Sacha Baron Cohen
With a list of legal fights as long as many other people’s comedy credits, Sacha Baron Cohen could be considered the most disruptive person in comedy of the last decade.
From Ali G to Borat, ever since his characters stated appearing on our TV screens Sacha Baron Cohen has sought to push boundaries and people to breaking point.
Educated at Cambridge, Cohen’s first forays into comedy weren’t at the Footlights but long after he graduated. After working as a model in 1995 when he sent a tape to Channel 4 of himself playing a Romanian reporter named Kristo (sounds familiar?).
That character was eventually to turn into Borat, but before then Cohen worked on The 11 O’Clock Show, where his Ali G character became his first star.
Cohen’s main ploys is to cause controversy by using his characters to play up social prejudices, sometimes to lure his interviewees into an awkward situation where they may say something either outrageous or simply funny.
Borat, which SSP believes is probably his best work, is used in a completely different way to Ali G, feigning ignorance and playing on others assumptions of him rather than leading the storyline himself.
Among the awards Cohen has picked up are Best Newcomer at the 1998 British Comedy Awards, two Baftas for Ali G, a Ronnie Barker Award and an MTV award, while as Borat he has won ‘best actor’ at the Golden Globes, The Los Angeles Films Critics Association, MTV Movie Awards, and The Evening Standard British Film Awards.
In 2012 Cohen’s newest film The Dictator hits the screens and will no doubt gain as much notoriety as his previous characters, however he is also set to play Freddie Mercury in the film about the Queen star. The film, titled Mercury, is currently in pre-production but will be an interesting foray into a style of acting which we have seen little of with Cohen's previous blockbuster outings.
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