Jason Woliner, director on Sacha Baron Cohen’s recent film Borat Subsequent MoveFilm, reveals Rudy Giuliani was always the film’s primary target.
Jason Woliner, director for Sacha Baron Cohen’s recent film Borat Subsequent MoveFilm, revealed Rudy Giuliani was always the film’s primary target. The film sees the titular Borat return to America in order gift a monkey to Donald Trump, an act that the fictional Kazak government believes will redeem the country after the original Borat film harmed their reputation. After arriving in the States, Borat realizes that his daughter, Tutar, has snuck into the monkey’s crate and eaten him. Borat decides that he will gift his daughter instead.
After realizing he can’t meet Trump because he was banned from Trump Tower for defecating in the front of the building in the first film, Borat then decides to try and give his daughter to Mike Pence. That plan doesn’t work out either, so eventually he and Tutar decide to try and gift her to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. In what is probably the most infamous scene in the entire film, Tutar, pretending to be a journalist, invites Giuliani back to her hotel room. Giuliani lays down on the bed, and appears to put his hand down his pants; Giuliani claims he was tucking in his shirt. Subsequently, Borat barges into the room and a flustered Giuliani leaves. Before the film was even released, several news outlets ran stories about it, and Giuliani was met with a large amount of criticism.
In an interview with Insider, Woliner, the film’s director, revealed that Giuliani had always been the film’s primary target. Woliner stated that the very first draft of the Borat 2 script he read had Giuliani as the final set piece. Woliner also mentioned how Giuliani’s rise in public prominence was serendipitous for the film, as he was not in the news as often when Borat 2 began shooting. Check out Woliner’s full statement below:
Here’s the craziest thing: Giuliani was the name from day one. Rudy was the name in the first version [of the script] I read. For the year and a half we were making this, he wasn’t at the level of prominence he is now. But suddenly just before this came out, he was trying to make a big splash.
Giuliani claims that the scene was a “complete fabrication,” and that it was edited in a way to be purposely deceitful. While the film’s editing does make it hard to definitively say what happened, Giuliani still faced a large amount of criticism for his behavior in the scene. Baron Cohen claimed Borat 2 shows exactly what happened in that hotel room, and encouraged people to watch it and make up their own minds.
Baron Cohen has been candid about his intentions with Borat 2, and it was no coincidence that it was released mere weeks before the United States’ presidential election. Baron Cohen has stated that the film was meant to show what four years of Trump as president has done to the country, and he hoped his film would sway people away from voting for him again. Around the time Borat 2 came out, Giuliani was spreading a conspiracy theory about Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and was gaining a significant amount of traction in the media. After the film’s release, that theory began to die down and most coverage surrounding Giuliani focused on his appearance in the film. While it would be impossible to quantify the effect Borat Subsequent MoveFilm has had on Giuliani’s reputation, it has unquestionably become a notable footnote in the man’s life.