Exclusive Interview: Sacha Baron Cohen Talks The Brothers Grimsby, Censorship, And Mark Strong


Originally, my interview with The Brothers Grimsby star Sacha Baron Cohen was supposed to be a little a lot different. Press were told that Cohen would be in-character as “Nobby” Butcher, and that he’d be positioned in a bed, alongside a model (rumored to be plus-sized). This was the interview I prepared for, as I horrifyingly imagined going toe-to-toe with one of the most fearless comedians of our time. All I knew was that’d I’d enter, offer a 16 oz. tallboy of whatever piss-water I purchased on the way over, and see where the beer-swilling got me.

Thanks to a last minute change, interviewers were given a rare opportunity to speak with Cohen himself. Previously, the guerrilla jokester mainly did press in-character, keeping with the aesthetic of Borat’s radical views, or Brüno’s alternative lifestyle. Nobby would have been a blast to interact with, but that doesn’t mean interviewing Cohen was a letdown. Arguably, it was more special an occasion, given his more unicorn allure. Has there really been a dapper family man buried under the costumes and makeup all this time?

The Brothers Grimsby represents one of Cohen’s more cinematic ventures, teaming up with Mark Strong for some buddy comedy antics that surely won’t be forgotten. I enjoyed the film for what it is (a debaucherous action comedy heavy on perverse hilarity), and happily could have picked Cohen’s brain for an hour over his special brand of comedy. This is a man who fights against PC culture on a daily basis, and somehow succeeds in a time where no one can take a joke. Unfortunately, however, I only had four minutes. Such a shameful time constraint given how much Cohen has to say.

With the few questions I was able to rattle off, Cohen and I shared a dialogue about MPAA censorship, Mark Strong’s improvisational prowess, and the survivability of his comedy against PC policers. The Brothers Grimsby will assuredly offend theaters full of people, while others will be laughing harmoniously through tightly clenched fingers. Honestly – did you expect anything less?

Check out what the actor had to say in the video above and be sure to catch The Brothers Grimsby when it opens in theatres this weekend!