SACHA BARON COHEN (Thenardier) made his mark in the comedy world as his alter ego Ali G, host of HBO’s popular multiple-Emmy-nominated comedy DA ALI G SHOW. Initially regarded as the No. 2 comedy phenomenon in England, the show was an instant success after airing on HBO in 2003. Baron Cohen originated the character of Ali G in 1998 on the British television comedy THE 11 O'CLOCK SHOW, on which he served as an executive
producer, in addition to acting and writing for it.
Fond of performing in character, Baron Cohen has twice hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards to record numbers. In 2001, he hosted as Ali G in Frankfurt,
Germany, and in 2005, he hosted as Borat in Lisbon, Portugal. He won the GQ Man of the Year Award four times on both sides of the Atlantic and delivered the 2004 Class Day address at Harvard University as Ali G.
DA ALI G SHOW received six Emmy Award nominations. In 2003, it was nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Program (Alternative), Outstanding Writing
for Nonfiction Programming and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming. In 2005, the show was nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy
Series; Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program; and Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. Prior to its stateside
debut, the show also received accolades in the U.K., with Baron Cohen garnering two BAFTAs. After completing two seasons on television, he set out to conquer the world with BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNINGS OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN, a feature
film starring his second alter ego, Borat Sagdiyev, a Kazakhstani news reporter.
Baron Cohen is known worldwide for creating “one of the greatest comedies of the last decade and perhaps even a whole new genre of film," according to Rolling Stone magazine. BORAT opened No. 1 in 24 countries, while setting a U.S. box-office record for films opening on 1,000 screens or less by grossing more than $26 million. Ultimately, the film grossed more than $250 million worldwide. In 2007, Baron Cohen took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Since its release in November 2006, BORAT has garnered numerous awards and honors. The film was named one of the Ten Most Outstanding Movies of the
Year by AFI. Individually, Baron Cohen received an award for Writer of the Year at the 2007 British Writers Guild Awards and was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award in the Adapted Screenplay category. Baron Cohen won Best Actor awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Utah Film Critics Association, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society.
His feature film projects include the hit comedy TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, co-starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. He was also the voice behind the animated character King Julien in DreamWorks Animation’s MADAGASCAR, which grossed more than $500 million worldwide. In 2008, he returned as the voice of King Julien in the sequel MADAGASCAR: ESCAPE 2 AFRICA, which grossed $594 million worldwide. In 2007, Baron
Cohen appeared with Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s film adaptation of the classic Stephen Sondheim musical SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. In this Academy Award-winning film, Baron Cohen co-starred as Signor Adolfo Pirelli, Todd’s (Depp’s) competitor in the haircutting world.
In 2009, Baron Cohen returned to the screen as BRUNO, his other alter-ego character from DA ALI G SHOW. Reteaming with his BORAT collaborator Jay Roach, Baron Cohen helped produce and write BRUNO. This Universal Pictures film grossed $138 million worldwide and won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.
Baron Cohen recently wrote and starred in the comedy THE DICTATOR and lent his voice to MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE'S MOST WANTED. He also teamed up with renowned director Martin Scorsese in the film HUGO, which was produced by Baron Cohen’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET co-star Johnny Depp. This mystery, set in the 1930s, is about an orphan who lives inside the walls of a Paris train station and ultimately gets wrapped up in a mystery involving his father (played by Jude Law) and the enigmatic Georges Melies (played by Sir Ben Kingsley). The film was released in December of 2011 and went on to win five Academy Awards.
Undoubtedly, Baron Cohen has captured audiences with his characters Bruno and Ali G; however, the true scope of his talent will be seen in the upcoming Freddie Mercury biopic, scheduled for release in 2013. Baron Cohen will star as Freddie Mercury in this highly anticipated film, which tells the story of the years leading up to Queen’s appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. The writer for this film is Academy Award nominee Peter Morgan, who is joined by Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro, one of the film’s producers.
Baron Cohen resides in both Los Angeles and London with his wife, actress Isla Fisher, and their two daughters.