Anna Faris on Working with Sacha Baron Cohen in ‘The Dictator’: He Stayed in Character the Entire Shoot

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

anna-faris-the-dictatorComedian Sacha Baron Cohen has added a new character, Middle Eastern dictator Admiral General Aladeen, to his other famous creations, Ali G, Borat, and Bruno.  Baron Cohen stars as Aladeen in The Dictator, which tells the story of how the all-powerful dictator fares on the occasion that he visits New York City and is mistaken for a commoner. 

While it’s next to impossible to get a serious interview with Baron Cohen out of character, luckily the New York Times was able to get an interview with his co-star, Anna Faris.   

Touching on perhaps the most difficult aspect of the production, Faris commented on Baron Cohen’s usual practice of staying in-character throughout an entire shoot.  She says, “It’s the same here in that he fully embodies a character that is very different from himself.”  She adds with a laugh, “Well, I guess only in some regards.  I think all of us have a little dictator in us. Let’s just say I think he enjoyed playing the role.”

While The Dictator was less the sort-of “sabotage” filmmaking that Baron Cohen’s previous movies were, it still utilized a minimalist crew.  That’s something that Faris felt helped Baron Cohen’s performance, pointing out, “It’s energizing.  And I think it fed into the idea of him being this sort of glorified wild man. But logistically it can also be very difficult.  A lot of his improv would be about threatening to kill me or ragging on my looks, like calling me a lesbian hobbit or a chubby Justin Bieber. If I reacted in a way that displayed discomfort, it was like a bulldog with a bone, not letting go. I definitely feel he revels in that.”

The Dictator opens in theaters on May 16.

Share.

About Author

In college, overachiever Christopher McKittrick double-majored in Film and English because he loves to read, write, and watch movies. Since then Chris – who was born and raised on Long Island, New York and currently lives in Queens – has become a published author of fiction and non-fiction, a contributor to entertainment websites, and has spoken about literature, film, and comic books at various conferences across the country when he’s not getting into trouble in New York City (apparently it’s illegal to sleep on street corners...) For more information about Chris, visit his website here!

Leave a Reply