Actor Sacha Baron Cohen is set to star in Netflix’s six-episode true-story miniseries The Spy. In a surprising dramatic swerve, he headlines as Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who lived in Damascus undercover in the 1960s.
According to Deadline, the project was written and directed by Gideon Raff, who made Prisoners of War, the Israeli series Showtime adapted into Homeland. The Spy illustrates the story of Eli Cohen, who embedded himself in Syrian society in the '60s in order to collect information on their politics. After he was discovered by the Syrian regime, the country sentenced him to death and hanged him publicly in Damascus square in 1965. The real-life Cohen is considered an Israeli national hero.
Baron Cohen’s role dovetails with a philanthropic interest in Syria. He and wife Isla Fisher donated to several organizations to aid Syrians during the country's ongoing war, including $1 million in 2015 to help 230,000 refugees receive vaccinations.
Baron Cohen was the creator and star of Da Ali G Show. His characters spawned three movies, including his most well-known blockbuster hit Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and is a very jarring disposition with everything we've been talking about.
Baron Cohen also acted in Les Misérables, Hugo, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and the Madagascar franchise. He currently appears in Seth Rogen’s Hilarity for Charity, which began streaming on Netflix April 6.
The Spy will debut globally on Netflix, and on OCS in France on a date that hasn't been set yet.