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THE DICTATOR (2012)
Release Date: May 16, 2012
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Larry Charles
Screenwriter: Sacha Baron Cohen, Alec Berg, Jeff Schaffer, David Mandel
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris
MPAA Rating: R
SACHA BARON COHEN (General Aladeen / Produced by / Written by) 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 #1 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. Baron Cohen served as an executive producer on the series, 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 as "Ali G" in Frankfurt, Germany, then in 2005 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 Non-Fiction Program, Outstanding Writing Non-Fiction Program, and Outstanding Directing Non-Fiction Program. In 2005 the show was nominated for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series; Outstanding Writing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series; and Outstanding Directing, Variety, Music or Comedy Series. The show also received accolades in the UK prior to its stateside debut, with Sacha Baron Cohen garnering two BAFTA Awards. After completing two seasons, Baron Cohen 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 #1 in 24 countries, while setting a U.S. box office record for films opening on 1000 screens or less grossing over $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 an Academy Award® nomination for 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 Motion Pictures of the Year by AFI. Individually, Baron Cohen received Writer of the Year at the 2007 British Writers Guild Awards and was nominated for WGA Award in the Adapted Screenplay category. Baron Cohen won Best Actor awards from the Los Angeles Films Critics Association, Utah Film Critics, San Francisco Films Critics Circle, Toronto Film Critics Association and Online Film Critics.
His feature film projects include the hit comedy Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby with co-stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. He was also the voice behind the animated character "King Julien" in the DreamWorks Animation's feature Madagascar, which grossed over $500 million worldwide. In 2008, Baron Cohen returned as the voice of "King Julien" in the sequel Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa, which grossed $594 million worldwide. In 2007, Baron Cohen appeared with Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's film adaptation of the classic Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In this Academy Award®-winning film, Baron Cohen co-starred as ‘Signor Adolfo Pirelly,' Todd's (Depp's) competitor in the haircutting world.
In 2009, Baron Cohen returned to the screen as "Brüno," his other alter-ego character from Da Ali G Show. Re-teaming with his Borat collaborator Jay Roach, Baron Cohen helped produce and write Brüno. This Universal Pictures' film grossed $138 million worldwide and won The Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.
Baron Cohen most recently teamed up with renowned director Martin Scorsese in the film Hugo. Joining them as one of the films producers is former Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street co-star Johnny Depp. This mystery set in the 1930's is about an orphan who lives inside the 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 Pappa Georges. The film, released in December of 2011, went on to win five Academy Awards®.
Undoubtedly, Baron Cohen has captured audiences with his characters "Brüno" 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 that tells the story of the years leading up to Queen's appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. Writer for this film is Academy Award® nominee, Peter Morgan, joined by the film's producer, Academy Award® winner, Robert De Niro.
Baron Cohen resides in both Los Angeles and London with his wife, actress Isla Fisher, and their two daughters.
ANNA FARIS (Zoey) is currently shooting I Give It a Year, alongside Rose Bryne and Simon Baker for Working Title. Faris was last seen in What's Your Number, a romantic comedy for 20 th Century FOX, alongside Chris Evans. She is an Executive Producer on the film, which is directed by Mark Mylod.
Previously, Faris produced and starred in the hit film The House Bunny, in the leading role of ‘Shelley Darlington,' a Playboy Bunny who is kicked out of the mansion and tries to adjust to life on the outside. The project was hatched from an original idea by Faris; she collaborated with the writers of Legally Blonde on the script. She served as a producer on the film, alongside Happy Madison Productions for Sony Pictures.
Faris co-starred in the Oscar®-nominated film Lost in Translation, alongside Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson for director Sofia Coppola. The critically acclaimed box-office hit earned Faris rave reviews. Faris' additional feature films include: Observe & Report, Brokeback Mountain (for director Ang Lee), Smiley Face (for director Gregg Araki), Yogi Bear, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Take Me Home Tonight, Mama's Boy, Just Friends, Waiting, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, and Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Scary Movie 3, and Scary Movie 4. These last four films represent Dimension Films' most successful franchise to date.
On television, Faris has had memorable recurring roles on Entourage as ‘Herself,' and on the final season of Friends, playing a surrogate mother to ‘Monica' and ‘Chandler's' adopted baby.
