One of the biggest reasons why Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) was successful was its gonzo satirical mockumentary take on American life. His upcoming sequel in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan looks to up the ante in a more divisive nation. In an interview with the New York Times, Cohen goes more into depth about the need to get back into the character and Borat's social value.
"In 2005, you needed a character like Borat who was misogynist, racist, anti-Semitic to get people to reveal their inner prejudices," Cohen said. "Now those inner prejudices are overt. Racists are proud of being racists. My aim here was not to expose racism and anti-Semitism. The aim is to make people laugh, but we reveal the dangerous slide to authoritarianism." At one point, there were extra steps cast, and crew had to take while filming during the ongoing pandemic like the time Cohen had to wear a bulletproof vest knowing what was going to happen at a conservative rally in Olympia, Washington, as he told Time magazine.
"While filming my latest Borat film, I showed up as a right-wing singer at a gun-rights rally in Washington State," Cohen said. "When organizers finally stormed the stage, I rushed to a nearby get-away vehicle. An angry crowd blocked our way and started pounding on the vehicle with their fists." At one point, as shown in the trailer, Borat (Cohen) takes refuge with a group of conspiracy theorists to show them. "That they're ordinary folks who are good people, who have just been fed this diet of lies. They're completely different to the politicians who are motivated by their own power, who realized that they can create fear by spreading these lies through the most effective propaganda machine in history." The actor struggled to have to stay in character for days. "The hardest thing I had to do was, I lived in character for five days in this lockdown house," he said. "I was waking up, having breakfast, lunch, dinner, going to sleep as Borat when I lived in a house with these two conspiracy theorists. You can't have a moment out of character." Directed by Jason Woliner, Borat 2 streams on Amazon Prime Video on October 23.