- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
During The Brothers Grimsby premiere Thursday night at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, Sacha Baron Cohen arrived as his film’s character, Nobby Butcher, a football hooligan in search of his younger brother, an MI6 super-spy. Before the screening, Sacha, wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap and a large Donald Trump pin on his shirt, took the podium as Nobby and gave a speech endorsing “Donald Julio Trump” as president.
“Initially I was going to endorse that crazy, liberal socialist, Ted Cruz,” Cohen said. “But it was Donald’s rallies that won me over. It’s like football matches in England: shouting, violence, abuse. … In fact, Donald is — and it’s the best thing about him — the ultimate soccer hooligan. He’ll listen thoughtfully to the other side’s argument … and then he’ll kick their f—ing heads in.”
Though he has not yet met the presidential candidate, he told reporters that: “I’m swearing allegiance to Trump. He is a fantastic bloke. And the great thing that history has shown is, getting a demagogue who speaks at rallies … never leads to anything bad. It always works out.”
In promoting his comedy, Cohen has been courting controversy, including the film’s portrayal of the England town Grimsby, which is depicted as downtrodden, with high unemployment and many obese residents. As Nobby, Cohen said: “I love Grimsby! It’s unique. There’s nowhere like it in the whole world. When the Vikings came and invaded Britain, they came down from Scotland — true fact this — raping and pillaging. And then they got down to Grimsby, and they saw our women and they said, ‘You know what? Let’s just do some pillaging.’ And that’s why we are genetically very pure. We’re the original, real English people. We’re the biggest exporters of coronary disease in all of Europe. We’ve achieved almost 100 percent unemployment.”
The film also has attracted attention for its subplot of Daniel Radcliffe accidentally getting AIDS and later giving it to Trump. The film featured a disclaimer at the end, stating that both did not actually appear in the film nor do they have AIDS.
Of the experience of working with Cohen, Mark Strong, who plays Nobby’s long-lost brother Sebastian, told THR: “It was hard work, because he’s really quite demanding in his search for what’s funny. I mean, that’s the bottom line, the comedy. Drama you can kind of get away with things, but comedy, if it’s not funny, what’s the point? Sacha is very meticulous about trying to find out what makes people laugh.” He added that it was challenging “acting opposite Sacha, trying not to laugh.”
Cohen’s wife, Isla Fisher, who stars in the film as a young woman working for MI6, said of her role: “Really I just have to deliver a ton of exposition in a comedy movie to keep the plot moving along, so it’s kind of trying to create an emotional landscape for a character. I just had to ground the movie in reality the best I could.”
Regarding working with her husband, Fisher said, “Sacha is a formidable artist. He will do anything for a joke. When he loves a joke — I’m not exaggerating — he will almost die to get it in the movie. When you’re working with someone that’s that passionate and feels so seriously about what they do, it does bring your game up.”
Other attendees at the premiere included Kevin Nealon, Backstreet Boys’ A.J. McLean, Kate Beckinsale and Corbin Bleu. Many fans dressed as Cohen’s popular characters, including Borat, Ali G and Aladeen.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day