Originally from Seattle, Faris started acting in the theater at a young age. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
After earning an Academy Award®, two Golden Globes and two BAFTA Awards for his riveting portrayal of Indian social leader Mahatma Gandhi, SIR BEN KINGSLEY (Tamir) continues to bring unequaled detail and nuance to each role. In 1984, Kingsley was awarded the Padma Sri by Indira Gandhi and the government of India. Kingsley went on to earn three additional Oscar® nominations for Bugsy (1991), Sexy Beast (2000) and House of Sand and Fog (2003). His roles have been as diverse as his talents, from a sturdy vice president in Dave to the scheming Fagin in Oliver Twist. Since being knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year's Eve Honors List 2001, Kingsley has continued to earn honors as a truly international star.
Kingsley was most recently seen in Martin Scorsese's Hugo alongside Sacha Baron Cohen and Chloë Moretz; released in 2011, the film earned five Academy Awards®. Kingsley was also seen starring in Martin Scorsese's 1950s drama Shutter Island, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams, as well as Jerry Bruckheimer's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Gemma Arterton.
He recently was the star of the sexually charged Elegy opposite Penelope Cruz and directed by Isabel Coixet, and for which he was nominated British Actor of the Year by the London Critics Circle Film Awards. He starred in two films at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, giving further perspective to his work: the Audience Award-winning and Grand Jury Prize nominated The Wackness, in which he plays a drug-addled psychiatrist opposite Josh Peck, Famke Janssen, Olivia Thirlby and Mary-Kate Olsen; and the crime thriller Transsiberian, as a mysterious traveler opposite Woody Harrelson. He also starred in50 Dead Men, a thriller set against the dangerous backdrop of 1980s Ireland, and the more lighthearted crime comedy War, Inc. opposite John Cusack.
Steeped in British theater, Kingsley marked the beginning of his professional acting career with his acceptance by the Royal Shakespeare Company in l967. From roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, Brutus in Julius Caesar and the title roles in Othello and Hamlet, among others, his more recent and diverse stage roles include those in The Country Wife, The Cherry Orchard, A Betrothal and Waiting for Godot.
Kingsley's film career began in l972 with the thriller Fear Is the Key, but his first major role came a decade later in the epic Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough. He followed this Oscar®-winning performance with such early films as Betrayal, Turtle Diary, Harem, Pascali's Island, Without a Clue (as Dr. Watson to Michael Caine's Sherlock Holmes) and The Children opposite Kim Novak. During the ‘90s Kingsley distinguished himself through such roles as Mayer Lansky in Bugsy, Sneakers, Searching for Bobby Fischer and Dave. In 1994 he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for his memorable supporting role as Itzhak Stern in Steven Spielberg's seven-time Oscar® winner, Schindler's List.
During the past decade, Ben Kingsley has remained a coveted and ubiquitous talent. Beginning with such films as Rules of Engagement, What Planet Are You From? and an Oscar®-nominated role as a brutal gangster in Sexy Beast, he received his most recent Oscar® nomination in 2004for his performanceas a proud Iranian emigrant in the highly acclaimed House of Sand and Fog. Among his films in the last several years are Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist, the crime drama Lucky Number Slevin, John Dahl's You Kill Me and the Roman Empire saga The Last Legion.
JASON MANTZOUKAS (Nadal) recently began production on the second season of Enlightened for HBO. He also stars as "Rafi" on FX's The League and has guest-starred on Parks and Recreation, Life and Times of Tim and NTSF.
His feature film credits include Please Give and Baby Mama.
As a writer, Mantzoukas created the pilot Off Duty that starred Bradley Whitford at NBC, and recently developed Ambulance Chasers for FX. He is currently writing an original script as part of the Imagine Writer's Lab and also wrote the most recent draft of Ride Along starring Ice Cube for New Line.
He also wrote and consulted on the last two seasons of Children's Hospital, which airs on Adult Swim, and served as a consultant on Portlandia for IFC.
Last year, Mantzoukas, along with Paul Scheer and June Diane Raphael, created the podcast "How Did This Get Made," which each week discusses and tries to make sense of a notoriously bad film. ITunes named the series as one of their "Best New Comedy Podcasts" of 2011.
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Paramount Pictures