Paula Abdul Reveals How Sacha Baron Cohen Tricked Her Into Being in Bruno

Paula Abdul had no idea she was being scammed by Sacha Baron Cohen for 2009’s Bruno. The singer and former American Idol judge thought she was meeting to accept a prestigious international award. However, Baron Cohen had other ideas and ran Abdul through the ringer and didn’t even invite her to the premiere afterwards. The comedian has to be able to keep his secrets and that’s probably why he’s still able to pull of pranks to this day.

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In a new interview, Paula Abdul was asked about the Bruno scene. “Not only did I have no idea,” Abdul began, “I thought when I showed up- Look, I heard I was getting International Artist of the Year award.” She continued by saying she didn’t think anything was fishy and wanted an award, while laughing. When she arrived, she saw “some crazy freak” dressed in plastic pants, which she assumed was something like a Japanese game show she had participated in before, so she went with it.

In Bruno, Sacha Baron Cohen was able to have Paula Abdul come in alone. All of her team of handlers had to wait outside, which is another part of his genius. Baron Cohen had Abdul sit on “Mexican chair people,” which she started petting out of nervousness. “Helping people is so vital to my life,” Abdul tells Baron Cohen while she’s sitting on a human being. “It’s like the air that I breathe and water that I drink. It is extremely important to me.” The scene comes off pretty bad and Abdul admits she was in a hurry to get to a taping of American Idol.

The bizarre encounter came to an abrupt end when Sacha Baron Cohen brought out a naked man covered in sushi. “When they started serving sushi on naked sumo wrestlers, it was time for me to leave,” Paula Abdul recalled. She ran off and got into her car to head off to her show and said, “Thank god you didn’t sign any agreement.” However, her then-publicist had indeed signed an agreement because it was in “German.” This led to weeks of the singer wondering what was going to come out and who was going to see what she had done.

After a few months, Paula Abdul forgot about the whole situation. But around nine months later, people were asking her what it was like working with Sacha Baron Cohen, which puzzled her because she still didn’t know by this point. It wasn’t until she woke up in a pool of sweat that she figured out she was in Bruno. Though she wasn’t invited to the premiere, Abdul still says she would have gone anyway, just like going to accept an international award. “I’ll show up at anything,” joked Abdul. The interview with Paula Abdul was originally conducted by the Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen YouTube channel.

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