"Dictator" director: Laugh about serious issues

(CBS News) "The Dictator" director Larry Charles said he and Sacha Baron Cohen are looking to make humor out of things that normally are not funny.

"One of the keys to this movie is to take subject matter, contemporary issues that are pretty serious, and sometimes even grim and find humor and satirical points to make about them.

Cohen stars in the satire as a Admiral General Aladeen, a freedom-hating military dictator of the fictitious North African republic of Wadia.

"I felt like this movie needed to be out there," Charles said. "There's nothing like this out there, as was the case with 'Borat' or 'Bruno.' These are movies that need to be out there, that people (can) laugh about these serious issues and think about it more deeply at the same time. That's an unbeatable combination to me."

Pictures: Summer films 2012

So what's the collaboration like between the two men?

Charles said on "CBS This Morning" that the movies are teamwork, but characterized the collaboration as akin to "a creative brain trust." He said, "(There's) almost...a dialectic going. We have incredible Talmudic debates about comedy, about all the aspects of the script and the shooting. So it's a continual collaboration, continual examination and analysis of what we're doing, trying to make it better, excavate all the gold from the script."

"The Dictator" opens Wednesday.

For more with Charles about his work on the hit TV show "Seinfeld" and his upbringing in a rough area of Brooklyn in the 1970s, watch the video in the player above.

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