There goes the neighbourhood
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy offensive leads all the way to Cape Town – where he climbed up Table Mountain wearing Ray-Bans and a cream fedora. The comedy film Grimsby stars Cohen, his foxy Wedding Crashers wife Isla Fisher, Penélope Cruz, Gabourey Sidibe and Rebel Wilson. They have all being staying in plush apartments overlooking the yacht basin at the V&A Marina for the past few weeks.
The production kicked off filming in England and moved to South Africa earlier this month. It is scheduled for release next year.
Cohen (42), who is most famous for his characters Ali G and Borat, has caused rampant offence in the past and appears to be at it again.
His latest film gives the small English town of Grimsby the treatment he gave Kazakhstan in Borat: putting it on the pop culture map for all the wrong reasons.
He portrays Grimsby as a rundown town strewn with litter, and populated by beer-swigging children and hooligan parents.
Scenes filmed in England feature men urinating from windows and scantily clad women swigging beer next to prams outside boarded-up shop fronts.
The plot is based on a covert agent who goes on the run with his footballer brother, reports British tabloid the Mail Online.
Meanwhile, a councillor for Grimsby, Matthew Brown, told the Mail Online he was “disappointed” with the project because it cast the town in “a poor light”.
Back in South Africa, razor-tongued actress and comedian Wilson, an Australian, chronicled her Mother City jaunts on Twitter.
On August 17 she wrote: “Just finished my first day today on Sacha Baron Cohen’s new movie. Um. I don’t think my mother is going to like watching this one!”
She posted pictures of herself on Devil’s Peak and tucking into seafood at a restaurant.
New York actress Gabourey Sidibe posted pictures of elephants, zebras and lions with the caption: “Look what I saw on my way to work!!”
Cohen and Fisher have dropped by the One&Only Hotel flanking the marina for a few meals. Staff described the couple as humble and “chilled”.
Incidentally, an apartment in the complex where they have been staying sold for R97 661 per square metre in June.
Local cast members include singer Sithembile Mfuphi of the full-figured Cape Town girl group Three Tons of Fun.
Right: Scenes from Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film, Grimsby, show a man urinating out of a window on to the street below. Cohen’s latest offering is based in the Lincolnshire town and is about football hooligans and binge drinking Far right: An image taken from the film shows a woman offering a child a can of beer