Sacha Baron Cohen's Further Thoughts On Ken Davitian's Anus

mark · 01/16/07 11:01AM

Showing the same kind of unfailing dedication to a comedy bit that led the actor to never launder his trademark gray suit or properly use Western-style bodily waste elimination devices during months of in-character press obligations (while Fox publicists undoubtedly tired of toting takeaway feces bags for excited journalists, the exacting actor demanded they be available for all junket participants), Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen offered this behind-the-scenes look at how co-star's Ken Davitian's anus—the subject of Cohen's Golden Globes victory speech—not only made his performance possible, but nearly turned their movie into a faux-documentary snuff film:

Trade Round-Up: It's Looking Like A 'Sex and the City' Development Season

mark · 01/09/07 03:05PM

Having defeated a raft of lawsuits aimed at removing scenes that various "victims" of Kazakhstan's leading documentarian found to portray their racism/misogyny/dinner parties in an unflattering light, the Borat DVD is scheduled to be released on DVD March 6th without any changes to the original theatrical version. [Variety]
· Hollywood Out of Ideas, 'Sex and the City'-related Pilot Pick-up Edition: ABC picks up Cashmere Mafia ("the next generation of Sex and the City. ") and Brett Ratner's Women's Murder Club ("CSI meets Sex and the City"), while NBC goes straight to the source, greenlighting SATC author Candace Bushnell's Lipstick Jungle. [THR]
It's been approximately five minutes since we've mentioned Donald Trump, so: The Donald and producer Mark Burnett are being sued for age discrimination by a rejected Apprentice applicant, who claims the show favors the young and hot over the old and litigious. [Variety]
Fox wiped out all Monday night competition with its BCS championship game between Florida and Ohio State, but NBC's Deal or No Deal and CBS comedy block still perform respectably. Once again, Studio 60 continued its hiatus and thus had no momentum-killing effect on NBC's Nielsen fortunes. [THR]
· Scooby Doo creator Iwao Takamoto dies at 81. The cause of death is officially "heart failure," but we suspect foul play by a disgruntled local farmer wearing a rubber mask. [Variety]

Feces And Fetid Gray Suits: Behind Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Borat' Process

mark · 01/09/07 11:33AM

While Academy voters undoubtedly enjoyed watching Sacha Baron Cohen carry out his Borat junket responsibilities entirely in character, inquiring about the sexual availability of the siblings of any reporter willing to point a microphone in his direction and making the occasional straight-faced statement of solidarity with noted "anti-Jew warrior, Melvin Gibson," they probably won't be inclined to write in the name "Borat Sagdiyev" on their Oscar ballots. Realizing that Cohen would need to do some interviews as himself if he's serious about a landing a nomination, his publicists have finally convinced him to doff Borat's trademark gray suit and put aside canned references to his alter ego's proud rapist lineage and take some time to spotlight an actorly transformation so complete that even his bowel movements became prisoners of his process. Reports the LAT's Patrick Goldstein:

Awards Round-Up: Globe Reactions, WGA Pits '30' Against '60'

seth · 12/14/06 03:24PM

Just hours after the Golden Globe nominations were announced, better entertainment news bureaus everywhere were on the phone with the lucky, chosen few, who shared their "where they were" moments (let's get a handle of things, folks—these are the Globes we're talking about) and their initial reactions (generally positive, save for double nominee Clint Eastwood, who felt the final installment of his WWII trilogy—a YouTube video of a hamster making its way through a video game prison camp—was sorely overlooked.) A round-up:
· Best "where were you" answer definitely goes to Babel director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who was stumbling in from a party at 5:30 a.m. to find his wife still awake, watching the results. Nice save, Gonzalez! You know you were toast without the nomination. [Variety]
· Sacha Baron Cohen delivers this statement: "I have been trying to let Borat know this great news but for the last 4 hours both of Kazakhstan's telephones have been engaged. Eventually, Premier Nazarbayev answered and said he would pass on the message as soon as Borat returned from Iran, where he is guest of honor at the Holocaust Denial Conference." [The Hot Blog]
· The WGA nominations were announced today, and HBO is the only TV network (not that it's TV) with two series in each of the major categories (Deadwood and Sopranos/Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage). NBC, meanwhile, picks up four of the five nominees for best new series, pitting 30 Rock against Studio 60 in a contest we can only assume was concocted purely for the guild members' amusement. [THR]

