Former CIA Chief of Disguise Breaks Down 30 Spy Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED

  • Published on May 8, 2019
  • Jonna Mendez, former CIA Chief of Disguise, takes a look at spy scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are.

    To learn more, check out Jonna and Tony Mendez's new book "The Moscow Rules" out now:

    The International Spy Museum located in Washington, D.C. is a 501c3 nonprofit with a mission to educate the public about the history and impact of espionage and intelligence. The Museum features the largest collection of international espionage artifacts ever placed on public display.
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    Former CIA Chief of Disguise Breaks Down 30 Spy Scenes From Film & TV | WIRED
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Comments • 4 668

  • Jackson Redstar Videography

    she should comment on how Hillary's double disguise was after her "fainting' incident in NYC! in fact, she should do a whole segment pointing out Hillary's doubles!

  • Joelle Nealy
    Joelle Nealy Day ago

    I could seriously watch her all day.

  • Salz Berry
    Salz Berry Day ago

    Anyone sees the guy at 20:06 she said was poorly disguised? Cause I don’t 🥴

  • Opiti-Cule Prime-Tangelient-[Atlas]

    Olivia Elizabeth Munn army navy treason mutiny sacrilege unfiedel baby murdering

  • ZmoPaR
    ZmoPaR Day ago

    She is fascinating..Not sure how I ended up watching that, but watch it I did.

  • Capra Ibex
    Capra Ibex Day ago

    I want more videos with her!!!

  • The Aura Tree
    The Aura Tree Day ago

    Awesome lady.

  • D'Hotness McAwesome

    So, just me or does "Former CIA Chief of Disguise" not sound exactly like that kid in 4th grade says his dad is when he tells you why his dad can beat up your dad?

    Not just me then. Cool.

  • charliefasurf1000

    CIA has used priests as spies in Eastern Europe for decades. What a load of bs ;)

  • Matheus
    Matheus Day ago

    27:20 so, does anyone knows what she is mentionning there? Asking for a friend who can't handle alcohol that whell

  • David Perez
    David Perez Day ago

    "same blue"

  • CrucifyRobinHood

    I was a professional shoplifter. You guys missed a dilly when I slipped by you. I would hit major hardware outlets for thousands at a whack so often the contractor desk knew my "name" and would help me to my truck with my "purchases" everytime because they knew I was in a hurry, being a busy professional. Thirty days per county, every major hardware outlet in every county on the west coast, for seven years. It was my ex who finally figured things out. When she demanded I go shoplift beer for her I quietly slipped away and started an "Honest Job". It doesn't matter how skilled you are if you don't know when to bail.

  • Kenneth Cabauatan

    Nice denial there, Ex-Chief of Disguise. Historically, the Vatican has a clandestine group of Friar-Spies.

  • John Malley
    John Malley Day ago

    anybody else remember when Wired was actually kinda good?

  • Eric Rhodes
    Eric Rhodes Day ago

    Diversity hire

  • John Malley
    John Malley Day ago

    don't need an expert to tell me crappy tv shows and movies are unrealistic.

  • Michaela Wendt
    Michaela Wendt Day ago

    This was extremely interesting but I could not finish the video because of the annoying audio you keep putting in while Jonna speaks.

  • jekanyika
    jekanyika Day ago +1

    "Spies in the skies"

  • Jan 2
    Jan 2 Day ago

    Or just use /disguise

  • Samo Ketiš
    Samo Ketiš Day ago

    mole on the wrong side of the face

  • Louis Jones
    Louis Jones Day ago

    "We can arrange... anything."
    Quote of the video.

  • Willmanis1
    Willmanis1 Day ago

    I realize in some of the situations, the pauses are necessary to reference what she's talking about, but most of the time they feel very unnatural. You could easily have her actual reaction to what she's seeing and the flow would be maintained and it wouldn't feel alien.

  • Darin W
    Darin W Day ago

    It'd be great to get intoxicated with this woman...if she wasn't 1)Undoubtedly more keen/ intelligent then I. Or 2) A career spy

  • Andrea Smirle
    Andrea Smirle Day ago

    she is amazing - calm, sweet, smart... and terrifying! please just have her tell stories, so into it

  • Ivory Oasis
    Ivory Oasis Day ago

    Remember when the CIA helped to stage the chemical weapons attack in Syria? That was revealed recently to be staged? Lolz, ohhh CIA, you scamps, silly willies, keep fooling people with all your tricksy wicksies.

  • Gabriel Gutt
    Gabriel Gutt Day ago

    "There are ways not to get drunk", I need that

  • Manatee Man
    Manatee Man Day ago

    Oh, she is fun! Mendez is perfect for these. Her mix of expertise, wry humor, and brevity is incredibly entertaining. If you get the opportunity to have her on again, please do!

  • banrions
    banrions Day ago

    yesss my best girl sydney bristow getting compliments

  • Mike
    Mike Day ago

    you want to be forgettable but alias is okay ?

  • James Champion
    James Champion Day ago

    Miss direction is the CIA bread & butter, they lie for living so do you actually believe anything that comes out her mouth. If all of this was true would the CIA want us to believe it, that be a NO!!!

  • Jessica Gore
    Jessica Gore Day ago

    I wish this lady was my grandma

  • Samantha B
    Samantha B Day ago

    Jonna and her husband Tony seem like one of the coolest couples ever!

    Imagine their offspring! And their families who may know about their job!

  • Dany V
    Dany V Day ago

    Spoiler Alert: If u were waiting for Jason Bourne for the entire video, sorry, u will waste 27 minutes of your life. U r welcome

  • Christopher Genee

    What about team America world police?

  • Ada Ode
    Ada Ode Day ago

    Noo, the editing is so annoying 🙈

  • Cheyruz
    Cheyruz Day ago +2

    When she said "but we can arrange... anything" I got a bit of a shiver down my spine
    Edit: "What if I said we have it?" got a similar vibe.

  • sleepup7931
    sleepup7931 Day ago

    4:00 lol she trying to say they don't dress as reporters/religious or peace corp , they do it all the time

  • Gema Firdaus Putra
    Gema Firdaus Putra Day ago +2

    According to what she said at 3:10 "You wanted to be forgettable.." Dayum, I AM already a master of disguise..

  • Agent_Ash
    Agent_Ash Day ago

    I was kinda excited to watch this, but a minute into the video I realized it was edited by the same person who edited the video about hackers.
    It's terrible.
    Terrible, terrible, terrible.

    Cutting into people's speech with other videos is not funny, not interesting and it's an awful editing practice. Never EVER do this. And I hope you're gonna re-edit and reupload this one, because I'd actually like to watch that.

  • ballnutz
    ballnutz Day ago +2


  • ballnutz
    ballnutz Day ago +2

    dont believe her folks. the media has been used often. it has come to light since 2016. they may not actually pose as media but they LEAK LIES like a motherflubber.

  • Dave Bertoletti
    Dave Bertoletti Day ago

    I love these videos, she's incredibly experienced and gives precious and interesting insights on the real deal of undercover operations. Very, very interesting and well conducted.

  • L J
    L J 2 days ago

    This lady is about to come down with a fatal case of depression.

  • SushiLeader
    SushiLeader 2 days ago

    Amazing content, editing nearly ruined the entire video though

  • Mateusz Kaczmarczyk
    Mateusz Kaczmarczyk 2 days ago +3


  • demetria alika
    demetria alika 2 days ago

    finally something that is not james charles or tati related

  • PGTMR2
    PGTMR2 2 days ago

    Wouldn't pretend to be media you say... interesting.

  • Rodrigo Forense
    Rodrigo Forense 2 days ago

    Priest are "too vulnerable"?


  • torkamarinum
    torkamarinum 2 days ago

    Omg, she's hardcore!

  • Ceilvia C
    Ceilvia C 2 days ago +1

    Wait what? Europeans starts counting with their thumb??? Mind Blown

  • Summer Raine
    Summer Raine 2 days ago +4

    Ok can I get an RIP for the secret agent who died before betraying his country and giving them the satisfaction of torturing them? 🖤👏🏻👆🏻

    • Nica
      Nica Day ago


  • The Dragon Reborn
    The Dragon Reborn 2 days ago

    Wear Hi-Vis and you can get anywhere and steal anything.

  • Rebecca Greenwood
    Rebecca Greenwood 2 days ago

    The editing was annoying

  • Randy Swellburg
    Randy Swellburg 2 days ago

    This woman would make her point much better if a the end, she pulled off her mask and was a man.

  • CallMeKes
    CallMeKes 2 days ago

    I can't find the previous video she was in.

  • Dallas
    Dallas 2 days ago

    This is so interesting, too many edits though. Why do the characters need to be responding to her?

