BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The actor best known as "Borat" tricked the Alabama National Guard into allowing him onto a post, giving him a military uniform and briefly letting him train - all, supposedly, for a German TV documentary.
The ruse, which included comedian Sacha Baron Cohen exposing his thong underwear while changing clothes, was going well until a young cadet recognized Cohen and notified older officers who weren't familiar with the actor.
"It's an embarrassment to the Alabama National Guard," Staff Sgt. Katrina Timmons said Monday. "Since then we have put in protocols to make sure this doesn't happen again."
A film crew pulled the stunt Feb. 13 at the Alabama Military Academy, which trains officer candidates from across the nation. The school is located at the Army's old Fort McClellan in Anniston, about 65 miles east of Birmingham.
Footage from the visit could be included in Cohen's upcoming movie featuring his character Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion writer. The reported title is "Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America For The Purpose Of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable In The Presence Of A Gay Foreigner In A Mesh T-Shirt."
Cohen's spokesman, Matthew Labov, declined comment.
Guard officials who let Cohen and his crew into the Alabama base initially believed they were helping foreign journalists.
"They called and said they were a German affiliate of a TV station doing a documentary on what it was like to be in officer candidate school," said Timmons. "They wanted to know if they could come here and embed one person for a few hours up to a day."
Military officials met Cohen and his crew at the gate.
"He was treated like a member of the media and escorted around. He was put in a uniform like he requested to allow him to get a taste of what it was like to be an officer candidate," she said.
The actor's schtick should sound familiar. Cohen portrayed uncouth journalist Borat Sagdiyev in the 2006 hit "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in which he traveled the United States fooling people with gags.
The film included a scene shot at a dinner party in suburban Birmingham.