Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Oscars 2016: Sacha Baron Cohen smuggled in Ali G costume and changed in disabled toilet

Published 29/02/2016

Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Olivia Wilde speak on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Olivia Wilde speak on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actors Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Isla Fisher attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28: Actors Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Isla Fisher attend the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen (L) and Olivia Wilde arive on stage at the 88th Oscars on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen spent 40 minutes in the disabled toilet getting ready to present at the Oscars on Sunday night.

The 44-year-old actor took to the stage in character as perhaps his most famous alter-ego - Ali G. However, Academy Awards bosses had actually banned him from presenting as anyone but himself, meaning that he and his wife Isla Fisher had to go to extreme lengths to smuggle in Ali G's famous beard and beanie hat.

"The truth is we actually had to sneak it in..." Sacha laughed during an interview on Good Morning Britain on Monday morning. "The Oscars sat me down beforehand and said they didn't want me to do anything out of order, they wanted me to actually just present it as myself. But luckily my wife put on the Ali G beard in the disabled toilets and I managed to get away with it. What would I do without her?"

Isla was standing alongside Sacha as they were interviewed en route into the Vanity Fair Oscar's party and admitted she had to use her acting skills to pull off the stunt.

"I had to pretend that he wasn't feeling well in the bathroom so that no-one..." she admitted, when Sacha jumped in adding: "I was in the disabled toilet for 40 minutes sticking the beard on. I had to claim food poisoning."

As Ali G took to the stage to present scenes from Best Picture nominee Room alongside Olivia Wilde, he took the opportunity to joke about the diversity issue currently causing mass debate in Hollywood.

"I know what you was thinking when I walked on, here comes yet another token black presenter," he said. "But it ain’t just me brethren who has been overlooked, it is all people of all colours. How come there is no Oscra (sic) for those hard-working yellow people with tiny dongs. You know – the Minions."

However, Sacha admitted he was unsure how the quip would go down with the star-studded audience.

"There was a few moments..." he said. "I was a bit worried how they'd react to the first gag but I bumped into (host) Chris Rock on the way on and pitched him the gig and he gave me the thumbs up, so I went for it."

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