Never one to shy away from controversy ... Sacha Baron Cohen arrived at The Oscars in character from his upcoming film The Dictator.

The 40-year-old actor, who was carrying an urn of Kim Jong Il's "ashes," actually emptied the contents on Ryan Seacrest's tux during their interview. OMG!

Cohen had reportedly been banned from attending the ceremony in character, but later in the week, the Academy gave him the ok to walk the carpet in costume.

Talk about great publicity for the film!