Awards Round-Up: SF Critics March To Beat Of Their Own Adulterous, Suburban-Dwelling Drummers

seth · 12/13/06 03:02PM

· The mavericks of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle give their top honors—picture and directing—to Todd Fields' Little Children. Helen Mirren wins best actress for The Queen, a status quo concession they make up for by awarding Sacha Baron Cohen best actor for his Pamela Anderson-stalking work in Borat. Screenplay honors go to the hardboiled, Raymond-Chandler-meets-Degrassi indie, Brick. []
· Time's Richard Corliss gives us yet more insight into the shadowy goings on behind the closed doors of the New York Film Circle's annual gang bang ("The job is simple: tear yellow-lined paper into cracker-size bits; write a name or three on one piece; wait while the names are read out and tabulated," he writes, grippingly), and does some actual math to figure out if these lists actually predict Oscar results. Answer: Yes, they do! Occasionally. []
· Clint vs. Clint. Leo vs. Leo. Peter vs. Peter. (Morgan: he wrote The Queen and Last King of Scotland.) In a bounty year of award-worthy output, will ceremonies like the Golden Globes (nominations out this Thursday) see multiple nods for single artists who did double-duty, or will vote-splitting end up cancelling them out? [LAT]
· Letters From Iwo Jima and United 93's strong showing in critics' polls puts the underhyped downer movies high on Academy members' radars; Ellen DeGeneres and her writers are already salivating at the hilarious opening montage sequence in which she single-handedly foils the plans of a group of 9-11 terrorists, only to jet-pack to the ground and find herself trapped in a Japanese internment camp. [Reuters]

Trade Round-Up: Comedy Central Takes Another Hit From 'Blue Collar' Crackpipe

mark · 12/13/06 02:28PM

Julia Roberts will produce and possibly star in an adaptation of the Lolly Winston novel Happiness Sold Separately, about a suburban wife whose husband, forgetting that he's married to Julia Roberts (perhaps things will be complicated by the character's mousy hairstyle, clunky glasses, and dowdy wardrobe), starts banging the nutritionist at his gym. [Variety]
· Comedy Central signs away another part of its soul to the blue-collared comedy devil, ordering a half-hour animated pilot about Larry the Cable Guy's wacky misadventures as the co-owner of a cable TV station. [THR]
· Meanwhile, Nickelodeon tries to counteract corporate sibling Comedy Central's development evil by greenlighting a new animated series starring SNL's Amy Poehler, Mighty B, about an adorably psychotic 10-year-old Honeybee scout. [THR]
Producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Jason Blum buy the film rights to an upcoming Vanity Fair article about the CIA, The Shop; no word on if VF editor Graydon Carter will earn a producing fee for once musing to himself while staring out his office window that the story would make a great movie. [Variety]
Dan Mazer, longtime Sacha Baron Cohen partner-in-crime, is officially inducted into Hollywood's Comedy Mafia by making a deal to write and direct a Judd Apatow-produced, "broad, out-there" comedy for Universal. Bonus soundbite: Mazer marvels that Cohen's dangling of "his testicles in another man's face" has not disqualified him from Oscar consideration. [Variety]

Borat Sued Again, This Time By Guy That Didn't Even Make It Into The Movie

seth · 12/12/06 08:18PM

Following quickly after yesterday's ruling against the slave-owners'-rights-espousing frat boys seeking to have their scene in the Borat movie removed from the DVD release, comes another lawsuit brought against the filmmakers by a South Carolinian claiming to have been duped by the prankster now famous the world over, Sacha Baron Cohen. In a scene that never made it to the movie's final cut, Borat earns some money as a bathroom attendant at an upscale restaurant. It's a short sequence that has made the rounds on TV and online (but has since been pulled down by YouTube 2.0, Lame Edition), and now its full-bladdered mark is suing to ensure his Pee of Shame never sees the DVD extras light of day:

Mayans Worried Impending 'Apocalypto' Stardom May Typecast Them In Heart-Removing Bogeyman Roles

seth · 12/05/06 08:34PM

As Hollywood Jewry continues to debate the prospects of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto at the box office and the awards season beyond, another ancient culture with a vested stake in the director's vision—Mayan descendants—are themselves torn over the prospect of the movie's release. Would Gibson's brutal interpretation of their civilization at its most violent serve to raise cultural awareness, or would it send the world scurrying, convinced that all relatives of the characters on the screen must also by association be members of a severed-head bowling league? The AP takes a look at yet another little known people on the brink of their own Hollywood coming party:

Remainders: Who Owns This Town?

Doree Shafrir · 11/29/06 06:40PM
  • The undercover cop who fired 31 shots at Sean Bell in Queens had previously worked undercover at Bungalow 8, where "it was clear to everyone who knew him that he was doing more than just drinking." [Radar]

'Borat' Now Accused Of Ruining Doomed Celebrity Marriages

seth · 11/28/06 01:13PM

The dissolution of Pamela Anderson's marriage to Bob "Kid Rock" Richie after just four months may have been the celebrity break-up that launched a million, "Go get her, Borat!" wisecracks, but the internationally renowned joke recycler may have had more of a direct hand in the snuffing of their white trash love than any of us could have guessed. From Page Six:

Borat Book Deal Not So Niiiice After All?

