Things You Didn't Know About Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Bruno'

'Bruno' Trivia, Filming Facts, and Budget

Sacha Baron Cohen Photo from Bruno
Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno. © Universal Pictures

 

In 2009's Bruno, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen plays a gay fashionista who pushes the limits. It was mostly shot like a documentary (as was Cohen's previous film Borat), which meant that many of the people in the film didn't realize who they were really dealing with. That required Cohen putting himself in a number of uncomfortable and even dangerous situations with many annoyed people -- many of whom didn't care for Bruno's sexual orientation, his dopey fashion-related questions, or his provoking antics in his attempts to realize his dream of becoming a celebrity.

Here are some facts about Bruno that you probably don't know:

Estimated Budget: $40 million

Shooting Dates: Filmed over 19 consecutive weeks in 2008

Who is 'Bruno'?: Sacha Baron Cohen plays Bruno, an over-the-top, outlandish, gay Austrian fashionista, who describes himself as "the host of the top-rated late night fashion show in any German-speaking country…apart from Germany." He later moves to America to become "the biggest Austrian celebrity since Hitler."

Shooting Locations: Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, Kansas, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, London, Berlin, Paris, Milan, and Israel

Bruno Trivia

  • Cohen was blackballed from Milan Fashion Week with the Italian Chamber of Fashion even going as far as to issue a press release warning designers to be on the lookout for Bruno and his crew. In order to get around this, Sacha Baron Cohen and the crew changed their appearances. Cohen was then able to infiltrate designer Agatha Ruiz De La Prada's fashion show by masquerading as an Italian fashion photographer. Once inside, Cohen transformed into Bruno, ran past security guards, and fell onto the runway. The crew captured the footage before Cohen was dragged off stage and arrested. In jail Cohen was strip searched and questioned at length.

     

  • Seeking fame, Bruno interviews celebrities about, among other things, their charitable activities. Celebrities interviewed included Paula Abdul, Brittny Gastineau, and Ron Paul (whom Bruno mistakes for drag queen Ru Paul). Bruno also interviewed La Toya Jackson however that bit was cut from the film following the news of Michael Jackson's death.

     

  • Somehow Cohen and director Larry Charles were able to convince the head of the Bethlehem unit of the terrorist group al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade to sit for an interview during which Bruno repeatedly provoked the terrorist and tried to get himself kidnapped in order to be famous. The extremely dangerous bit was filmed while Cohen and the crew were surrounded by the terrorist's armed bodyguards.

     

  • According to the film's production notes, when Bruno went hunting with four men in Alabama the crew couldn't convince the men to give up their weapons. When one of them figured out Bruno was gay, the production team found themselves facing off against four armed and angry men, one of whom actually aimed his gun at a crew member.

     

  • Bruno was able to get onto the US Army National Guard headquarters in Anniston, Alabama, by claiming he was an on-air personality who wanted to be imbedded with the Guard for a day in order to show his audience what it was like to be part of the training school. Because the younger recruits knew who Cohen was from watching , the crew could have been exposed before they shot any footage. However, new recruits aren't allowed to speak without being given permission and so the Bruno team was able to get what they needed before their real identities were revealed.

     

  • One of the most dangerous stunts to film involved cage fighting and a kiss between Bruno and his assistant, Lutz (played by Gustaf Hammarsten). It took the crew two days - and two different locations - to get what they needed. And it took 40 Fort Smith police officers to hold off the mob so that the production team could escape the area without enduring any bodily harm.

Edited by Christopher McKittrick