The latest Sasha Cohen film, Bruno, could potentially become the summer's biggest comedy hit. The movie features a cameo appearance by none other than Republican Texas Congressman, Ron Paul. Congressman Paul is a staunch advocate for legalized online gambling and has actually co-sponsored a bill with Democrat Barney Frank, who is openly gay, a point worth noting since Cohen attempts to seduce Paul in the film.
"I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics," Ron Paul told Politico. "So, that didn't turn out that way. But, by the time he started pulling his pants down, I ... What in (inaudible) is going on here? I ran out of the room."
While the Congressman didn't exactly seem thrilled by what he described as a "dishonest means of getting him in the studio," which was designed to look like a bedroom, the film is likely to help build on the Ron Paul mystique. As a one time US Presidential candidate, Dr. Paul raised significant amounts of money through a grassroots Internet campaign. That helped him develop a sort of cult following.
And it's not the first time Ron Paul has been interviewed by a gay reporter. Gambling911.com's Jenny Woo has interviewed the Congressman in the past. She is a bisexual. Woo did not remove any articles of clothing during the interview, however.
As for the film itself, it is slated for release July 10. Brüno was initially rated NC-17 by the MPAA for sexual content, but the film was reclassified to an R rating after Universal Pictures edited certain scenes.
Some industry analysts and studio executives believe the movie has the potential to be the summer's top-grossing comedy. But the studio releasing it -- General Electric Co.'s Universal Pictures -- is taking a low-key approach according to the Wall Street Journal.
For months, Universal has been forgoing big-ticket marketing moves -- such as trailers in theaters and television spots -- that are normally de rigueur for launching a big comedy.
Instead, industry watchers say, it has pursued a subtler strategy it hopes will create enough buzz to pique audience curiosity about the film, which ultimately garnered an R rating after some cuts.
Hollywood studios typically spend between $30 million and $40 million to market a big summer comedy, but Universal appears to have spent just a fraction of that sum so far. Its boldest effort as yet has been to hang "Bruno" posters -- featuring Mr. Baron Cohen in high-waisted yellow shorts -- in movie-theater lobbies.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher