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BRUNO

Ruthless Stage Parents
Another area of interest to the team was the worldwide fascination with celebrities' lives and the mixed messages performers give when showcasing their families to an eager public. The creative team realized that if Brüno tried to appear to be a selfless, doting father, he could (in his mind) vault his status in the celebrity community.

Naturally, he should adopt a child. And what could make him seem to be a more caring, famous parent than bringing an African baby from a tiny village into his unorthodox home? If Madonna and Angelina could do it, so could Brüno. Much like a fashion accessory, Brüno would cart his adopted son (played by twin boys) everywhere he went…from casting sessions and impromptu weddings in California to talk shows in Texas. Of course, the boys' parents and a social worker became part of the camp's lean team and provided support for the twins at every step of the way.

Nowhere was he a bigger surprise, however, than at the Dallas-Fort Worth international airport. While director Charles shot the scene and fliers' reactions, Brüno and his assistant pretended to pick up his newly arrived child from the baggage carousel. The jetsetter had just been on an African safari, and this child was his most precious and fantastic new souvenir.

However, Brüno was not the only one who wanted to be a superstar. Few find the quest for fame as enticing as some parents of aspiring child actors. The filmmakers wanted Baron Cohen as Brüno to examine the players of that world, and he conducted multiple casting sessions with caregivers of "aspiring” child actors in Sherman Oaks, California, in February 2008. Interviewees were instructed that their children were being considered for an upcoming photo shoot with the host's baby. For all involved in the production, it was stunning to listen to the bizarre and dangerous lengths to which some parents would go for their children to become a part of the public eye.

When it was Brüno's time in front of the camera, Baron Cohen posed ever-more exaggerated questions to find out the extent to which these parents would allow their children to be in jeopardy. After the performer wrapped the final auditions, the team was so unnerved by the parents' bizarre reactions to increasingly shocking scenarios that they made sure the eager parents didn't follow through. Members of the team called and advised the eager stage moms and dads that they shouldn't proceed as if their child got the part; he or she wouldn't be a part of a photo shoot.

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