Sasha Baron Cohen doesn't break character to talk about Borat or the making of the film, but Salon spoke with several of the civilians featured in the film. Most said that they were contacted by what appeared to be a legitimate organization making a documentary -- it had official-looking letterhead and a website. The feminist group was told the film would help women in third world countries. A few figured out they were being spoofed while they were being filmed. Responses from the participants range from rueful (the antique store owner said, "It's a very funny movie. You have to laugh at it now. But at the time, we were just glad to get rid of him.") to bitter (the booker at the ABC affiliate he appeared on says she lost her job and spiraled into depression), to good-natured (the bed and breakfast owners said Borat was "very lovely and very polite, very attractive"). The man who left the dinner party after Borat invited a prostitute (identified by Salon as comedian/actress Luenell Campbell) did his best to be philosophical:
"Hey, he fooled us; it's funny. Watching this, I'm sure it's funny [to some people]. It was just not funny that night." He adds that his two college-age sons found his appearance "hysterical."And yes, Pamela Anderson was in on the joke.