Would any award show be complete without Sacha Baron Cohen’s outrageous characters? After several days of dispute on whether or not Cohen would receive entry into Hollywood’s biggest night, the jokester himself pulled a prank only few could get away with.
The prank began as Cohen took to the red carpet as his title character of his upcoming film, The Dictator. And despite the recent news surrounding the possibility of Cohen’s absence from this year’s Academy Awards, according to the Chicago Tribune, his appearance was planned in advance and Sacha was granted permission from the Academy to attend. So how in the hell did Sacha get away with having an urn which contained the “ashes” of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il? You’d think that’d be the first thing security would check before allowing Sacha on the red carpet.
Nevertheless, he made his way with two beautiful ladies attached to his side and a huge golden urn in his hands. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest, Sacha took advantage of the opportunity and dumped ‘ashes’ all over Seacrest’s suit for the night. Within seconds Academy COO Ric Robertson and a security guard were on Sacha like ants on laffy-taffy. Taking a look back on the clip, it’s funny how everything timed out. It’s as if they knew Sacha was up to something.
For every action comes a reaction. Come to find out, Academy president Tom Sherak and producer of the Oscars Brian Grazer weren’t worried about Sacha’s actions on the red carpet, but instead had been concerned about what he’d do while inside. After the prank, Sacha returned to his dressing room, threw on his tuxedo and bow-tie and headed to his seat, but not before hearing words from Sherak and Grazier, who spoke with The Wrap on Monday:
“My only concern, and Brian’s only concern, was what would happen inside the theater,” said Sherak. “So Brian and I went down to talk to him – and when we got there, he was Sacha Baron Cohen. He wasn’t in character. And he looked us in the eye and said, ‘I’ve done this, and now I’m going to the Oscars.’ “We said ‘thank you,’ we left, and that’s the way it was. We just had to hear it from him.”
I like that Sacha knew when to call it quits. He had his fun and was ready to get serious when the time came. Although the camera never panned to him on Sunday’s telecast, he was still included in several montages for his work in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. As to whether or not the Academy knew about the prank all along:
“I’m telling you the truth, this is not a stunt that we were involved in at all,” Sherak said. ”We can have another conversation about how things happened and whether we overreacted – but trust me, it was not like we helped make this up.”
And the clearly upset and speechless Seacrest laughed the whole thing off while on his morning talk-show on Monday. ”I am just sure it was pancake mix,” he said. “It was ironic. I had been avoiding carbs all week.” When you’ve worked with Simon Cowell for a number of years, I’m sure laughing anything off becomes an art form of sorts.
What do you guys think? Was Seacrest and the Academy in on the whole thing, or was this just an clever prank on Sacha Baron Cohen’s part?