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Revisiting Rebel Wilson’s ‘Grimsby’ After She Accused Costar Sacha Baron Cohen of Threatening Her

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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Rebel Wilson is determined to detail her experience working with Sacha Baron Cohen on the set of The Brothers Grimsby — despite his alleged attempts to stop her memoir from being released.

The duo starred together in the 2016 comedy about a man named Nobby (Baron Cohen) and his efforts to track down his little brother, Sebastian (Mark Strong), while being pursued by the Secret Intelligence Service.

After filming The Brothers Grimsby, which was titled just Grimsby during its release in the United States, Wilson hinted that she wasn’t always on the same page with Baron Cohen. She later discussed how she developed a “no assholes” policy after a bad experience on a set.

“Do you wanna know why I have a ‘no assholes’ policy now with people I work with?” Wilson wrote via Instagram in March 2024 about her Rebel Rising memoir. “Well it’s all in the book. Oh and YES I name the asshole!”

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In a separate video, Wilson discussed working with a then-unnamed actor. “People were like, ‘I have a no assholes policy, meaning I don’t work with assholes.’ I was like, ‘Oh, yeah. I mean that sounds sensible, logical,’” she recalled. “Then it really sunk in what they were meaning by that: Older people in the industry.”

Wilson said she learned her lesson after working with a “massive asshole” on a project, adding, “The chapter on said asshole is Chapter 23 [in my memoir]. That guy was a massive asshole.”

That same month, Wilson claimed she was being harassed by the former costar to stop her memoir from being released. She subsequently named Baron Cohen as the person in question, writing via her Instagram Story, “I will not be bullied or silenced with high priced lawyer or PR crisis managers. The ‘asshole’ that I am talking about in ONE CHAPTER of my book is Sacha Baron Cohen.”

A rep for Baron Cohen addressed the accusations, telling Us Weekly in a statement, “While we appreciate the importance of speaking out, these demonstrably false claims are directly contradicted by extensive detailed evidence, including contemporaneous documents, film footage and eyewitness accounts from those present before, during and after the production of The Brothers Grimsby.”

Keep scrolling to revisit Baron Cohen and Wilson’s The Brothers Grimsby film amid their feud:

What Was the Plot of the Movie?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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According to the synopsis, Baron Cohen played a “dimwitted” man named Nobby who lived in an English fishing town with his loving girlfriend (Wilson) and their nine children. After trying to track down his long-lost brother, Sebastian, for nearly three decades, Nobby and his sibling (Strong) reunite. Sebastian, however, is a top MI6 agent who is on the run after being wrongfully accused of a crime. The siblings team up to help to save the world and prove Sebastian’s innocence.

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Who Was Involved in the Film?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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The spy action comedy was written by Baron Cohen, Phil Johnston and Peter Baynham. In addition to Baron Cohen and Wilson, The Brothers Grimsby starred Strong, Annabelle Wallis, Gabourey Sidibe, Penélope Cruz and Ian McShane. Baron Cohen’s wife, Isla Fisher, was also part of the cast.

How Outrageous Were the Story Lines?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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The Brothers Grimsby didn’t shy away from raunchy — and outrageous — plot lines, including Sebastian shooting an AIDS-afflicted Jewish-Palestinian boy. As a result, a spray of blood lands in an offscreen Daniel Radcliffe‘s mouth, infecting him with the virus.

Sebastian is later hit with two poison darts in his shoulder and testicle, which forces Nobby to suck out the poison to save his brother’s life. Sebastian also accidentally injects himself with heroin while mistaking it for a treatment for his broken ankle.

While on the run, the brothers have to hide inside an elephant’s vagina. They subsequently end up covered in elephant semen. Other story lines include the brothers sitting on fireworks to stop a virus and Radcliffe infecting an offscreen Donald Trump with AIDS.

In 2014, an article from the Sydney Morning Herald interviewed several residents of the English town of Grimsby as they shared their outrage over how their home was portrayed.

What Was the Reaction to the Movie’s Release?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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After its 2016 release, The Brothers Grimsby was considered a box-office bomb.

“We certainly wanted more,” Sony’s distribution chief Rory Bruer told Variety in 2016 about the disappointing box office sales. “Sacha is amazing and we love him, and we tried to crack the code on it, but it just didn’t happen for us.”

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What Has Rebel Wilson Said About Working With Sacha Baron Cohen?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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Wilson originally accused Baron Cohen of harassment in 2014 after filming wrapped on The Brothers Grimsby.

“Sacha is so outrageous. Every day he’s like, ‘Just go naked, it will be funny.’ And I’m, like, ‘No!’” Wilson claimed on Australian radio’s Kyle and Jackie O Show. “Sacha and I have the same agent in America and I’m like, ‘Sacha, I’m going to call our agent Sharon and tell her how much you are harassing me.’”

At the time, Wilson alleged that things got even more uncomfortable when they filmed the final scene.

“He was like, ‘Rebel, can you just stick your finger up my butt?’ And I went, ‘What do you mean, Sacha? That’s not in the script,’” she claimed. “And he’s like, ‘Look, I’ll just pull down my pants, you just stick your finger up my butt, it’ll be a really funny bit.’”

Baron Cohen never publicly addressed the allegations.

Has Rebel Wilson Made Any More Mention of Sacha Baron Cohen Over the Years?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
Columbia Pictures

In 2017, Wilson claimed she was a victim of sexual harassment by a “male star,” whom she never identified. Due to Wilson’s past comments about Baron Cohen, some fans assumed she was referring to him, but it was never confirmed.

“I’ve been away in a ‘bubble’ of sorts creating new comedy overseas but it’s so hard to hear all these stories relating to sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood,” she wrote in a since-deleted X post in November 2017 referring to the Me Too movement. “As you guys know, I’m a pretty strong and confident person, but even I have a story to tell.”

She continued: “A male star, in a position of power asked me to go into a room with him and then asked me repeatedly to stick my finger up his ass. All whilst his male ‘friends’ tried to film the incident on their iPhones and laughed. I repeatedly said no and eventually got out of the room.”

Wilson recalled “immediately” calling her agent and making a complaint to the film studio. As a result, she was allegedly “threatened by one of the star’s representatives to be nice and support the star,” which she called “disgusting.”

Has Sacha Baron Cohen Said Anything About Working With Rebel Wilson?

Revisiting Grimsby After Rebel Wilson Claims Against Sacha Baron Cohen
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While promoting The Brothers Grimsby in 2016, Baron Cohen talked about his onscreen kiss with Wilson, telling E! News at the time, “She’s hilarious in it. The last 14 years in films, I have only kissed men. She was one of the first kisses with a woman that I have filmed in the last 14 years other than my wife. I’d say she’s up there. An 8 [out of 10]?”

How Did Rebel Wilson and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Collaboration Resurface?

Wilson claimed in March 2024 that she was being harassed by a former costar to stop publication of her Rebel Rising memoir. “I wrote about an asshole in my book. Now, said asshole is trying to threaten me,” she wrote via her Instagram Story. “He’s hired a crisis PR manager and lawyers. He is trying to stop press coming out about my book. But the book WILL come out and you will all know the truth. Rebel xoxo.”

After she named Baron Cohen in a separate post, the actor slammed the accusations through a spokesperson.

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