How Sacha Baron Cohen pranked The Bachelor’s Corinne Olympios

There’s no doubt that Sacha Baron Cohen is a master of his (admittedly quirky) craft — he’s got Golden Globe and Oscar nominations to prove it. As for what it is that he actually does, Baron Cohen has made a name for himself by morphing into outrageous characters while making some people laugh, some people cringe and other people very angry. That’s because his “career has largely orbited around the same themes: surprise, embarrassment, and public exposure of the hatred and indifference typically kept hidden,” the Independent explains. And in order to do that, he often targets figures who are rich, famous and powerful. 

Indeed, a fair share of celebrities have become the target of Baron Cohen’s pranks. In fact, “[w]hat differentiates Sacha Baron Cohen, a master of the ‘Gotcha,’ from your run-of-the-mill prankster is his knack for catching notable names in compromising moments,” according to The New York Times.

Granted, the star’s antics sometimes have unexpected results. For instance, one of the scenes sparked by his character, Borat — or, more specifically, his fictional daughter (played by Maria Bakalova) — caught former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, in a compromising position and another ended Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson’s marriage. And while Baron Cohen likely isn’t expecting those he pranks to be perfectly pleased when they find out that they’ve fallen for a ridiculous ruse, he may also not be able to predict how devastated former The Bachelor contestant Corinne Olympios was when she became of one his unfortunate victims.

Sacha Baron Cohen's quirky disguise fooled Corinne Olympios

It’s hard to imagine anyone being thrilled with the fact that they’d been pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen. However, while some of the famous faces who have ended up being the butt of his on-camera jokes may have tried to shrug off the fact that they’d been fooled, reality TV star Corinne Olympios fully broke down after she fell into one of Baron Cohen’s traps.

Back in 2018, after Olympios had found fame by charming audiences of The Bachelor, she “received an alluring offer,” according to Vanity Fair. Apparently, “a European media outlet wanted to award her ‘Reality Star of the Year.'” After her manager coordinated things with what they thought was a legit team, Olympios showed up for a photoshoot that (of course) ended up taking a few very weird turns.

After Olympios was separated from both her phone and her manager during what she thought was a simple photo session and award presentation, “a towering man in a pink blazer, shorts, and Karl Lagerfeld-esque long hair” walked in while “berating his underlings in a heavy Italian accent.” While Olympios noted that his accent was “overdone,” she had no clue that it was Baron Cohen who had shown up wearing one of his infamously over-the-top disguises and putting on a peculiar persona. She also had no idea how weird things were about to get or how upset she would be when she was finally able to leave.

Sacha Baron Cohen's prank left Corinne Olympios 'hysterically crying'

When Corrina Olympios (unknowing) encountered Sacha Baron Cohen, she couldn’t have predicted what she would face. After posing for photos and being presented with her (fake) Reality Star of the Year award, she was suddenly peppered with strange questions. “He asked me …, ‘What do we do about these fat Italian women?'” she told Vanity Fair, adding that he also told her to “tell everybody how [she] cured Ebola in Africa…”

Although Olympios was thrown by what was happening, she was also repeatedly told that she wasn’t able to see her manager or have her phone. That’s why she kept going along with things when she was asked to help with a (faux) PSA regarding child soldiers and to wear a hazmat suit over a bikini before standing in front of a green screen.

After hitting a breaking point and “panicking,” Olympios demanded to see her manager and was told that her rep had been sent home. When the star called her manager, she freaked out over the fact that she’d been left alone. “I thought I was going to die. It was the weirdest sh** ever,” she told her manager. “I hate you. I feel like America’s going to hate me.” She also admitted that she was left “hysterically crying for like three hours.”

Hopefully, now that some time has passed, Olympios is able to look back at the incident and laugh. Or, at least, not feel as utterly bummed out by what happened.

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