DAMASCUS – British comic actor and Borat star, Sacha Baron Cohen admitted yesterday to being Bashar al-Assad: Breaking Bad fan, General Secretary of the Ba’ath Party and President of Syria.
‘Initially I was preparing for The Dictator and I thought lets do it as a mockumentary and so I flew to Syria as part of my preparations,’ the Bruno star revealed.
However, when I got there it turned out that the real Assad had just been killed in a car accident and guess which mug was asked to stand in while they sort out the civil war!? That’s right, me.
Has being Assad had an effect on your career?
Well, The Dictator, many noticed, was way below my usual level and I’ve really only had time to do a couple of cameos in Hugo and Les Miserables since then. Being Assad is just so time consuming. There’s the rebels and pressures from the West. But running the country isn’t even half of it. It’s the bloody Ba’ath Party. Endless meetings about nothing: the color of the membership cards, where to have the annual picnic, interregional five aside competitions. I could go on.
So why are you revealing this now?
Because there’s a very real chance I might be killed and I just want to get out there ahead of the field and say look, I’m an actor and I was just following the script.
But you are famed for your improvisational skills.
Exactly. I mean no. All the major players know it’s me, and it’s only making things worse. I know that President Obama hated The Ali G Movie and the strategic air strikes are informed by that hatred. As for Vladimir Putin, if he sits down and watches Bruno, I’ll lose a major ally.
So what’s your next project?
If I survive, we’re in talks to do a musical version of All Quiet on the Western Front.
All Singing on the Western Front is due for release in January, 2015.