Sacha Baron Cohen: Daniel Radcliffe is deserving of Grimsby AIDS joke
Sacha Baron Cohen thinks Daniel Radcliffe is a "deserving" target for his AIDS joke in 'Grimsby'.
In the new action/comedy movie, a lookalike actor portrays Radcliffe and contracts the potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease when he accidentally swallows some AIDS-infected blood from an infected person who is shot at a charity event.
Sacha admits a number of names were thrown about for the scene, Queen Elizabeth II and the Pope, but he and the other writers settled for Radcliffe because they thought it was funny to think of Harry Potter - who he played in the wizarding film series - catching the virus.
Recalling how they came up with the idea for the crass joke, Sacha - who plays hapless Nobby Butcher in the film - told The Daily Telegraph newspaper: "For the AIDS joke we pondered a few different people, but once we said the words 'Daniel Radcliffe' in the writers' room we all started laughing. I don't know why but I think it's that line, 'You gave Harry Potter Aids! You did what Voldemort failed to do in nine movies!'
"With any joke which could be perceived as mean, you always want to make sure the target is a deserving one."
The 44-year-old actor has targeted lots of celebrities and regular people as his alter egos Borat, Bruno and Ali G.
Sacha - who is married to Isla Fisher - admits the targets for his pranks in his 'mockumentary' movies have to be deserving of ridicule otherwise audiences won't find his jokes funny.
Explaining his choice of targets in his 'Bruno' and 'Borat...' films, he said: "If I was doing some of the stuff I did in Bruno with a 20-year-old African/American woman it would seem mean; but if I was doing it with a 50-year-old Ku Klux Klan member in Arkansas, the audience feels comfortable laughing at the joke."