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Notes From The Set Of “Bruno”

The “Bruno” producers must have had a long chat with J.K. Rowling. How else could they have possibly guarded the secret perils and dangers faced by a not-terribly-bright gay Austrian fashion commentator? Whatever wizardry was conjured for the keeping of secrets, it worked. No one seemed to know anything about the upcoming movie release of “Bruno,” until his memorable entrance and landing at the MTV Movie Awards. Since then we have been getting tidbits here, but, In the greatest surge of “Bruno” knowledge I have so far stumbled upon, here are edited versions of production notes released by Universal Pictures. Read about all the off camera shenanigans after the jump.The Bruno cast and crew manage to finagle their way into one of the Milan Fashion Week shows and cause a ruckus when Bruno slips into a Velcro bodysuit, which just happens to stick to everything…

“Baron Cohen insisted that they change everyone’s appearance and create an entirely new crew. Director [Larry] Charles shaved his beard and modified his hairstyle; likewise, producer [Dan] Mazer cut his hair, as did other members of the Milanese camera crew. Everyone involved in the final stunt changed his or her outfits….The team secured him the proper credentials, and he walked in…in the guise of an Italian photographer in a fabulous new outfit….Baron Cohen found a hidden nook backstage and transformed into Brüno. He attempted to reduce his rapid breathing as, inches away, models and security walked by him …. Baron Cohen sprinted past stunned models and lunged by waiting security guards. … Just as the team caught the footage they needed, security shut the lights off and dragged Baron Cohen off the stage. Police cuffed the actor and hauled him to jail while his fellow crew members chased him down.”

Fast forward a bit to Bruno and his boyfriend (co-star Gustaf Hammarsten) having a steamy/ridiculous scene involving bondage wear at a hotel. The kinky lovebirds call the front desk complaining that they have lost the keys to their handcuffs and demand their freedom. Of course the hotel didn’t take too kindly to this request and…

“…[W]ord arrived that the police were in the lobby. As Kansas City’s finest rode up the elevator, both men made a mad dash down the emergency exit staircase. To their alarm, they discovered the staircase ended at the second story. They were trapped. It was time to choose between facing the police (read: possible arrest and deportation for the Europeans) and a 15-foot leap to freedom. Both men took the plunge and fled into the escape vehicle.”

I assume the getaway went smoothly as Bruno and his boy-toy live to tell the tale and we later find them in Israel. It would seem Bruno’s Israeli fan base isn’t quite as large as he thought…

“Among this conservative community, men and women are forbidden from showing much skin (including legs and arms). In retaliation for his offenses, furious members of the crowd chased Baron Cohen after Brüno took a stroll in skin-tight short shorts and a Little Debbie-inspired bonnet. They were out for blood. A large, angry crowd of Hasidic Jews began to gather, intent upon harming Baron Cohen for his actions. The performer was forced to hide in the store of a compassionate shopkeeper until a van could reach him and assist his getaway. Only then could he hunch down on the floor of the getaway vehicle and avoid the growing potential riot situation.”

Undeterred by the Israeli mob, Bruno continues on to Arkansas for the film’s final scene/showdown. Apparently someone thought an arena hosting a mixed martial arts fight was the perfect place to film the audiences reaction to Bruno smooching another dude. Apparently someone thought wrong…

“Moments after the first embrace between the two men, chairs were pulled up and tossed, a fighter who had been watching from the audience climbed into the cage and challenged Baron Cohen to a fight. Director Charles got none of the footage he needed, but Baron Cohen and the crew escaped just in time.”

But once again they persevered in the face of adversity and tried a kissy-kissy scene in another town and had another “meet and greet” with the police…

“Seconds after the kiss, attendees became furious. Soon after, one member of the crowd unwired a chair and threw it at Baron Cohen’s head. At that point, it was a near riot and the performers were rushed from the premises. Audience members and other fighters alike were screaming epithets and surrounding the bus and the field team. It ended after a stand off that lasted many hours, with 40 police officers from the Fort Smith division helping to rescue the cast and crew and quell the angry mob.”

[LA Times]

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