Flamboyant British comic Sacha Baron Cohen pulled a North Korea-themed publicity stunt on the Oscars red carpet Sunday, pretending to pour late leader Kim Jong-Il's ashes onto an interviewer.
The Ali G, Borat and Bruno star, who had been warned against staging a stunt at the Academy Awards, turned up in full military regalia from his latest movie The Dictator, and clutching a funeral urn bearing Kim's photo.
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Flanked by two female guards in uniforms and red berets, he told celebrity presenter Ryan Seacrest — interviewing all the stars as they arrived for the Oscars, and asking them about their outfits — that he was wearing Galliano.
"The socks are from K-mart," he added and, when Seacrest reached down to pull up his trouser leg, said: "As Saddam Hussein once said to me, 'Socks are socks, don't waste money'."
Holding the urn with a picture of North Korea's late leader on the front, he was asked why he was excited to come to the Oscars.
"It gave me an opportunity to bring my dear friend and doubles tennis partner Kim Jong Il," Baron Cohen said in character.
"It was his dream to come to the Oscars, and to be sprinkled over the red carpet and over Halle Berry's chest again," he joked.
At that point, he pretended to lose his grip on the urn, pouring the ashes down the black suit of a visibly annoyed Seacrest, and spilling them on the red carpet in front of banks of cameras.
Security guards appeared to pull him away, and as Seacrest continued to broadcast live, Baron Cohen could be seen in the background, berating the guards and demanding to pick up his urn.
At one point, he managed to tell Seacrest, who had ashes all down his front: "If somebody asks you what you're wearing, you say Kim Jong-Il."
Seacrest, regaining his composure, joked about the incident shortly afterwards, saying: "I'm a little dusty. I'm a victim of comedy."
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