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Who is Borat in ‘reel’ and ‘real’ life? Here's all about Sacha Baron Cohen's early life, net worth and career

Dubbed as ‘The Man Behind the Mustache’, Baron Cohen said in a Rolling Stone interview, 'Borat essentially works as a tool'
UPDATED OCT 23, 2020
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (Amazon Prime/Getty Images)
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat (Amazon Prime/Getty Images)

Borat is back! Fourteen years after the release of the first mockumentary comedy film, Borat Sagdiyev sets foot in the United States from Kazakhstan in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 elections. A sequel to the 2006 film ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’, the new movie ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ premieres on Amazon Prime this October 23, 2020. If you did not watch the first installment, here's a look at who is the 'real' Borat Sagdiyev. 

An antisemitic Kazakhstani television personality, he was first introduced in ‘F2F’ and ‘Da Ali G Show’ and actor Sacha Baron Cohen brings him to life in his self-written mockumentary films. The satirical Kazakh journalist is a fictional character known for outrageous sociocultural viewpoints, breach of social taboos, use of vulgar language, obscene tricks and playful pranks.

Borat Sagdiyev (Amazon Prime)

Who is Borat Sagdiyev?

Created by Baron Cohen, Borat was born and raised in the village of Kuzcek, Kazakh SSR by his parents Asimbala Sagdiyev and Boltok the Rapist. In his mockumentary, he says his mother dubbed as “short old lady” gave birth to him when she was nine years old. With an introductory “Jagshemash” (meaning “How are you?” in Polish) and “Chenqui” (meaning “Thank you” in Polish), he speaks to a number of people and often uses the phrase “Wa wa wee wa” (meaning “Wow”). Fond of “sexy time” including “mouth-party” and “hand-party”, his weapon is stated to be a dildo. 

It isn't clear how many times Borat has been married but he admits to being a bigamist in ‘Borat's Guide to Britain’ and has at least five wives including Ludmilla Sagdiyev and three additional lovers - a mistress, a girlfriend and one who he has to “pay money for.” In the first film, he is known to have a 13-year-old son named Hooeylewis, 12-year-old twin boys named Bilak and Biram, and 17 grandchildren. He has a sister, Natalya — known as the “number four prostitute in all of Kazakhstan.” A younger brother named Bilo is also introduced in the film, who is said to be intellectually disabled and kept locked in a cage after suffering brain damage during an exorcism. 

In the new movie, ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’, his 15-year-old daughter Tutar Sagdiyev (Maria Bakalova) is introduced. Her character in the film grows from a girl who lives in a cage and dreams to live in a “bigger golden cage” just like Melania (Trump), to becoming a feminist journalist when her father takes her to the United States of America (as a gift). 

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G (Getty Images)

Who is the real Borat aka Sacha Baron Cohen?

Born on October 13, 1971, in Hammersmith to Jewish parents, Sacha Noam Baron Cohen is a comedian and actor — known for his satirical characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard and Admiral General Aladeen — who sets up people for ridicule with a “deadpan face.” After graduation, he worked as a fashion model and then hosted a few weekly programs on local television.

Dubbed as ‘The Man Behind the Mustache’, he said in a Rolling Stone interview, “Borat essentially works as a tool,” adding, “By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice, whether it’s anti-Semitism or an acceptance of anti-Semitism.” Baron Cohen's character discovers homophobia, xenophobia, racism, classism and anti-Semitism on his cross-country journey. Back in 2004, he told NPR: “I think that's quite an interesting thing with Borat, which is people really let down their guard with him because they're in a room with somebody who seems to have these outrageous opinions. They sometimes feel much more relaxed about letting their own outrageous, politically incorrect, prejudiced opinions come out.”

Now 49, he has several film credits to his name — such as ‘Borat’ (2006), ‘Bruno’ (2009), ‘The Dictator’ (2012), ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’ (2006), ‘Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ (2007), Martin Scorsese's ‘Hugo (2011), Tom Hooper's ‘Les Misérables’ (2012) and Aaron Sorkin's ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ (2020). He was also seen in television shows like Showtime's ‘Who Is America?’ and Netflix's ‘The Spy’.

Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his character 'General Aladeen' from The Dictator (Getty Images)

What is Sacha Baron Cohen's net worth?

Slapped with several lawsuits post the release of his controversial films, Baron Cohen clinched a spot on Britain's rich list in 2016, amassing a fortune of £105 million ($137 million). He was ranked number 936 in the list which contains Britain’s richest 1000 people.

In January 2010, he bought an estate in Beverly Hills for $14 million and sold his Hollywood Hills home for $2.5 million in 2016. As per a Mirror report the actor was worth an estimated $130 million (£98 million) in 2018. Dedicated to giving back to society, he and his wife Isla Fisher donated £335,000 ($500,000) to both Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee in 2015.

Back in 2019, a CoEd report said his net worth was $130 million but Celebrity Net Worth notes his net worth to be $160 million in 2020.