Sacha Baron Cohen hasn’t been doing the press tours for his movies and shows entirely in character for his new film, “The Brothers Grimsby.” One reason: Unlike Ali G, Borat and Bruno, his newest character — Nobby, the Northern English hooligan and layabout at the helm of the action-comedy — is too new and not widely known.
But he did some interviews in character — including this one. We spoke to Cohen-as-Nobby for the dirty, crazy, politically incorrect movie, which finds him reuniting with his long-lost-brother (Mark Strong), who just happens to be a Bond-ian super-spy.
Do you ever feel ashamed?
Well, I’m hungover, I’m covered in vomit, my older son’s been arrested for burning down his school and my nine-year-old just got his probation officer pregnant. So today, no, I’m not ashamed, I’m proud. I’m also proud that apart from me, four other cast members in this movie are actually from Grimsby, which makes it the town’s biggest employer! I don’t believe in shame. I think life’s about balance — fun and responsibility. Yes, have a drink, yes, have a smoke, yes, have a little gamble, maybe even drugs… but then it’s homework and straight off to bed. I’m a tough dad, but you have to be.
Russia’s been in the news a great deal of late. What do you know about the country?
When I became a spy, I had to learn all sorts of amazing facts about Russia. For example, I’ve noticed from my research — Bond films and pornography — that Russian women are generally sexier than the girls where I’m from. When the Vikings arrived in England — raping and pillaging — and got to Grimsby, they said: “Do you know what? Let’s maybe just do some pillaging here.”
You put some firecrackers up your behind, which actually didn’t look that funny…
Well, it wasn’t funny for me either, especially when I realized it was in the wrong way and was supposed to be pointing out. Why on earth isn’t there a warning on the box? Also, I’m pretty sure laughing is illegal in Russia.
What is your favorite short funny story?
Probably the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time was when Penelope Cruz, who’s in our movie, showed us her favorite party trick: playing the whole of “Hello” by Adele out of her bottom — note perfect. She didn’t even soil herself — though apparently that chord change in the second chorus can get a bit messy sometimes. Thank you for the laughs, Penelope. And thank you for leaving your trailer unlocked. If anybody wants to buy a Spanish version of “Mein Kampf” it’s on eBay.
Do you think our planet is overpopulated?
I was chatting about this exact thing last night with my girlfriend and 11 children. I reckon it’s probably because countries are shrinking.
When will we achieve world peace?
All I know is that if we just put our differences aside and love one another, nothing ever gets sorted out. No, I’m actually a peace-afist. I think we have to love one another, especially our children. My kids are the reason I get up in the afternoon.
Do you think of yourself as scum?
No. And even if I am, it’s scum who built the hospitals, the factories and the mansions for rich people to live in. It’s scum who keep the “Fast and Furious” franchise alive.