Tonight, MTV will broadcast its 21st annual Movie Awards. Truth: Twenty years ago, the golden popcorn for Best Movie went to A Few Good Men (following that: Menace II Society, Pulp Fiction, and Se7en). Safe to say, the show’s tone has changed pretty dramatically from those edgy early days when Dennis Miller hosted and Denzel Washington won Best Male Performance for Malcolm X. (I personally trace the trajectory shift back to the short-lived decision to create a Best Sandwich in a Movie category in 1996.) Yet even as the show’s gotten more mainstream (read: Twilight- and Hunger Games-saturated), it’s never failed to churn out cultural flashpoints that have ranged from steamy to awkward, subversive to surreal, and everything in between. Below, we run down the 10 most memorable moments.
Tag: Sacha Baron Cohen (1-9 of 9)
Well, I just lost my afternoon. In honor of Paramount’s 100th anniversary, Vanity Fair has “assembled 116 of the greatest talents ever to work at the studio.” That means Leo, Bob, and Marty, some icons of the studio’s golden age (hello, Eva Marie Saint, Jerry Lewis, and Michael York!), almost the entire casts of Transformers and Star Trek, and even that Canadian whippersnapper Justin Bieber, whom you might remember from a little indie film called Never Say Never. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (Titanic zing, hey-yo!).
Because Vanity Fair knows you want to see every one of those 116 faces up close and personal, they’ve installed a zoom function on their site. Fair warning, PopWatchers: This thing is addictive. Click through at your own risk. Below, we scope out a few of the famous faces and hand out our portrait honors. READ FULL STORY »
Sacha Baron Cohen is not a tyrannical megalomaniac. He just plays one on TV, and on the red carpet, and in The Dictator. That seemed to be the message he wanted to convey to Ann Curry this morning when he sat down with her — as himself, just plain Cambridge-educated Sacha — in Cannes. And he’s nothing like the cruel Admiral General Aladeen he portrays in his new movie. Take for instance his red-carpet stunt at the Oscars, where “Aladeen” poured ashes on Ryan Seacrest. He admitted to Curry that he later sent Seacrest a new jacket — though it did have a label inside that read, “Made by Slave Child Labor.” “But he didn’t send me a thank-you note,” said Cohen. “Unbelievable.”
Though EW has previously noted that Cohen wasn’t averse to being himself, Cohen boasted that this was just his third interview ever without a disguise. He explained that the real reason for those previous stunts was legal concerns. “The movies that I did up till now, they involved real people, so we wanted to limit the exposure for kinda lawsuits,” he said. “At the moment, I think I have the Guinness world record for being the most sued actor in history.”
Watch the exchange below. READ FULL STORY »
Howard Stern snagged an interview with Sacha Baron Cohen yesterday — not Borat, or Bruno, or Admiral General Aladeen, but the actual Sacha Baron Cohen. This in itself is supposedly headline-worthy: Baron Cohen’s dedication to staying in character is an enormous, essential ingredient of the comic’s shtick. Hell, even when he was invited to give Harvard’s Class Day speech in 2004, Baron Cohen performed the address as Ali G. During the Stern interview, the comedian made a point of noting that this was only “like, the third time” he had ever spoken publicly as himself.
In reality, though, Baron Cohen has done a lot more out-of-character interviews than he may remember. The Brit appeared sans fake facial hair on several talk shows and NPR in 2004, right before the second season of Da Ali G Show began airing on HBO. (He also did his first extended Howard Stern interview that same year.) Back then, Baron Cohen hadn’t yet become an international phenomenon; in most of his interviews, like this one with Jon Stewart, he focused on explaining what exactly happened on his show, as well as assuring audiences that its featured interview subjects weren’t in on the joke.
But even after Baron Cohen’s stateside fame skyrocketed, his out-of-character interviews didn’t become as rare as a fan might expect. READ FULL STORY »
'Saturday Night Live' recap: Eli Manning plays dumb, Rihanna plays dirty, Sacha Baron Cohen and Martin Scorsese play along
I know close to nothing about sports (except when I throw a balled-up piece of paper into the trashcan and know that it’s customary to shout “Kobe!” while doing so). But one of the few things I do know is the name Eli Manning. After all, here’s an athlete who has managed one of the rarest of feats in pop culture: being so high-profile in the zeitgeist that not only does an athletics layman like myself know his name, but he gets to step onto the Grand Central set and host Saturday Night Live.
So how did the Giants quarterback do as a primetime player? READ FULL STORY »
They can’t say they weren’t ready. In the days leading up to the Oscars ceremony, the Academy initially tried to put a stop to Sacha Baron Cohen from arriving on the red carpet in full General Aladeen regalia to promote his latest comedy The Dictator. But the controversial comic actor, who is no stranger to awards show stunts, prevailed (the leader of the Republic of Wadiya claimed “victory” late last week when Oscar producer Brian Grazer gave the go-ahead) and appeared on the red carpet of the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday.
