Sacha Baron Cohen has made a generous donation to an Oklahoma woman who became an unexpected scene-stealer in the latest Borat film! As People reports, the actor ended up giving $100,000 to Jeanise Jones— the babysitter who looks after Maria Bakalova's character "Tutar" in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm— money which will go towards Jones' community.
Cohen providing aid for Jones' church with donation
Cohen's donation went towards community outreach at the Ebenezer Baptist Church— which is where the Borat producers ended up scouting Jones from— at her request! "She was recruited from our church the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City after Producers spoke to me about needing a "Black Grandmother" for a small role in a 'documentary,'" the church's pastor, Derrick Scobey, explained on the GoFundMe page he set up for Jones.
"Jeanise emerged as that person and she was completely unaware that this was a comedy, and all of this was made up," Scobey continued, going on to explain why he chose to create the fundraiser. "Many of you have reached from around the world to say thank you, so I thought it would be great to give people a vehicle to say thank you in a tangible way, She wasn’t paid much money at all for her role in this movie."
Cohen "has a good heart," says church pastor
Cohen himself coming forward to give money to Jones may have shocked Scobey, but the pastor said he'd previously heard good things about the actor's character! "I was blown away but not surprised because I was told about what type of heart this man has," he told People of finding out about the donation. "Maybe it's a little risqué, some of the things in the movie, but he has a good heart."
Scobey expressed his gratitude for Cohen's support of Jones and the church. He also talked about how genuine Jones is, selfless in her service to others even when not on-screen. "While all these people around the world are loving how she's the moral compass of the movie, she's sitting here serving people in the dark and in the cold," he shared. "This is who we are. This is what we do for our community, and we love our community."
While the Borat movies have been known to be controversial for their satirical takes on current events, it's great to see that Cohen has been using his platform for good!