Sacha Baron Cohen brought back his most popular character in the Borat sequel late last year, and now he's suggested that the fictional Kazakh journalist has retired.

In a new interview with Variety, the British comedian and actor made it clear fans shouldn't expect to see a third Borat film to follow Subsequent Moviefilm. "I brought Borat out because of Trump," Cohen said. "There was a purpose to this movie, and I don't really see the purpose to doing it again. So yeah, he's locked away in the cupboard."

It was a surprise that the 49-year-old even brought back the character for the well-received 2020 sequel, but it appears it will be the last we'll see of him. He first debuted Borat on Da Ali G Show back in 2000, but that itself was something of a resurrection for the character. Under different names, Cohen developed the character for multiple '90s TV shows including Comedy Nation. He retired the proto versions of Borat for a short while before reviving him as the hapless journalist he is now. While Cohen would occasionally portray Borat in a rare appearance or two (most notably in 2018) after the 2006 film, he didn't return proper until 2020.

Prior to the revival of Borat, Cohen created and starred in Who Is America?, which saw him take on multiple new personalities while interviewing people from all points on the political spectrum. Due to his fame, most of the characters featured extensive prosthetics so people wouldn't realize it was him. Needless to say, he'll have to employ similar tactics after the success of the Borat sequel, the second most-streamed movie of 2020, in which his titular character already has to use disguises to avoid recognition. 

Elsewhere in the interview, Cohen touched on how the sequel tackles the very real threat of the coronavirus. Production started in late 2019, but he paused work on it for a short while to finish his role on The Trial of the Chicago 7. With the hope that the film would arrive before the 2020 election, Cohen and his crew quickly had to adapt after the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., and at one point they even thought it was "dead in the water." Due to the urgency of the political situation in the country, however, the production invested significant funds into PPE and testing in order to finish, incorporating the real world even more into the plot.

"Rather than run away from how the world was dealing with coronavirus, I felt we should lean into it," said Cohen. "Borat is a fake character, played by me, in a real world. … If we got people to take their masks off, it would be a fake character in a fake world, in a manipulated world, so the basis of the comedy wouldn’t work."

Read the full interview here.

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