sacha baron cohen

  • Stephen Dorff Screens “Wheeler” at NYFA Los Angeles


    Multi-talented actor, director, and producer Stephen Dorff brought his latest film “Wheeler” to screen for Acting and Filmmaking students at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles. Guest Speaker Series Director Tova Laiter and Associate Chair of Acting Christoher Cass hosted the evening. Dorff had visited the New York campus a few years prior with co-star Emile Hirsch and the Polsky Brothers to screen “The Motel Life.”

    Stephen Dorff at nyfa la

    Dorff has worked on such standout films as “Blade,” “World Trade Center,” “Immortals,” and “Public Enemies” alongside Johnny Depp. As well as such indie darlings as “Somewhere,” “I Shot Andy Warhol,” and “Shadowboxer.” Dorff even had a starring role in the Aerosmith music video “Cryin’.”

    Like Sacha Baron Cohen in “Borat,” Dorff’s character infiltrates the Nashville Country Music scene while most of the people involved in the film had no idea they were in the presence of an actor. Dorff performed live as the “Wheeler” character to great success. Everybody believed he was a new talent with a growing buzz that just came into town and was discovered. All he needed was a bang up job of make up transformation, which was uncomfortable but did the job…

    One of the students asked, “How did you get the idea to make this an homage to country music?”

    stephen dorff

    Dorff responded, “Well, the way it started was really weird. I had four songs that were more folk rock and melodic. My producer finally said, ‘why don’t we try country?’”

    “It made sense. My dad and brother sing country. I’m from Texas. It’s a world I know. I went into the studio to see if I could find a voice. We brought in steel guitar and slide guitar and went to work. One day I found the voice of Wheeler. Now that I’m playing live a lot I feel like my singing voice has gotten a lot better. We’re booking theaters, and then I’m standing in Johnny Cash’s dressing room. It’s weird, but it’s exciting.”

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Mr. Dorff for taking the time to speak with our students. You can find Dorff in “Leatherface,” “Jackals,” and “Music, War and Love” out later this year.


    March 9, 2017 • Acting, Guest Speakers • Views: 5008

  • NYFA Moderates Talk with Sacha Baron Cohen at “The Brothers Grimsby” NY Event


    As a man who has built a career on shocking his audience, Sacha Baron Cohen continues to push the envelope with his new comedy, The Brothers Grimsby. In celebration of his new release, Sony invited New York Film Academy students to a special New York City screening, which was moderated by NYFA Instructor Ben Cohen.

    Adorned in some sort of hipster, cowboy attire, the always hilarious Sacha Baron Cohen took the time to chat and take photos with our students. Before screening the film, Sacha showed us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of the production behind Bruno, which gave insight into the delicate and creative planning that goes into each bit. It’s actually more complicated and dangerous than one would think.

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    NYFA Instructor Ben Cohen with Sacha Baron Cohen

    The Brothers Grimsby, which also stars actors Mark Strong, Isla Fisher, Rebel Wilson and others, revolves around a football hooligan who winds up teaming up with his long lost brother, a top spy, in order to ultimately save the world from a deadly virus outbreak. As expected, the film delivers outrageous moments that would only fly in Cohen’s world, and one can’t help but laugh.

    Following the screening at the Regal Union Square in New York, Ben Cohen opened up a discussion with Sacha Baron Cohen that focused on the character and story development that went into the pre-production of the film. Sacha explained how he sees his rowdy, family-oriented character as a sort of “everyman” thrown into the high-tech world of a spy where the stakes are extremely high.

    sacha baron cohen nyfa hat

    Several NYFA students were given the opportunity to ask questions as Ben opened the discussion up to the sold out Regal theatre. In fact, at one point, the crowd seemed as though they were on a comedy audition of their own as the discussion included a bit of hilarity in itself.

    “I had an amazing night with other NYFA students and also got to meet one of my heroes, Sacha Baron Cohen,” said NYFA student and U.S. veteran, Corporal Michael J. Lynch.

    Sacha Baron Cohen reached a somewhat touching conclusion to the evening by stating, “I know it sounds cheesy, but I had a moment when I heard the crowd going wild and I had this realization that I’m doing this all for the fans.”

    The Brothers Grimsby is now playing in theaters.


    March 10, 2016 • Acting, Filmmaking, Guest Speakers • Views: 6823