Anna Faris to star alongside “Borat,” “Brüno” creator in “The Dictator”
A.C. “Mac” MacKenzie, Opinion Editor
May 3, 2012
Filed under Arts & Leisure
Anna Faris, best known for her work as Cindy Campbell in the “Scary Movie” franchise, will appear opposite controversial filmmaker, Sacha Baron Cohen, in “The Dictator.” Faris recently completed a conference call with a group of student journalists during which she was able to answer questions about her career and “The Dictator.”
Her co-star, Sacha Baron Cohen was an immediate topic of discussion, interest likely stemming from the response that has met Cohen’s past projects, questioning the morality of his exploitative humor. In his previous films, “Ali G Indahouse,” “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan’ and “Brüno,” Cohen has assumed the identity of the uniquely offensive titular characters, playing off of the reactions of an unsuspecting public.
This film represents a departure from form for Cohen, as many well-known actors such as Faris, Sir Ben Kingsley (Cohen’s co-star from last year’s “Hugo”) and John C. Reilly (with whom Cohen collaborated in the 2006 comedy, “Talladega Nights”) appear in scripted roles. However, Cohen nonetheless appears committed to his role of General Aladeen, going so far as to appear in-character on the red carpet of the 84th annual Academy Awards in February, whereupon he performed a publicity stunt for the film, dumping what he claimed to be the cremated remains of fellow dictator, Kim Jong-il on Ryan Seacrest.
Faris had nothing but good things to say about her first experience working with Cohen, who she claimed to be both “a gentleman” as well as “fearlessly committed to making people laugh.” Faris claimed that Cohen kept things interesting on set by further improvising his dialogue between takes, stating that “in a scene where he was sort of supposed to be charmed by me, he would suddenly be threatening to kill me, or calling me a ‘lesbian Hobbit,’ or you know, grabbing me on the back of my head.” Faris claimed that the whole experience was “like an improv class” where one had to “roll with the punches – literally.”
IMDb describes “The Dictator” as “the heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.” Therefore, the movie stands to be just as raunchy and controversy provoking as Cohen’s other big hits. Faris provided that she has “done so many offensive comedies that I’m numb to it” claiming that “dictators in general are probably going to be the only people that aren’t as offended by this, because I think they are on a different level of delusion.”
Faris said that the potential danger of a project such as this never occurred to her. ‘There’s all these jihadists that are really upset with him for “Borat” and”Brüno” and they’ve been declared they’re somehow going to take revenge” explained Faris. “But anyway, so far, I’m still here.”
“The Dictator” will be released on May 16th and is directed by Cohen’s frequent collaborator, Larry Charles.