The new Borat film Subsequent Moviefilm has come out today amidst a torrent of last-minute hype for Sacha Baron Cohen’s secretly filmed follow-up to his controversial 2006 portrayal as a fictitious journalist from Kazakhstan.
But amidst the many questions arising from the new flick, now streaming on Amazon, one has become a hot topic: did Borat give Tom Hanks coronavirus?
Although much of the pre-release discussion has centred around the appearances of Rudy Giuliani and American vice president Mike Pence in the movie, actor Tom Hanks also makes a brief cameo as himself and viewers have joked on social media whether it’s what caused the Hollywood actor to develop COVID back in March.
In the scene, a map shows that Borat has headed to Sydney in Australia – where Hanks was when he tested positive – and then cuts to him meeting the actor on an air strip.
Excited to see the Hollywood legend, Borat asks Hanks for his autograph which he’s given. However, as the star is asking the character his name, Borat starts coughing in his face.
Now users on social media have been joking that this was the moment that Tom Hanks contracted COVID.
Of course, it’s unlikely that he actually did and we’d speculate that the short scene was filmed sometime after Hanks had recovered from the illness.
The filming has been kept incredibly guarded and so at this stage it’s hard to know its timeline.
However, although an interview with Texas Agricultural Commissioner Ted Miller had been filmed as far back as late 2019, it wasn’t until July this year that the fake interview with former New York mayor Giuliani took place – among other scenes – while Borat was also spotted filming in Los Angeles in August.
Speaking about the film’s release date, Sacha Baron Cohen recently told the New York Times in an interview that it was important the film was released before the US Presidential election on 3 November, between Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden.
He said: “We wanted it to be a reminder to women of who they’re voting for – or who they’re not voting for. If you’re a woman and you don’t vote against this guy, then know what you’re doing for your gender.”
Among several pranks aimed at Donald Trump and his presidential team, there includes Borat dressing up in a fat suit as part of a Trump disguise he used to sneak into a Mike Pence rally earlier this year.
There has also been plenty of controversy around a fake interview set up between Giuliani and Borat’s ’15 year-old daughter’, played by 24 year-old actor Maria Bakalova, who poses as a TV journalist.
After their chat, Giuliani can reportedly been seen trying to hold her hand, give her compliments and follow her to the bedroom.
Bakalova’s character then takes off their microphones and Giuliani is seen lying down on a bed and putting his hands down his pants.
The scene gets disrupted by Borat, who bursts into the room dressed in pink underwear and tells Giuliani: “She’s 15, she’s too old for you.”
Giuliani has denied he’s done anything wrong.