OWNER: Sacha Baron Cohen
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
SIZE: 2,806 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Now that colossally and constantly controversial British born comedian and provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen is playing with the big boys girls in Tinseltown and earns $20,000,000–plus many millions more on the back end–just to make a damn movie, he and his Australian actress wife Isla Fisher have turned into some serious, a-lister style real estate size queens. More on that big buy later.
Since the Baron Cohen clan is decamping for a dee-luxe new compound high in the hills above Laurel Canyon, they're no longer in need of their much more modest current home, also in the hills high above Laurel Canyon. Thanks to the bizzy boys at Celebrity Address Aerial, Your Mama has learned that the sassy and scathing satirist recently put his family house on the market for $2,900,000. The property is also listed for lease with the unnecessarily complicated asking price of $11,995 per month. Lo-ward have mercy Your Mama hates these crazy real estate numbers. Why can't they just call it twelve grand a month? Why go through all the numeric rigmarole that just gives people a damn headache?
Anyhoo, as most of the world is well aware, Mister Cohen's comedic stock in trade involves creating fictional characters who go around the world, talk to strangers, act like a damn fool, and ask probing, provocative, and often tasteless questions until his subject reacts in sometimes funny and often revealing ways. He unquestionably uses stereotypes to poke fun of others, but he arguably does it in the service of exposing barely under the surface bigotry and hatred for Jews, black, homosexuals, and any number of other historically marginalized groups of people. Mister Baron Cohen has his detractors for sure but there also seem to heaps and hordes of folks happy to pay $10 or $13 bucks to watch him mercilessly pillage, plunder, and disembowel the social construct at the expense of folks not in on the joke.
Mister Cohen started up his ladder of fame in the late 1990s when he achieved notoriety as the ignoramus "whigga" poser Ali G, a character that parodied the very real and very strange phenomena of privileged suburban white kids adopting the patois and mannerisms of inner city hip-hop culture. As popular as Ali G was in Britain, the character that put Mister Cohen on the entertainment world's global map is without question the bumbling buffoon Borat Sagdiyev, a dim-witted rube from Kazakhstan whose constant and only schtick is that he says inappropriate things to the unsuspecting. Next up for Mister Cohen was Brüno Gerhard, a flouncy homosexual fashion reporter from Austria who pissed off a just about everyone from the The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades militia group with his excessive narcissism and sexually suggestive questions. Mister Baron Cohen's cinematic modus operandi reminds Your Mama of the old Candid Camera program only with the more high minded aim to use low brow humor to gleefully expose the soft and ugly underbelly of racism, homophobia, religion, taboo, and etc.
Because his three most well known characters are now so easily identified by the public, Mister Baron Cohen has retired them. Next up for Mister Cohen, according to reports, is a goat herder and a deposed foreign dictator who will appear in an as yet unnamed movie scheduled to be released in 2011.
Property records show that Mister and Missus Baron Cohen purchased their mid-century modern-ish house in December 2005 for $2,450,000. Listing information shows the single story house measures 2,806 square feet and includes 3 bedrooms and 2.5 poopers, a count that may or may not include what listing information calls a "detached guest room with steam shower."
The property presents a fairly fortified facade to the street with an electronic gate that slides open to a small motor court, two car garage and front entry. The entry leads to the primary living space which is a gigantic living/family room with hardwood floors, a pitched and beamed wood ceiling, large windows and French doors that open to the back yard, and a massive, extra-wide river rock fireplace with a raised hearth where two table lamps flank the firebox. The room is divided into two distinct areas. A more formal area in front of the massive, extra-wide river rock fireplace contains two indentical sofas covered in a dee-lishusly tactile dusty baby blue fabric that square off over a clean lined and low wooden coffee table. The second less formal area has a seal gray sectional sofa, several poufs and ottomans for overflow guests, and a vintage Vernor Panton capiz shell chandelier...at least we think it's a vintage version but it could be a custom Panton inspired thing.
The dining room, an extension off the living/family room, has high ceilings, lots of windows and French doors with views of the surrounding mountains and canyon, and a large dining room table with 10 chairs over which hang a trio of classic George Nelson saucer-shaped pendant lights. The adjacent kitchen is a gray and white wide-galley style affair that opens on one end to the dining room and a breakfast area at the other where the Baron Cohens have a round Saarinen dining table surrounded by four white Saarinen designed tulip chairs. The winter white kitchen cabinetry has a lovely gloss that our sometimes difficult house gurl Svetlana tells us are probably very easy to clean and the appliances, as expected, are of the high grade stainless steel variety. The children will note that the clever kitchen designer has accommodated the microwave in an under counter cubby so it isn't settin' out looking a hot mess on the counter top. Hanging over the work area in the kitchen is a Cellula chandelier that retails for $2,600 at the mid-century and modern design emporium Design Within Reach, a store that that carries product that are not, in fact, fiscally in reach for most people.
The not particularly large master bathroom has a very high beamed ceilings painted white, a wall of windows with thick white mullions, a low built-in cabinet below the windows painted a gleaming shade of white, white wall to wall carpeting, and a walk in closet with custom built-ins. On the tall wall behind the bed black and white wall covering that looks to Your Mama like a bunch of birch trees without any leaves. It's all very stark, but at the same time it looks like a serene room in which to slumber. The home's clean lined design continues into the Baron Cohen's private pooper where there is a grey tile floor and an extra long vanity fitted with two sinks that have exposed plumbing under the counter and are divided by a large window, half of which is frosted for privacy.
In addition to the lagoon-style free form shaped swimming pool and spa that's surrounded by grey flagstone, the property includes a covered terrace where the Baron-Cohen's have a very expensive and new-fangled picnic table lit by a satellite style chandelier, several decks with very contemporary furniture and hammock, and an outdoor gym with any number of body torture contraptions, free weights and a large mirror. Can someone please explain to Your Mama why people like to watch themselves in the mirror when they're strain to lift weights and do other exercise?
Although no property records confirm a transaction, two of out better sources whispered in our ear that the reason for the move is because Mister and Missus Baron Cohen recently dumped a butt load of money on a huge, a-listers only spread above Laurel Canyon last on the open market with a price tag of $18,900,000.
According to listing information that we dug up courtesy of Babbling Babette, the Mister and Missus Baron Cohen's new compound crib sprawls across several park-like acres and has multiple structures including a mansion sized main house with 7 bedrooms and 10 poopers, plus a guest house pavilion/pool house, detached theater, and caretaker cottage.
listing photos (lease): Sotheby's Int'l Realty Sunset
listing photos (purchase): Sotheby's Int'l Realty Beverly Hills