Sacha Baron Cohen sat down with Variety to discuss his decision to move forward with the Baron Subsequent Moviefilm on Amazon. The highlight—or lowlight—of the film was a scene with Rudy Giuliani, and he reveals that the former mayor of New York City refused to take a COVID test when he showed up for the mock interview.

He told Variety: “There was this debate of what do we do? Do we go ahead with this scene? What happens if he has coronavirus? We concluded that it was worth the risk.”

The interview, of course, turned into an overnight classic, with him appearing to proposition his interviewer, Maria Bakalova, playing Borat’s daughter, Tutar. Then he led her into his bedroom and stuck his hands down his pants.

Bakalova told Variety: “I felt like he would not do that with a man, and I should be seen as a woman and not as a sexual object.”

He waffled over doing the film at all, but decided he had to.

Cohen said: “I felt democracy was in peril, I felt people’s lives were in peril and I felt compelled to finish the movie. The movie was originally about the danger of Trump and Trumpism. What coronavirus demonstrated was that there’s a lethal effect to his spreading of lies and conspiracy theories.”

He added: “On the internet, everything can appear equally legitimate. Breitbart resembles the BBC. The fictitious Protocols of the Elders of Zion look as valid as an ADL report. And the rantings of a lunatic seem as credible as the findings of a Nobel Prize winner. We have lost, it seems, a shared sense of the basic facts upon which democracy depends.”

Cohen told Variety: “I don’t want to egotistically imply that people would watch Borat and not vote for Trump, but that was the aim.”