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On a normal shoot, the director can yell “cut” and repeat each scene until it’s absolutely perfect. With “Borat,” the movie depended on Sacha Baron Cohen staying in character at all times. “The entire crew had to be immersed in this alternate reality,” says Emmy-winning director Charles. “Everything is real in this movie. Even when things might be staged, they’re only staged to the degree that you hit that first domino and hope that all the dominoes fall into place.”

Armed with multiple cameras and just three actors — Cohen, “producer” Ken Davitian and “prostitute” Luenell — Charles’ challenge was to create a reality that would convince ordinary people to accept Cohen as an actual Kazakh journalist, then manage the ensuing chaos. “I tried to give him an environment in which he could immerse himself and give this kind of groundbreaking performance,” he says. “As far as the people involved with the movie were concerned, they were dealing with a real person.”