Ali G ‘wreaks soccer havoc’ in Mother City
English actor Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest film, Grimsby, sees him wreaking havoc at a soccer game and getting arrested at the Cape Town Stadium.
Last Friday, the 43-year-old star could be seen on set fighting as authorities escorted him off the field. The character he plays is a soccer hooligan – topless, his face painted the colour of his favourite team.
On the film set at the stadium, witnesses told City Press that Cohen was a funny guy, even when the cameras stopped rolling.
“Ja that Ali G guy! He’s nice and laughs quite a bit. He’s definitely much friendlier than Sean Penn, who was really grumpy,” said a crew member who recently worked on Penn’s movie The Last Face, starring Charlize Theron.
Grimsby was originally filmed in the UK and then in South Africa last year.
But the production returned to Cape Town last week as additional scenes were filmed over four days.
The movie chronicles the misadventures of two badly behaved football fans and co-stars Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson as Cohen’s love interest.
The 35-year-old actress joined Cohen in Cape Town for the additional shoots.
Last Tuesday, Wilson took to Twitter to share news of a wardrobe malfunction she had suffered on the Mother City film set.
“Shooting some additional material with Sacha Baron Cohen today and the only bra to wear from costume storage was all mouldy. The struggle,” she wrote.
“I really do put my health on the line for comedy! I had to wear the bra all day. X.”
She was seen flaunting her ample curves in a pineapple-emblazoned vest top and leggings with a Union Jack print.
Cohen is best known for his movie characters Ali G and Borat. The latter movie, in which Cohen portrays a journalist from Kazakhstan who travels through the US, prompted legal threats from the Kazakhstan government in 2006.
The lanky actor has caused rampant offence in the past and appears to be at it again.
The small English town of Grimsby is portrayed as a rubbish-strewn ghetto populated by drunk parents and beer-swigging children.
Scenes filmed in England feature men urinating from windows and scantily clad women next to prams outside boarded-up shop fronts.
Residents of the town were offended by its portrayal.
Grimsby councillor Matthew Brown told the Mail Online he was “disappointed” with the film project as it cast the town in a poor light.
Earlier this year, Wilson told Australian Women’s Weekly she was worried about one particularly risqué scene in which her character dons a burqa.
The movie also stars Penélope Cruz and is scheduled for release by Columbia Pictures in March next year.
Local filming was coordinated by production company Moonlighting.
It is believed that Cohen stayed at a luxury apartment flanking the V&A Waterfront’s marina, near the One&Only hotel.
While in Cape Town he was seen on Table Mountain wearing Ray-Bans and a cream fedora.
Last Thursday, actor Atandwa Kani, son of industry veteran John Kani, and his fiancée, Fikile Mthwalo, met Cohen, who autographed a table napkin for them.
“So in Cape Town [Mthwalo] and I met Sacha Baron Cohen, well there you have it...” Kani wrote on Twitter, alongside a photograph of the message scrawled using a black koki pen.
It read: “Atandwa, good luck. Respek. Sacha Baron Cohen, Ali G, Borat, Brüno.”
COSYING UP Australian comedienne Rebel Wilson chats with Sacha Baron Cohen during the filming of Grimsby in Cape Town. They appeared to fall in love and kiss in the middle of England football fan crowd scenes