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Sacha Baron Cohen Reveals How He Interviewed a Terrorist For 'Bruno'

Sacha Baron Cohen made an appearance on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' last night and told the host about how he tracked down an actual terrorist for 'Bruno', and some of the hilarity that ensued.

"You know, when we were making this film, we wanted it to be better than 'Borat' and we thought 'what could people see that they'd never seen before on film?' And we thought one thing would be a comedian interviewing a terrorist," said Baron Cohen.

"Which I think has never been done before. For good reason. So we showed the outline of the script to the studio and they said 'This is great. So who's going to play the terrorist?' And we said, no... we're going to find a real terrorist. Now, it's not that easy to find an actual terrorist. In fact, your government has been looking for one for about nine years," he said, referring to Osama Bin Laden.

"There's no Craigslist in Beirut, for example. So we called about a contact we had at the CIA and we said 'Can you help us? We're looking to find a terrorist.'"

"And the guy at the CIA said we've got a lot of names of terrorists but we have almost no addresses. And so eventually, after a few months, we found somebody who actually lived in a town who had a terrorist from a group who are actually the number suicide bombers out there. And he said 'Yeah, there is a terrorist who lives in my town.'"

"So we said 'Great, can we interview him? I'm a little worried about reprisal attacks from the other groups in your city?' And he said 'Don't worry, everybody here loves you. We love the Da Ali G Show'. The next thing I thought I needed to get was some security because it was in the West Bank. The guy picks the secret location. We called around some security firms and everybody said 'No way.'"

"Eventually I found one guy who had done the Enrique Iglesias 'Hero' tour. His main job had been to protect Enrique from flying underwear," he joked. "I knew if it came to it, this guy would take a bra for me."

"So we get there and I said listen, I'm a little bit scared, the terrorist and his bodyguard is going to be armed. So if they're armed, let's have a code word, let's say it's going to be hot weather and if they're not armed, if they don't have guns, say it's going to be cold."

"We end up at the secret location. The terrorist comes with his bodyguard, he's been checked by my bodyguard. He comes in and I said 'so, what's the weather going to be?' And he says 'Well, I think it's going to be cold weather but there is a chance it could be quite warm and it might even be boiling hot.'"

"At which point the terrorist said 'No, no, no. It is not cold, it is warm'. And at that point, I was sure my terrorist either did or did not have a gun on him. Then my bodyguard says 'Yeah, you're right. It is quite warm out here. It's much, much warmer than I'm thinking'. At which point I realized my bodyguard had forgotten about our role play. He was discussing the weather with the terrorist."

Asked if the terrorists would see the film and if he invited them to the premiere, Sacha Baron Cohen said "I pray to God not."

July 8, 2009 |

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