On Friday, Sacha Baron Cohen participated in Netflix’s Chicago 7 Town Hall: Voices for Change, a virtual town hall event centered around discussing the Chicago 7 activists and the recent feature film based on them, which Baron Cohen starred in. He’s up for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as activist Abbie Hoffman.
The actor and filmmaker described meeting with The Trial of the Chicago 7 director and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, as well as the film’s original director Steven Spielberg, to map out the purpose of fictionalizing the anti-Vietnam War protesters.
“We discussed what’s the purpose of making a movie,” he said, “because making a movie is ultimately a massive hassle. It falls to pieces, you don’t get the money…and the conclusion was, and I remember saying this, was [that] we want to make it to inspire people to go out and protest injustice. So it’s wonderful hearing that that was hopefully achieved. It was an incredible coincidence, a lucky coincidence, that we made it and then the Black Lives Matter protests happened. The movie became increasingly relevant.”
The hour-long town hall event also featured Sorkin, as well as actor and activist Baratunde Thurston; activist Dolores Huerta; Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks; original Chicago 7 member Lee Weiner; and actor and activist Olivia Munn. BBC World News correspondent Katty Kay moderated the event.