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BRUNO

Strip Search Me: Fashion's High Price
When Baron Cohen and his fellow writers imagined setting up Brüno as a reporter at a European fashion week where he would meet his Waterloo, they explored the various events that he could attend in a time frame that would work for filming. Not wanting to hedge their bets on one location, the filmmakers went to New York City, Paris and Milan and secured credentials for multiple seasons of those cities' respective fashion weeks.

The team made it to Milan Fashion Week in late September 2008. They had imagined a gag in which Baron Cohen as Brüno would, dressed in a suit made entirely out of Velcro, exit a car outside a fashion week arena and sneak his way onto the runway; director Charles and the camera crew would capture it all. Early attempts to get into other shows failed when security recognized and banned all the key players of the production. The officers called the police and threw Camp Brüno out while they accused them of stealing clothing.

Brüno had been blackballed from Milan Fashion Week. The Italian Chamber of Fashion issued a press release to designers and warned them of the possibility Baron Cohen would try to crash their events; the chamber further advised access be denied to Brüno's production company. With an image out on television stations and across the Internet, Baron Cohen was a man on the run. For their part, the Milanese police declared he would be arrested on sight. Everyone was looking to take down the fabulous talkshow host with the acerbic wit.

While any future attempts appeared fruitless, the team was not accustomed to throwing in the towel. Their solution? Baron Cohen insisted that they change everyone's appearance and create an entirely new crew. Director Charles shaved his beard and modified his hairstyle; likewise, producer Mazer cut his hair, as did other members of the Milanese camera crew. Everyone involved in the final stunt changed his or her outfits.

Complete with haute couture scarves and funky glasses, they became entirely new fashionistas to fit in with the others. This would be the team's last chance to get the Velcro scene the writers had carefully constructed. Standing between them and the stunt? Extra police and tighter security were brought in to comb the area for Brüno.

Seizing an opportunity 30 minutes before designer Agatha Ruiz De La Prada's fashion show began, the man who created Brüno knew what he had to do. The team secured him the proper credentials, and he walked in…not as the host of Funkyzeit Mit Brüno, but in the guise of an Italian photographer in a fabulous new outfit.

Accompanied by his hair and makeup artist and co-writer Hines, 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 in disguise. The performer knew that if he were discovered that the team's last, best chance of locking this critical scene would be over. Shortly after the show began, he seized his chance. Bursting out of his hiding place and onto the backstage, Baron Cohen sprinted past stunned models and lunged by waiting security guards.

The producers were euphoric when Baron Cohen (as Brüno in a Velcro suit covered with clothing) fell onto the runway. The crowd went wild in outrage while the cameras rolled. 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 crewmembers chased him down. Though he claimed that he'd made an honest mistake—he'd simply put on a Velcro suit and walked in—Baron Cohen was strip searched and questioned by seven police officers.

Undaunted, the team moved on to their next adventure. It wasn't days later when Baron Cohen threw out the question: "Can we go to Paris next week for Fash

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