Emily Gould · 11/27/06 05:55PM

We hear from a scout (remember what those are?) that the Borat book sold at auction, with the Bruno book, for a cool $4 million, but the agency (Trident) won't say to whom. This isn't particularly fishy: sometimes deals aren't announced for weeks (or even months) for strategic or making-them-think-we-have-a-strategy reasons. But this particular bout of tight lippedness makes us think twice, in part because of a suspicion an agent planted in our heads. We thought he was totally crazypants at the time — and still kind of do — when he responded to our post about the book's putative megadeal with a cryptic email: "check Rush&Molloy of Nov. 1st." But we did as we were told:

Will Bruno Be Too Gay For The Red States?

mark · 11/27/06 05:15PM

It's been less than a month since Universal laid out $42 million for the rights to Sacha Baron Cohen's next project, Bruno, but questions are already arising about whether Cohen's Borat-derived fame (and a wave of pesky lawsuits from the film's unwitting co-stars) will compromise the comedian's ability to once again expose America's not-so-latent intolerant attitudes, this time by adopting the disarming persona of a flaming Austrian TV host in a mesh shirt/bedazzled chaps ensemble who interviews monster truck fans outside the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex about whether they think Power Bottom will "win the game." The LAT discusses the aforementioned fame and legal problems, and also brings up perhaps the most substantial obstacle to Bruno's success:

Pamela Anderson's Latest Doomed Marriage Fizzles Before The Five Month Itch

seth · 11/27/06 03:26PM

Chickens' rights activist Pamela Anderson announced on her website today, in a brief message amounting to a haiku of shattered love, "Divorce: Yes, it's true. Unfortunately impossible." This was the very same internet diary where the fake-bemeloned Canadian first announced her intentions to marry the latest butt-rocker of her dreams, Kid Rock, which she giddily announced with a flurry of ellipses and clichés in a stream of consciousness entry back in July. Reports

Kazakh Ministry of Damage Control Continues to Work Overtime

Emily Gould · 11/24/06 08:30AM

Thursgay traveleved outside its usual domestic milieu yesterday to bring us news of a Fashion Week taking place in an exotic land far beyond our ken: Kazakhstan. "Where have I heard of that country before?," you're probably not wondering. Well, in case you're a Borat fan who's still not clear on the distinction between fact and fiction, the Times wants to inform you, again, that Kazakh ladies aren't strapped to plows or trapped in cages — really. No, they're dealing with a much classier brand of indignity: the humiliation of showing up at a party in the same Dior dress someone else is wearing. The solution? Turning to indigenous Kazakh designers, whose work is comparable to anything Gucci and Donna Karan can turn out, but with a twist. Why, just listen to this enticing description:

Michael Richards Explores The Darkest Recesses Of His Heart: A Round-Up!

seth · 11/22/06 05:23PM

While Michael Richards has not been having, to put it mildly, the greatest of weeks, the actor has already set upon the long road of "personal work" and Jujitsu of the soul that might ultimately deliver him from his shocking inability to launch snappy, epithet-free retorts at comedy club hecklers. A Road To Kramer's Redemption Round-Up:
· "Some of my best friends are Afro-American civil rights leaders!" Richards' newly acquired publicist, Howard Rubenstein, says the actor spent the day calling Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to let them know how sorry and not racist he is. [TMZ]
· A couple claims they were subjected to yet another racist comedy club outburst, in which Richards screamed at a heckler at The Improv, "You fucking Jew. You people are the cause of Jesus dying," before storming off the stage. Richards would later insist what he meant to say was, "Save your breath for your inflatable date!" but his gut told him the crowd wanted something more "Jew-hatey." [TMZ]

President Of Kazakhstan Wondering What BWR Charges To Represent A Whole Country

seth · 11/21/06 07:52PM

The frat boy pair suing the makers of Borat now have reparation-seeking company, as two inhabitants from the film's tiny, Romanian stand-in village are suing the production for $30 million dollars—a sum that, in the unlikely event that they should win, will be more than enough to put every citizen of Glod into their very own Clydesdale-drawn Cadillac. But as the film's reluctant stars' resentment towards the polyester-suited impostor continues to only fester and grow, Borat's original Enemy #1, the President of Kazakhstan—who once dipatched an elite deathsquad to snuff out Borat's website—appears to have finally gotten the joke:

Borat Threatened By Scandalized Etiquette Coach, Hammer-Wielding Abortionist

mark · 11/17/06 11:49AM

With many of Borat's unwitting co-stars lining up to demonstrate their displeasure with their on-screen roles as sister-sexing anti-Semites or alcoholic slavery enthusiasts in lawsuit form (with the notable exception of that one frat boy who officially remains pretty psyched about being paid $200 to get shitfaced in the number one movie in America), it seemed inevitable that Sacha Baron Cohen would eventually be hearing from the etiquette expert who patiently tried to explain the workings of American indoor waste-disposal systems after being presented with a bag brimming with the faux-Kazakh's bowel movements. Court TV reports that she's asked the California attorney general to investigate whether the releases that each "victim" apparently signed without reading (after being promised that the footage would only be used in an industrial training film for a scrap-iron disposal facility in Belarus, of course) constitute a deceptive business practice: