Sacha Baron Cohen as Eli Cohen, in Netflix's 'The Spy' by the Forward

Here’s The First Look At Sacha Baron Cohen As Israeli Spy Eli Cohen

To paraphrase Rihanna — “Must be Mossad on the brain!”

Chris Weitz dramatized the Mossad’s 1960 capture of Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann in “Operation Finale,” just last August.

Chris Evans brought us the Mossad’s 80s-era Ethiopian escape gambit in “The Red Sea Diving Resort” last month.

And this month theatergoers enjoyed — sort of — seeing Diane Kruger and Martin Freeman play Mossad agents in “The Operative.”

As far as the Schmooze is concerned, this has all been a warmup — a bootcamp, a psychological training center, if you will, for the main event: Sacha Baron Cohen as Mossad legend Eli Cohen in “The Spy.”

Netflix dropped the trailer on Wednesday for the limited series, starring the “Borat” and “Who Is America” actor in a rare dramatic role. The six-episode series will stream on Netflix on September 6, given you plenty of time to plan a viewing party with friends from both If Not Now and AIPAC. “The Spy” will follow Cohen during the years he spent undercover in Syria gathering intelligence for Israel, under the assumed identity of a rich playboy.

“The Spy” is written and directed by Gideon Raff, the creator of the hit Israeli show “Prisoners of War,” upon which the American TV hit “Homeland” is based, as well as the man behind “The Red Sea Diving Resort,” a mission that had significantly less of a payoff. We’re rooting for this one — without giving too much away, Cohen’s adventures contain themes that still feel immediate — Jewish ethnic ambiguity, war in Syria, Russian interference, and doom.

Don’t mess this one up, Netflix.

Jenny Singer is the deputy life/features editor for the Forward. You can reach her at or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


First Look: Sacha Baron Cohen As Israeli Spy Eli Cohen

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