During a rare interview in which chameleonic prankster Sacha Baron Cohen answered questions without retreating into one of his ego-protecting characters (apparently, the marketing team for Sweeney Todd felt that conducting junket appearances as singing, enormously beschlonged barber Adolfo Pirelli wasn't the way to go for their film), Cohen confirmed that he has no choice but to kill off both Ali G and Borat, the alter-egos he used to torment scores of clueless politicians, intolerant frat boys and litigious driving instructors. Laments Cohen about the old friends he now must sacrifice upon the altar of success:
"When I was being Ali G and Borat I was in character sometimes 14 hours a day and I came to love them, so admitting I am never going to play them again is quite a sad thing," he said.
"It is like saying goodbye to a loved one. It is hard, and the problem with success, although it's fantastic, is that every new person who sees the Borat movie is one less person I 'get' with Borat again, so it's a kind of self-defeating form, really.
"It's upsetting, but the success has been great and better than anything I could have dreamed of."
Indeed, it's sad to face the reality of a world in which we'll never again see the wide-eyed Kazakh journalist proudly present a Southern etiquette coach with a fresh bag of his own feces at a dinner party or nearly asphyxiate under the crushing weight of an obese compatriot's fetid hindquarters. Still, we have the considerable promise of Bruno to look forward to, as well as a new round of lawsuits filed by homophobic Baptist ministers who never thought that the seemingly innocent hot oil, full-body "anointing" they were talked into giving the Austrian TV fashionista would play out so erotically when presented on a multiplex screen.