Bully. Coward. Victim: The Story of Roy Cohn is directed by Ivy Meeropol, which is notable considering her grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were prosecuted by Cohn in the early ‘50s and sentenced to death based on his fierce recommendation. In this new HBO documentary about the infamous, notoriously cruel lawyer, Meeropol grapples not only with his history as a key proponent of McCarthyism, but also his queasy legacy in modern politics and conflicted sexuality.
John Waters, Alan Dershowitz, and Nathan Lane each appear in the below trailer, which also includes an interview with Tony Kushner, the Angels In America playwright who won a Pulitzer in part due to the play’s complex depiction of Cohn. Al Pacino portrayed him in HBO’s excellent 2003 adaptation of the play.
Per the trailer, the documentary will also explore Cohn’s mentorship of a young Donald Trump, who’s proven time and again as president just how much he’s internalized Cohn’s own refusal to ever apologize or admit fault. A 2018 piece in the New York Times reports that Trump, in a fit of frustration, asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?,” a quote that will no doubt haunt one’s viewing of Bully. Coward. Victim.
Check out the trailer below.
Bully. Coward. Victim: The Story of Roy Cohn premieres on HBO on June 19.