Baron-Cohen gets The Dictator noticed

Sacha Baron-Cohen is never one to delegate plugging his new movies to mere publicists. With his latest, The Dictator, he seems to be making it a personal mission to get the film noticed before its release. He has done everything from awards ceremonies to Superbowl slots to promote the film.

His latest escapade was gate-crashing the industry showcase CinemaCon 2012, an event where the studios show their new offerings to the USA’s cinema chain owners. The Dictator was part of Paramount’s showcase, and Baron-Cohen wanted to ensure it made an impression.

Entering the cinema in character, his first words were to ask an audience member "how much for your daughter?" He kept up the performance as the deposed dictator, introducing himself with a cheery "Hello, and death to the West. I am happy to address Cinnabon." He announced that as supreme ruler of the Republic of Wadiya, he had starred in several movies, including "When Harry Kidnapped Sally" and "The Planet of the Rapers."

He then turned his attention to delivering a few pointed movie industry in-jokes. He pointed out Jeffrey Katzenberg, the irascible head of DreamWorks. "I thought I was the only dictator in the house, but Jeffrey Katzenberg is here," he said. "He rules with an iron fist."

He turned his attention to Disney, alluding to the recently-departed executive Rich Ross, and the box-office disaster John Carter. Producing a fake detonator, he announced, "It's a bigger bomb than John Carter. In my country you shoot executives. Oh wait, you did."

He left the audience not sure whether to amused or outraged, but certainly remembering the title of Baron-Cohen’s film.

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