Sacha Baron Cohen left half the audience "shaking in their Jimmy Choos" after he appeared to kill an elderly woman in a wheelchair Saturday night at the Britannia Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, reports Deadline.com.
"The reaction was so visceral in the room, host Rob Brydon had to literally calm down the normally more sedate British crowd. Some clearly thought it was real," the story reports.
Cohen’s acceptance speech included a bit in which presenter Salma Hayek introduced an elderly woman in a wheelchair, whom she identified as Grace Collington, an actress who she said appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film "City Lights." Hayek told the audience, "At 87, she’s the oldest surviving actor to have worked with Chaplin in a silent movie."
When Cohen came to the stage to accept his award, Collington gave him one of Chaplin’s famous canes. But then Cohen pushed her off the stage, and she landed face-down, motionless and seemingly dead, the story says.
Cohen told the crowd: "Grace Collington is the oldest, sorry, was the oldest … . I dedicate my award to her. It’s obviously a tragedy, but on the bright side what a great way to go. She’ll probably make the Oscars In Memoriam section. … Anyway tonight is not about her, it’s about me."
About half the audience roared, while the rest were shocked, the story says.
The event, held at the Beverly Hilton, was presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts-Los Angeles.
Here’s a partial clip of the stunt: