Friday, Jul. 10, 2009

Sacha Baron Cohen / Brüno

By this point, Brüno needs no introduction. The flamboyant Austrian fashionista — an alter ego of the British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen — is the subject of the eponymous film released July 9, but word of his antics leaked far beforehand. In the preceding months, Brüno was spotted stumbling onto runways in Milan, rallying for Proposition 8 and even propositioning Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Now he's been making the rounds on the late-night TV circuit, going as far as to give Conan O'Brien a lap dance.

Being outrageous is a strategy that's worked in the past for Baron Cohen. Another alter ego, the Kazakh TV reporter Borat, grossed more than $250 million in his own 2006 flick. With the buzz surrounding Brüno, this latest film may soar to new highs — and new lows.

Despite the reputation of his alter egos, Baron Cohen himself is decidedly less manic. Though he seldom gives interviews as himself — and is reportedly loathe to do so — he recently appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman absent any shtick. He came across as articulate and even a bit soft-spoken — everything his boorish characters aren't. But Baron Cohen can still bring the funny — check out this clip of him recounting the search for an actual terrorist for Brüno to interview.