Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, the star of Borat and Bruno has made plans to attend this year's Academy Awards in character as the sex-crazed despot from his upcoming film, The Dictator, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
According to the Hollywood Reporter's sources, Cohen has informed Paramount studios, which produced the film, of his intentions, but Paramount has yet to comment on the request. The Dictator, set for release in on May 11, 2012, is Cohen's first scripted film. In it, he plays a Saddam Hussein-inspired ruthless Middle-Eastern dictator who finds himself stranded in New York after fleeing a political coup at home.
Cohen will be attending the Oscars, along with the rest of the cast of Hugo, which was nominated for the Best Picture award. In the film, which was directed by Martin Scorsese, Cohen plays the antagonist Inspector Gustav, However, it seems likely that the Academy Awards will veto Cohen's plans, but not because of the comedian's reputation for crass humor.
The Academy Awards has strict rules against the promotion of individual films. The Oscars has a history of excluding self-promotion from the telecast, and only recently allowed movie trailers to be shown during ad breaks. Cohen's stunt will likely be limited to the pre-show.
Cohen, who got his start on Da Ali G Show, in which he impersonated a British gangster talk-show host in order to embarrass unsuspecting guests, has a history of absurd self-promotion at award shows. Before his first film, Borat, was released he arrived at the Toronto Film Festival dressed up as the movie's protagonist, and riding a wagon pulled by Kazakhstani peasant women. At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Cohen showed up dressed as gay fashionista Bruno to promote his second film, and was later suspended over the crowd by ropes and dropped on top of Eminem, who immediately stormed out, though it was later revealed that the rapper was in on the gag.
Sacha Baron Cohen has also unveiled an official website for the Republic of Wadiya, the fictional country he rules over as General Aladeen in The Dictator. The site is available in both Arabic and English, and includes the sections: Tourism, Calendar, Weather Forecast (it's always 112 degrees and sunny), Aladeen Biography and History of Wadiya.
Check out Cohen promoting Bruno at the MTV VMAs in 2009: