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The Dictator - Sacha Baron Cohen interview (as General Aladeen)

The Dictator

Compiled by Jack Foley

SACHA Baron Cohen, in character as General Aladeen, talks about the making of his new film, The Dictator, which is out to own on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, September 24, 2012.

Q: Your excellency. Thank you so much for being here…
General Aladeen: Thank you devil of the Zionist media. Death to the west. Today I wish to highlight the plight of an endangered group. They are victims of a global human tragedy. They are the dictators. These brave leaders are suffering daily victimization and brutality for the supposed crimes of embezzling money, oppressing their people and doing a tiny little bit of genocide. In recent years tyrants all over the world have fallen one by one. Saddam. Kim Jong Il. Gaddafi. Oprah. Sanctions are crippling us. Ahmadinejad can’t even afford a tie and because of trade embargoes he has run out of toilet paper.

Last week, he had to use one of his T-shirts. It was one his favourites. It was his ‘I hate New York’ one. While western countries continue to ravage our planet of its resources, we conserve and preserve our land by burying thousands of opponents in single, mass, eco graves. Thankfully there are still some supporters of dictatorships. On behalf of my dear friend and doubles tennis partner, President al-Assad of Syria, I want to thank the United Nations over their brave inaction over Syria. Still no Security Council resolution. You guys are amazing. You have done next to nothing for the Syrian people. But, remember. You can always do less.

Q: How do you respond to accusations you are the wisest, most glorious leader?
General Aladeen: I haven’t noticed, but thank you for your fair and unbiased question.

Q: What do you think of the American film industry?
General Aladeen: I love American films. Particularly their fantasy films like Lord of the Rings or Schindler’s List. I studied at the same Holocaust Denial Institute as Ahmadinejad. I am also a fan of Sherlock Holmes movies because there is always a twist at the end where they solve the case. I never see that coming. But, my favorite film ever was from 1963 and featured JFK in Dallas. There are differences between the Wadiyan film industry and Hollywood. People say I am extravagant for using 20 million bottles of Fiji water every day to make snow for my ski resort in the middle of the desert, but am I the person who green-lit John Carter? Trust me. There are bigger bombs than John Carter. I’m a purist. I don’t rely on CGI. If I need 10,000 villagers to be driven off a cliff, I make it happen.

Q: Who are your favorite dictators and why?
General Aladeen: It has been a tough year. We have lost a lot of good people and I have lost a lot of good friends. Gaddafi, I miss you. KJ, Kimmy J, K-Man, you know, Kim Jong Il. And, of course, (Venezuelan president Hugo) Chavez died last month. But, you didn’t hear that from me. Chavez is fine. It is just a coincidence he hasn’t turned up for a month. Ahmadinejad is still around, but he is an embarrassment. He looks like a snitch from Miami Vice. Why doesn’t he wear a tie? Does he think every day in Iran is casual Friday?

Q: What are your pop culture guilty pleasures?
General Aladeen: When I am not watching my people I am glued to my couch watching TV. My favorite shows are Wadiyan. We have our own version of Two and a Half Men. It is called Three Men, but one of them tried to steal a grapefruit. I also love the show 24. But we play it backwards so it has a happy ending. I like Laverne & Shirley. It’s not crude which I like. I can show it to any of my 1,600 children and not worry about it. All of them are boys. It is a coincidence. We also have Wadiyan Idol where my people build a big statue of me.

Q: You have had much sorrow in your life. Your mother died during childbirth. All six of your brothers died accidentally. How do you deal with these problems?
General Aladeen: Yes, my mother died in childbirth from strangulation. My father died in a tragic hunting accident when he was hit accidentally by 97 stray bullets. He also had a terrible allergy to grenades. My uncle will also be dying in a helicopter crash later today. It will be very sad.

Q: What do you say to critics who describe you as a tyrant?
General Aladeen: I would say thank you. Could you please give me the names of these so-called critics and the routes they take to and from work. I would like to give them a magnetic gift that is placed underneath their car.

Q: Who do you trust?
General Aladeen: I have 25 female virgin guards who protect me at all times. I know they are virgins because I have their virginity checked every night by the head of my penis.

Q: How do you plan to ensure democracy will never take over your country and why you will succeed when so many other dictators have failed?
General Aladeen: My people don’t want democracy. They love me and I have many signed confessions to prove that. I am like a father to my people. Quite literally to about 1,800 of them. Besides, our version of government is much more efficient than yours. Democracy is the worst. Everyone’s vote counts no matter how black, crippled or female you are.

Q: Is it true you have been banned from British TV?
General Aladeen: Yes, it is true. The BBC has issued sanctions against me. They have banned me from the BBC channels and also the radio. Look, nobody is as big a fan of state sponsored censorship than me, but the BBC took it too far. All I wanted to do on the BBC was to use their airwaves to promote my anti-west, anti-Zionist platform.

Q: You have slept with so many celebrities, who is the one that got away?
General Aladeen: They never get away. They try, but without their passports it is difficult. There is no escape from the desert. Within a couple of hours they shrivel up and look like a mug shot of Lindsay Lohan.

Q: What did you think of The Hunger Games and are you thinking of introducing a similar game to Wadiya?
General Aladeen: What is the point? North Korea has already done it. Now, Kim Jong-un is doing his own version of The Biggest Loser. Seven million people are competing to see who can lose the most wait.

Q: Are you a more dangerous dictator than Adolf Hitler and if so, how?
General Aladeen: Wow. Sorry, I’m getting a little choked up. It is one thing to be called Hitleresque, but to be in the same discussion as Hitler I feel like I have finally made it. Do you know my father actually knew Adolf. It is hard to believe that he hardly had a good word to say about him. I remember he said ‘That man is a terrible, terrible, terrible charades player’.

Read our interview with Anna Faris

The Dictator is released on Blu-ray and DVD on Monday, September 24, 2012.