy called Donald Trump got elected, and I was upset by it and that anger and disappointment, I was expressing it by sending friends emails, sharing articles, look at this and this.

“I was so angry, I actually had to channel it into some characters who could sit with some of those people who were his friends.

“And I didn’t really care how the show went down.

“I mean, Showtime’s (the US network that aired it) going to be upset about this, but I said to them, ‘I’m not doing any publicity’. I just had to get it out of my system.”

Cohen also talked about his “absurdly ambitious aim” of getting OJ Simpson to confess to murder during their interview.

He said: “I shot that right at the end of the show, and I had achieved some things I was surprised by. Like, I never thought a politician [Jason Spencer, then a Georgia state representative] would get his buttocks out.”

He added: “I trained up with an FBI interrogator. Again, this is reaching too high, but I thought, ‘Let me try it’, because it was hidden camera — if he’s ever going to admit it, it would be in a hotel room where he thinks he’s going to earn a lot of money.

“So I trained with supposedly the greatest FBI interrogator, and eventually he goes, ‘Who’s this for?’ And I go, ‘It’s for OJ’. And he goes, ‘That’s going to be tough’.”

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