Star of The Dictator, Sacha Baron Cohen has come a long way from Ali G and the Staines massive to Hollywood superstar and this last year has been his best so far.
Cohen, who first came to fame as Ali G in the late 90s was the highest paid British actor in Hollywood last year earning more than Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt.
Most of this came from his film, The Dictator, in which he plays the despotic general Aladeen. The tagline for the film is: “The heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed”.
The satirical target of the film was Muammar Gaddafi who was still alive when the film was being scripted.
The $30 million he earned are for the period between May 2011 to May 2012 also includes his voice-over work for the Lemur King Julien in Madagascar 3. He also recently played the part of the innkeeper, Thenardier in the recent film version of Les Miserables.
It’s said that for The Dictator, Cohen was getting $20 million upfront instead of 20% of the films first dollar gross, which is very rare because almost no one gets that much money any more in Hollywood.
Sacha Baron Cohen, 41, created the Ali G show which first aired on Channel 4 in the UK back in 1998. It’s hard to believe that he would go on to become a major Hollywood star with worldwide success in the hit comedy films Borat and Bruno.
Cohen is the middle of three brothers and grew up in Hammersmith West London before attending Cambridge University. He is married to the actress Isla Fisher and has two daughters.
For all his success, Cohen keeps a low profile in his public life and does not indulge in the celebrity lifestyle and constant social networking that many of his acting peers do. When he does do press appearances he likes to do it in character. This is something that he lived up to when he appeared on the red carpet at the Oscars dressed as General Aladeen with two female bodyguards and carrying an urn, which he then spilt the contents of over the TV personality Ryan Seacrest.
For all the cash he earned last year he failed to make it into the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. This takes into account of not only the money someone has made but also press coverage, Internet buzz, magazine covers and social networking. It was for this that he was marked down because they don’t think he’s famous enough in America.
Tom Cruise was number one in the list with earnings of $72 million. Sacha Baron Cohen did however make more money than Tom Hanks who made $25 million and Brad Pitt who pulled in $24 million.