Throughout his career, the funnyman has largely shied away from the press, only conducting interviews as one of his many alter egos like Borat, Bruno or Admiral General Aladeen, from his upcoming movie The Dictator.
But on Wednesday (16May12) the British comedian sat down for a rare talk with U.S. breakfast show Today, shot live on location at the Cannes Film Festival, and confessed he rarely ditches his outrageous onscreen personas to protect his films.
In hit comedy Borat, Cohan plays titular and fictitious Kazakhstan-born personality Borat Sagdiyev, who travels across the U.S. with the hope of meeting Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson, and much of the movie features unscripted vignettes of the star interviewing and interacting with real-life Americans, who are completely unaware they're being filmed for a big budget studio release.
And because of the nature of most of his projects, Cohen admits he has been forced to stay in character during all promotional appearances, so angry fans don't realise they were at the brunt of a joke and pursue legal action.
He said, "The movies that I did up 'til now, they involve real people and so we've wanted to limit the exposure for lawsuits. I mean at the moment I think I have the Guinness World Record for the most-sued actor in history. But basically if people saw that I was me and that Borat was not a real person beforehand, they could injunct the movie and shut the movie down. So this is a different kind of movie (and I'm finally able to talk)."
The 65th annual Cannes Film Festival kicked off in the south of France on Wednesday with Cohen making a grand entrance and causing mayhem as he pretended to murder George Clooney's ex-girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis while dressed as The Dictator.