“Thank you to the all-white Hollywood Foreign Press,” he began, a shot at the group’s lack of any Black members, a fact that has been excoriated in the industry and beyond in recent days. (Watch the full speech above.)
He also saluted “co-star” Rudy Giuliani, without whom “this film could not have been possible.” The attorney for former president Donald Trump “came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius.” (Giuliani famously put his hands in his pants in a hotel room during a scene with Maria Bakalova, who plays the 15-year-old daughter of Borat. He later said he was adjusting his microphone.)
“Who could get more laughs out of one unzipping?” Baron Cohen marveled. “Incredible. Our movie was just the beginning for him. Rudy went on to star in a string of comedy films, including Four Seasons Landscaping, Hair Dye Another Day and the courtroom drama A Very Public Fart.”
The rest of the remarks by the co-writer and actor were as straightforward and predictable as the win in the category by Amazon Studios and Baron Cohen’s production company, Four by Two Films. He rattled off a list of names, ending with a thank-you and a kiss for his wife, Isla Fisher, who sat next to him during the speech, smiling and occasionally giggling.
The film’s back story was the stuff of legend long before last October’s release. Baron Cohen had effectively retired the character after the 2006 film racked up more than $260 million at the global box office and cemented his stardom. (He also won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.)
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