Sacha Baron Cohen appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Monday night and recounted how he was chased off the stage at a gun rally in Olympia, Wash., while filming Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and his harrowing escape. And for the first time, Cohen shared a video of that incident that didn’t make it into the film.
Cohen was performing at the rally as Country Steve, and duped the crowd into joyfully singing along to an incredibly racist, hateful song. What he was unaware of at the time though, is that he wasn’t the only one undercover. Cohen explained that some of the militia groups that were at the rally had been antagonizing the Black Lives Matter protest. Some BLM protesters decided to confront the militia groups, but first sent some of their own into the rally incognito to check out the situation, and Cohen said it was the BLM protesters who recognized him.
“They see me onstage, and everyone’s singing along, and one of them went, ‘Oh my God, it’s Sacha Baron Cohen.’ Starts laughing, tells the other one, word got out that it was me, and then the organizers and a lot of people in the crowd got very angry,” Cohen said. “They tried to storm the stage. Luckily for me, I had hired the security, so it took them a while to actually storm the stage.”
In the video, some young men can be seen hurrying toward the stage, one of them yelling into a bullhorn. Cohen hurriedly exits the stage and jumps into a waiting vehicle to escape. Though the remaining video is only from inside the vehicle, it’s easy to see why Cohen has said he was “fortunate to make it out.” Rally-goers are pounding on the outside of the vehicle, and one even succeeded in briefly opening the door, causing Cohen to jump to grab the handle and use all of his weight to hold the door closed.
Cohen said he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which was probably a good thing, because it may only be thanks to a security guard that the vest wasn’t put to use.
“I mean, this was the first movie where I’ve had to wear a bulletproof vest. So, you know, we were aware that somebody — actually one of the guys that stormed the stage went for his pistol,” Cohen said. “So he went for his pistol and luckily enough I had — there was a very brave guard who actually grabbed his hand and said, leaned in and said, ‘It’s not worth it, buddy.’”
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