www.boratonline.co.uk

The Unofficial Borat Homepage

The Unofficial Borat Homepage

BoratOnline Interview - October 2006

I gave these answers to a journalist from a French magazine...

1. What is the purpose of your site and when did you start it?

It's just a fan site I did for the Borat character. I started it back in March 2000. I was just getting into the Internet and was mad keen on doing websites for things I liked. I also wanted a professional looking website for my CV.

2. Why did you choose Borat and not the other two characters?

At the time Ali G was huge in the UK and there were loads of Ali G fan sites, everyone was wearing Ali G hats and doing Ali G impressions. Even the Queen Mother and Prince Harry and William were reportedly into Ali G. I sat and watched the first Borat episode and I remember thinking that I thought Borat was a little bit more special.
In terms of Bruno, I think he's absolutely brilliant (or should I say fabulous?) but by then I had the Borat site.

3. Do you think the audience can really take offense of what this guy is doing? I noticed that you actually feel the need to defend his method in the FAQ section of the Website. Why?

Some people do actually take offence and there has been some well documented criticism recently. What I would say though is that most intelligent comment from the right and left wing press has completely "got" the satirical nature of the Borat character. Recent articles in both The Telegraph and The Guardian have praised Sacha Baron Cohen.
I guess the reason I feel the need to defend Borat in the FAQ section of my site is to pre-empt some of the critical emails that I would receive.

4. To your knowledge, does Sacha Baron Cohen often appear as himself to answer questions about his work and methods?

His appearances out of character are quite rare. I can think of a few though, he appeared on US shows by Robert Siegal, John Stewart and Howard Stern. Saying that, most of his appearances have been in character as Ali G or Borat.

5. My feeling is that what he does is becoming more and more risky, even dangerous, 1/ because he really can infuriate people & 2/ because he is so often 'in character' that he may take this whole thing too far and lose perspective. What is your opinion on that?

I don't think so. I think that some members of the Kazakhstan embassy are even starting to see the funny side and are quite pleased at the amount of awareness that is being generated about Kazakhstan.

The Kazakh ambassador to Britain said "People in Kazakhstan laugh at the same things as people laugh at everywhere in the world". He went on to say that the film could actually be good for Kazakhstan "I believe that all publicity is good for business, so indirectly people are encouraged to explore the country for themselves".
The Kazakh press secretary Roman Vasilenko actually made a joke about Borat, "He is not a Kazakh. What he represents is a country of Boratastan, a country of one".

Even the president's daughter defended the Borat humour - http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/04/21/borat-kazakhstan-defence.html

6. Do you know what language Borat actually uses?

A mixture of Polish and Hebrew I believe with some Russian words thrown in for good measures!

7. When you did the interview with Dan Mazer, was he reluctant to talk about the real Sacha Baron Cohen?

Not at all, he was more than pleased to talk about the "behind the scenes stuff". For example, how Sacha gets a little nervous before an interview but then gets "in the zone" when it starts. Dan said that the bigger the occasion, the more brilliant he is. Sacha actually believes he is Borat through those moments. It's an interview that really is open and honest and gives a great insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

8. Do you think SBC can carry on doing these impersonations or do you think he needs to reinvent himself completely?

I asked that very question to Dan. At the time he mentioned they were taking a break from Ali G and were going to focus on Borat. He also mentioned that there are other characters on the horizon. From my point of view, I definitely think there is another film in Borat - maybe a trip around Western Europe following the success of his trip around America. I'm not sure what Borat would make of countries that eat frogs' legs and snails though!

9. Would you rather meet Borat or SBC?

Once the movie is out I'd like to maybe get an interview with Borat on the site if possible. Maybe a few months later I'll try and get one from Sacha. If the Borat character eventually does die off, then it would be nice to have a couple of good interviews with the main man on the site.
 

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