It looks like Brüno, Sacha Baron Cohen’s over-the-top gay character, isn’t as outrageous a fabrication as you may think, people.com reports. There’s a debate raging in Austria right now over who the “real Brüno” could be, and there is not one but two contenders.
Alfons Haider is the front runner. A deliciously theatrical 51-year-old entertainer — actor, cabaret star, reality show host, singer — thinks the discussion is a hoot. “Aren’t we a funny country? It’s like there’s no recession or other problems in the world. Here the press is worried about who the real Brüno is.”
As for the resemblance with Cohen’s creation, he tells People, “I only have four things in common with Brüno: I’m a man, an Austrian, I’m on television, and I’m gay — that’s it.”
He also has a theory about being Brüno’s inspiration, adding, “Nine years ago, Sascha Baron Cohen studied in Austria for a year. Since I’ve done over 800 television shows in the past 15 years, I can’t rule out the possibility that he may have seen one of my shows.”
The only problem with Haider is he’s not into fashion. Enter “Brüno” number two. Adi Weiss, a 33-year-old Vienna-based fashion journalist who, although still new to television, fits the rest of the bill.
Weiss is hardly as flamboyant as Brüno — he told People that he is “the most down-to-earth fashion journalist you’ll ever meet.”
As far as Weiss is concerned, though, Brüno is utterly a figment of his creator’s imagination.