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SBC Goes Out Of Character On Letterman

"It's not that easy to find an actual terrorist. In fact, your government has been looking for one for about 9 years."


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With the hotly-anticipated premiere of his film just hours away, Bruno pulled off his most extreme stunt yet when he stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman, unveiling the most outrageous and unexpected costume of his entire publicity tour.

He came as Sacha Baron Cohen.

Following Universal Pictures' release of top-secret production notes about how the film was made, the British comedian made an extraordinarily rare out-of-character appearance and shared more fascinating stories about the making of "Bruno." The best of the bunch was the behind-the-scenes tale of how Bruno interviewed a real terrorist during his stop in the Middle East, and how the idea originated in the first place.

"What could people see that they've never seen before on film? And we thought one thing would be a comedian interviewing a terrorist. Which I think has never done before... for good reason," Cohen told Dave. "It's not that easy to find an actual terrorist. In fact, your government has been looking for one for about 9 years."

Cohen went on to describe how he prepared to sit down and prank one of the most dangerous men on the planet. He knew that bringing his own security detail would be a must. But finding a firm to handle such a high-risk job was itself a monumental job, it turned out.

"Everybody said, 'No way.' Eventually I found one guy who was an Englishman who'd done the Enrique Iglesias 'Hero' tour," Cohen explained. "His main job had been protecting Enrique from flying underwear. I knew, if it came to it, this guy would take a bra for me."

While the interview was exceptionally interesting, it does raise some fascinating questions. Why go out of character just days before the film opens? Did SBC and/or the studio think that Bruno had gone too far with his worldwide wind-up to the premiere? Were they worried about the recent Bruno backlash from the gay community?

Was this a last-minute attempt to sell Bruno to mainstream audiences by reminding the world that Bruno is just a character? Had Cohen run out of Brunoesque jokes and interview anecdotes during his marathon press tour? Or was the plan all along to saturate the market with Bruno's in-character over-the-topness, and then sneak in some real-life intrigue about what it takes to make a mockumentary, thereby breathing new life into the hype, right before opening weekend?

Either way, just when you thought the Bruno buzz had reached fever pitch, everybody's talking about him all over again, just in time for the film to debut everywhere July 10.

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