Sacha Noam Baron Cohen (born 13 October 1971) is an English comedian, actor, clownnote , and gadfly extraordinaire best known for his fictional personas (including the gangsta-wannabe Ali G, racist and backward foreign journalist Borat Sagdiyev, gay Austrian fashonista Brüno, Gaddafi-like Arab dictator Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen) generally used to provoke reactions from people who don't know they're fictional so as to expose their own bigotry and for really dark Black Comedy.
As his mainstream profile's grown, he's branched out into more traditional acting roles, showing that he has the chops to handle serious drama with nuance.
He's also the younger brother of musician Erran Baron Cohen, with whom he frequently collaborates, as well as the cousin of neuroscientist Simon Baron Cohen.
Works featuring Sacha Baron Cohen's characters include:
- Da Ali G Show - Ali G / Borat / Bruno
- Ali G Indahouse - Ali G / Borat
- Borat - Borat
- Brüno (2009) - Bruno
- The Dictator - Admiral General Aladeen
- Grimsby - Nobby Butcher
- Who Is America? - Erran / Billy / Nira / Rick / OMG Whizzy / Gio
Other works in which Sacha Baron Cohen has appeared include:
- Madagascar series, as King Juliennote
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as Signor Adolfo Pirelli (real name Davy Collins)
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, as Jean Girard.
- Hugo as the Station Inspector
- Les Misérables (2012) as Thenardier
- Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues as the leader of the BBC News Service
- The Simpsons as Jakob
- Alice Through the Looking Glass as Time
- The Spy as Eli Cohen
- The Trial of the Chicago 7 as Abbie Hoffman
- Luca as Uncle Ugo
Tropes related to Baron Cohen and his films:
- Man of a Thousand Faces: His specialty lies in radically altering his personality, mannerisms, and physical appearance, for each of the characters he portrays, often assisted by pounds of prosthetic makeup, so as to be totally unrecognizable by any unsuspecting marks.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Another of his trademarks. This guy can do any accent, which is helpful in playing a variety of characters all of different ethnicities.
- N-Word Privileges: The only way that Sacha could ever get away with a character like Borat, singing a song called "Throw the Jew Down the Well..." is if he were actually Jewish in real life.
- Reclusive Artist: A necessity if you want to mess with total strangers and not have them recognize you.
- Star-Making Role: Borat. Prior to that, he was known to moviegoers for his role as Jean Girard in Talladega Nights after breaking out on TV with Da Ali G Show. On the voice-acting side, his role as King Julien in Madagascar helped the movie get two sequels.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Well, "snarky" in the "saying ridiculous things and getting people to take them completely seriously" sense. Baron Cohen stands an impressive 6'3" (1.91 m), and frequently makes use of his substantial height to make his already cartoonish characters seem that much more larger-than-life, pun not intended.
- He was very snarky in his Anti-Defamation League speech.
- Troll: Famously. Virtually all his characters are outrageous caricatures meant to make fun of real people by either pushing their buttons or playing into their own biases, usually both at the same time.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Most of his characters are this by default, in order to make the trolling work. Often they are an outright Villain Protagonist.