Sunday, April 14, 2024

First Borat “Victim” Alan Smith, UPS Store Owner in Suburban Atlanta, Thought He Was Part of Training Film for Russians


Exclusive: Alan Smith is the nicest and most congenial owner of a UPS store in suburban Atlanta. His place is called the PMS Center (the funny part of the name is real and unintentional). A couple of weeks ago a friend called and him said he saw the store in the trailer for the new “Borat” movie. Immediately, Alan knew what he must be talking about.

“I did not know who they were when they were here,” Alan told me today. He meant Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as Borat. In the film, which debuts on Amazon Prime this Friday, Borat sends faxes back and forth to the president of Kazakhstan. The faxes that come back have a Russian looking masthead. Alan told me he really sent faxes to a Russian number. “Borat” paid him for everything.

“They were here from 8am to 2pm, all day,” Alan said. “They told me it was a training video for Russians, and that it would be shown on Public Television in either Georgia or Florida.” Alan has learned the hard way, like so many of Sacha Baron Cohen’s “victims” over the years, this wasn’t true.

He was relieved to hear that he comes across very nicely on screen, very patient and friendly. That might not be true of all the real people in “Borat Subsequent Movie Film.” (He was interested in seeing clips, which I could not help him with. I guess he’ll have to wait til Friday.) By the weekend, PMS UPS in Coweta County is going to become a landmark, I’m afraid, and Alan a movie star. I hope he’s ready.

“You’re my first call,” he said. “I guess there will be more.” There will be, Alan. There will.

PS He’s voting for Trump. I liked him anyway. I asked him to reconsider and he said he would, but I think he was just being nice.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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