But the big question the morning after the madness is, did you find yourself laughing or wincing at the whole thing? (Cohen, that is. Though that might be applicable for the telecast itself.) It’s safe to say that red carpet liaison Ryan Seacrest was none too amused by the antics of Cohen’s latest troublemaker General Aladeen, particularly when he dumped the “ashes” of late dictator Kim Jong-il all over his tux. Watch it again to be the judge, and because there’s no way you weren’t going to watch it again: READ FULL STORY »
ORIGINAL POST: Sacha Baron Cohen called in to the Today show this morning, in the guise of the character from his upcoming film, The Dictator, and responded to the Academy Awards’ threat to ban him from Sunday night’s ceremony if he appeared in character. “I have been very busy today,” said Admiral General Aladeen. “I actually delayed 30 executions to do this (interview).” The bombastic dictator of the Republic of Wadiya went on to tell NBC’s Carl Quintanilla and Ann Curry that he was “outraged” over the Academy’s decision. “Normally I would be impressed by an act of cowardice by a faceless regime,” he said. “But this is personal. I have issued them an ultimatum: They have until midday on Sunday to give me my tickets back. If they do not, they will see and face unforeseen and unimaginable consequences. By the way, how is your family? … How is your eunuch Al Roker?”
Watch the Today Show clip and the Admiral General’s official video response below: READ FULL STORY »
Sacha Baron Cohen wants to walk the Oscar red carpet dressed as a Middle Eastern dictator. Should the Academy let him?
Sacha Baron Cohen apparently wants to bum rush the Academy Awards. The comedic merry prankster—who, you might recall, descended on wires crotch-first into Eminem’s face at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards to promote his comedy Brüno and has pulled similar guerilla stunts in the guise of Borat and Ali G—would reportedly like to strut down the Oscar red carpet this Sunday as his character in the upcoming movie The Dictator: a Qadaffi-esque Middle Eastern leader named General Aladeen.
The plan, if he pulls it off, would obviously give a huge publicity boost to Paramount’s The Dictator, which opens on May 11. Perhaps not surprisingly, though, the Academy doesn’t see the comic value in Baron Cohen’s fictional strongman rubbing elbows with Hollywood royalty in all their formal finery. “We would hope that every studio knows that this is a bad idea,” a spokesperson for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told Deadline. “The red carpet is not about stunting.” That said, the Academy has stopped short of banning Baron Cohen outright; a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “We don’t think it’s appropriate. But his tickets haven’t been pulled. We’re waiting to hear back.” [UPDATE: Deadline reports that the Academy has said that it will, in fact, rescind Baron Cohen's tickets if he intends to proceed with the Dictator stunt. Otherwise, as an Academy member and one of the stars of the Best Picture-nominated Hugo (which is also a Paramount film), he is invited to attend the show. Baron Cohen's rep tells EW, "We have no comment." Stay tuned...]
The Academy is in an awkward position here. On the one hand, this isn’t some raucous, anything-goes awards show like the MTV Movie Awards we’re talking about—this is the Oscars, the venerable, tradition-bound granddaddy of all awards shows that’s supposed to honor cinema’s highest values and achievements. The Academy has a longstanding policy of not allowing the promotion of specific movies during the telecast (though, to be fair, there have been occasional exceptions, like when Ben Stiller presented with Starsky & Hutch co-star Owen Wilson wearing his Starsky duds in advance of their big-screen reboot of the ’70s cop show). Banning obvious shilling for particular movies seems reasonable enough: Would anyone really like to see the Academy Awards reduced to a cheesy plug-fest? On the other hand, the venerable, tradition-bound granddaddy of all awards shows could use a little shaking up, couldn’t it? If the Academy tried to put the kibosh on Baron Cohen (who has already reaped some nice publicity simply from this idea being floated), it would risk looking like a bunch of humorless fuddy-duddies—not the ideal image for an institution that needs to attract younger viewers in order to maintain the Oscars’ relevance going forward.
There are potential risks for Baron Cohen, too, of course: The stunt could fall flat (the Oscar red carpet, packed wall-to-wall with stressed-out stars and their equally stressed-out handlers, is not exactly the most comedy-friendly environment). Or, even if it succeeds, it could do so at the cost of making Baron Cohen—who you have to assume wouldn’t mind getting some Oscar love of his own some day—about as welcome a figure at the Academy as Brüno was when he showed up at that Arkansas steel-cage wrestling match.
What do you think? Should the Academy relax and embrace the spectacle of Baron Cohen sauntering down the red carpet in his medal-bedecked military uniform and long fake beard? Or are they right to try to dissuade him from potentially making a mockery of the industry’s biggest night?
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