She wants to “Make America Corinne Again,” and he’s wondering who this nation is.
On Sunday night’s episode of Who Is America?, Sacha Baron Cohen conned controversial Bachelor alum Corinne Olympios into claiming she was on the ground in Sierra Leone during the height of the Ebola crisis and even saved 6,000 people from a massacre after a warlord confessed to being a fan.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, the 26-year-old Miami native explained how the prank went down: She thought she’d won a reality star of the year award from a British company, and once on set, producers took away her cell phone and asked her manager to leave — and the “very, very strange questions” began.
““So I’m answering all the questions, I’m saying all the stuff he’s telling me to say, I’m visibly getting upset, and they were just trying to keep me calm basically,” she said. “I was like, I’m leaving, and they were like no you’re not, you cannot step outside the building right now. I’m like, are you guys kidnapping me? I don’t get it. It was like, you’re holding me here against my will, what the f— is going on? You guys are f—ing out of your minds!”
In character as an Italian photographer/playboy named Gio Madando, Baron Cohen convinced her to endorse his (fake) charity for relief in Africa, prompting her to pose in a bikini and half-zipped HAZMAT suit.
“I’m reading this child with gun thing, and I’m like what the f— is wrong with you guys, I can’t say this, I don’t believe in this. They’re like no, no, it’s fine, it’s just for Italy, you have no friends in Italy, who cares…At this point I just want to get out of there, so I just did it,” she told The Daily Beast.
After calling her manager — who correctly suspected the entire thing was a set-up — ” I started crying, I was like everyone’s going to think I’m a supporter of children with guns, and I said that I helped cure Ebola and that I went to Africa for three months, everyone knows I didn’t live in Africa for three months!” she said.
Now, though, she appreciates the comedian’s guerilla-style humor.
“Hopefully people just see that it is a Sacha Baron Cohen prank. He’s pranked a bunch of people with big names. It’s light, it’s funny, it’s nothing serious,” she told The Daily Beast. “I hope people can see that and they’re not going to freak out about me saying certain things, because people that know me know that I’m a really amazing person. And so, yeah, I just hope that I don’t offend anyone, but none of it was serious anyways!”
Not as amused: Who Is America? targets like Sarah Palin and Joe Walsh, who proactively blasted Baron Cohen in the press, and Jason Spencer, a Republican state representative in Georgia whose colleagues are calling for her resignation after he screamed a racial slur and pulled down his pants on the show.
Who Is America? airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.