Sacha Baron Cohen and Ryan Seacrest caused a scene an hour before the Academy Awards even started.
Despite warnings from Oscar organizers that they'd boot him from the show if he pulled a stunt, Sacha Baron Cohen arrived on the red carpet dressed in an over-the-top white military uniform, sunglasses and a thick beard to promote his upcoming film “The Dictator.” He was flanked by two female guards and carried an urn carrying the ashes of his late “dear friend and doubles tennis partner,” Kim Jong-Il, former North Korean ruler. Cohen wore John Galliano and K-mart.
During an interview with Ryan Seacrest on E!, Sacha Baron Cohen stated it was Kim’s dream to attend the Oscars and “to be sprinkled over the red carpet and Halle Berry’s chest.” Moments later, he dumped the “ashes” all over Seacrest. Seacrest later said it was pancake mix.
Seacrest’s co-host Guiliana Ranic teased him, “Do you know how lucky you are? You are the chosen one on the red carpet."
Cohen was escorted off the red carpet by security guards. Rumors were floating around last weekI that Cohen was banned from walking the red carpet dressed as Admiral General Aladeen. The Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences denied that such ban was made.
Many stars went along with the joke. Tina Fey crossed herself over the spilled ashes as she made her way inside. Steve Martin said, “I love Sacha Baron Cohen,” and joked that the red carpet shouldn’t be sacred ground — “It should be 12percent respect, 23percent levity and 13 percent joy,” reported the BBC. Actor Jonah Hill said of the stunt, "I guess the Oscars isn't the best place to sell your movie. I think he's a funny guy, though."
Cohen stayed in character after leaving the red carpet, posting to General Aladeen’s Twitter account, "VICTORY IS OURS! Today the Mighty Nation of Wadiya triumphed over the Zionist snakes of Hollywood.
"Evil and all those who made Satan their protector were vanquished and driven into the Pacific Sea. What I am trying to say here is that the Academy have surrendered and sent over two tickets and a parking pass! TODAY OSCAR, TOMORROW OBAMA!”
This is not the first time Cohen has used industry events to promote his movies. Six years ago, the actor arrived at the Toronto International Film Festival dressed as Borat. In 2009, he went to the MTV Video Music Awards as flamboyant fashion critic Bruno.