In one of the shortest WGA Award ceremonies in recent memory at 90 minutes, there were a few standout comedic moments, one being when Borat Subsequent Moviefilm actor/producer/co-scribe and Adapted Screenplay WGA winner Sacha Baron Cohen took a jab at his favorite punching bag in the sequel, Donald Trump consigliere Rudy Giuliani.
“Thank you for this incredible award, though I can’t help thinking we won it because 60% of the Writers Guild worked on this movie,” said Baron Cohen in a pre-taped ceremony tonight.
“A film like this is extremely hard to write, partly because it stars real people whose behavior is completely unpredictable — apart from Rudy Giuliani who did everything we hoped for,” the British comedic creator said, hitting the nail on the head.
“Look here are the pages,” said Baron Cohen reading the script by Anthony Hines, Dan Swimer, Peter Baynham, Erica Rivinoja, Dan Mazer, Jena Friedman, Lee Kern and himself.
“Interior — Hotel Room. Rudolph Giuliani stumbles in. He’s been drinking. He waffles stupid conspiracy theories for 12 minutes and then takes Tutar into the bedroom, he lies on the bed, and shoves his hand down his pants. One take. Amazing,” beamed Baron Cohen.
Yesterday at the Producers Guild of America nominees panel where the Amazon sequel is up for the top prize, Borat 2 producer Monica Levinson detailed that Giuliani tried to have the crew arrested. “He claimed we were trying to extort him at the time, which we didn’t ask for anything. He called all of his New York City cops and said extortion, which was a federal crime. Very smart to bring that up.” However, she was on her second Borat movie after the first time around after spending 19 hours in jail on that production.
Baron Cohen was a presenter a moment prior during tonight’s WGA awards ceremony for Original Screenplay, and in a complete wink at himself, said that he was completely biased in the category as one nominee featured an extraordinary performance of Abbie Hoffman (meaning, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7). Filmmaker Emerald Fennell won that category for Promising Young Woman.
Borat Subsequent Movefilm has been on quite a roll so far during awards season. In addition to tonight’s WGA Adapted Screenplay award, the movie has won two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor in the category. At the Oscars, the Amazon sequel is up for Best Adapted Screenplay and Maria Bakalova in the Best Supporting Actress category.