Sacha Baron Cohen Oscar Prank: Academy Awards Officials Didn't Know Cohen's Plans For Ryan Seacrest
Sacha Baron Cohen's Oscar prank is probably in its news-cycle death throes, but that doesn't mean there isn't a little more information to mine following the comic's "attack-by-ashes" on Ryan Seacrest at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
For those who don't remember, Cohen hit the red carpet dressed as Admiral General Aladeen, his character from "The Dictator," and carrying an urn he claimed was filled with Kim Jong-il's ashes. It wasn't (it was pancake mix, per Seacrest), but that didn't stop the prop from becoming the key to Cohen's red-carpet walk. While talking to Seacrest on E!, the "Dictator" star spilled the "ashes" all over the hosts tuxedo. Cohen was quickly ushered off by security -- which led him to a dressing room where Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences president Tom Sherak and Oscar producer Brian Grazer confronted the merry prankster.
"My only concern, and Brian's only concern, was what would happen inside the theater," Sherak said to TheWrap. "So Brian and I went down to talk to him – and when we got there, he was Sacha Baron Cohen. He wasn't in character. And he looked us in the eye and said, 'I've done this, and now I'm going to the Oscars.'"
Of course, whether or not the Academy had any idea what Cohen was going to do on the red carpet remains up for debate. For his part, Sherak denied they knew anything.
"I'm telling you the truth, this is not a stunt that we were involved in at all," he said.