“Only a couple of sequels have ever been nominated [at the Oscars]. One was The Godfather Part II,” he said of the fact that not only his 2006 original film but also the new one have been nominated in screenwriting categories. “When we got that nomination in 2006 I believe we were the first broad comedy to be nominated in perhaps decades, I’m not sure. I think winning the WGA Award was incredible. I didn’t even tune in because I thought we would lose. We feel comedy is an overlooked genre. It takes much more skill than I think people think it actually does.”
Baron Cohen, along with writers Anthony Hines and Erica Rivinoja, appeared as part of Amazon Studios’ Contenders panels along with Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova, who called making the film the most challenging but greatest moment of her life. “It was so scary I was having a panic attack before each scene,” she said, laughing. I suggested she should probably thank Rudy Giuliani if she wins.
Hines and Rivinoja explained that the film, nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, actually had way more writing than your average movie since scenes could go any which way because of the unknown factor in doing what is essentially a scripted reality movie — they had to write dialogue and situations that may or may not occur when actually doing the filming.
The initial script is basically a “wish list where you are then at the mercy of fate and real people,” Hines said.
Check out the panel conversation above.
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