Sacha Baron Cohen, who stars in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, donated $ 100,000 (£ 77,000) to the church of a woman who was featured in her comedy film believing it to be a real documentary.
Jeanise Jones, 62, believed she was recruited by her place of worship, Ebenezer Baptist Missionary Church in Oklahoma City, to mentor Tutar, Borat’s fictional daughter who came with him to the United States from Kazakhstan. But Jones didn’t find out until the film was released on Amazon Prime last week that Tutar was an actress and that the man believed to be her father, Borat, was in fact Baron Cohen.
Derrick Scobey, the church’s senior pastor, said Baron Cohen made the donation on Wednesday and neither he nor the other church members were aware of the film.
According to The Oklahoman newspaper, Scobey was surprised not by the donation itself, but by the amount, noting that the money had been earmarked for community use. The pastor added that Baron Cohen knew the church was a community center where people gathered for spiritual hope and help.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm follows Borat Sagdiyev, played by Baron Cohen, as he returns to the United States from Kazakhstan, with his daughter played by Maria Bakalova, to offer a “bribe” to American leaders. It is a sequel to Borat, released in 2006.
After the film’s release, many Twitter users described Jones’ character as the hero, moral compass, and star of the film.
Jones has yet to see the movie, but said one of the film’s producers called to check on it after its release. Baron Cohen contacted her on Wednesday, said Jones, who noted the call was “enlightening.”
Scobey opened a GoFundMe account for Jones, saying she believed the scenario was real and that she had lost her job as a receptionist in the counseling service due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jones said Thursday that she was surprised to learn that $ 128,000 had already been donated via the page. ” It’s amazing. I would never expect something like this, ”she said. “It blows me away.”