  • Habitt5253
    Habitt5253 2 days ago

    I wonder how much of what she said is actual misinformation and how much was true?

  • TheNatural
    TheNatural 2 days ago

    No CIA in the media lmfao

  • CJ Schmitt
    CJ Schmitt 2 days ago

    Plot twist...that's not even Jonna Mendez...

  • Arielle Macuch
    Arielle Macuch 2 days ago

    "Poor Lois." LOL

  • ChrisTripp
    ChrisTripp 2 days ago

    Where is the other video? I need more CIA stories.

  • iggy iggy
    iggy iggy 2 days ago +1

    laughable she thinks the CIA knows every under cover operation that goes on. they dont use the media what bollocks what about argo .if you hear a gun shot do you doubt it because you cannot see it

  • Undead!
    Undead! 2 days ago

    I wanna be this lady when i grow up

  • chadgrov
    chadgrov 2 days ago

    This broad is no nonsense

  • PhrontDoor
    PhrontDoor 2 days ago

    She should have reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.. clearly they are disguise experts.. nobody recognize them, even as they are the ONLY walking, talking, human-sized sentient turtles -- and only because they wear eye-masks!

  • Frank Gallo
    Frank Gallo 2 days ago

    please have Mrs Mendez do a story series. or an AMA. ummm reddit?

  • Randy
    Randy 2 days ago

    RIP Tony Mendez :-( This must've been filmed before January.

  • Kenyah McIntosh-Brown

    Imagine being half as cool as her

  • Aragon 78
    Aragon 78 2 days ago

    Her husband passed away earlier this year. You could see the pain on her face.

  • William Olesen
    William Olesen 2 days ago

    Having her comment on Supermans disguise was kind of dumb, because Superman wears Kryptonian Plexiglasses that help him control his lazer eyes, but also semi-hypnotize people into forgetting he looks like Superman. She probably didn't know.

  • ratty potter
    ratty potter 2 days ago

    and there are no better alias names then supernatural james and dean, agents spears and agent aguilera lol

  • raresx01
    raresx01 2 days ago

    plot twist: She's wearing a disguise rn and in every picture the internet has of her ;)

  • ratty potter
    ratty potter 2 days ago

    the best face mask belongs to the movie TEAM AMERICA , look for the following phrase in youtube " team america valmorification "

  • Cookies_Zoe
    Cookies_Zoe 2 days ago +1

    When she said ben affleck plays her husband i was like, ahh a fan girl, but no its her actual husband holy crap this woman is amazing

  • mydogdeli
    mydogdeli 2 days ago

    This was really good...EXCEPT that Argo was utter BS. It was an entirely Canadian operation to rescue the six stranded US embassy personnel; the CIA were merely kept informed of its progress. Ben Affleck's movie was a travesty of the facts. This woman would have known that, and should've said so.

  • Sascha Röber
    Sascha Röber 2 days ago

    "Priest are too vulnerable." Bwahahahahaha!!! They're the child molestors. Give me a f*ckin´ break, lady!

  • No One
    No One 2 days ago +1


  • grumpybill
    grumpybill 2 days ago +2

    The body language changed at "...we don't use media..."
    She's got the religious and peace corps line down though.

  • _Gaszy _
    _Gaszy _ 2 days ago +2

    21:22 haha he said my nam jeff
    that be a bruh moment roflmao

  • I
    I 2 days ago

    Thank you for sharing with us your knowledge. Allah Wakbar 🧕🏾🕌💣💥🧔🏿🐪

  • The Art of Flying
    The Art of Flying 2 days ago +34

    Me: OMG Argo... I wonder if she’s seen it...
    Me: She’s CIA and it’s Argo, of course she’s seen it...
    Her: Baffleck actually played my husband...
    Me: 🤯🤯🤯

  • Wasoncubot P11
    Wasoncubot P11 2 days ago

    Deberia estar testificando en tribunales internacionales

  • Angelica Sam
    Angelica Sam 2 days ago +2

    she is so fun!!!

  • John Evans
    John Evans 2 days ago

    whoa whoa my man Jason Bourne is above the CIA and doesnt exist ergo he gets the goods

  • Wrathlon
    Wrathlon 2 days ago

    I actually like how many movies got it right, thats pretty cool.

  • Squeaky Hammer
    Squeaky Hammer 2 days ago

    my favorite spy movie is the ipcress file. to bad wasn't included.

  • Nauzet 1387
    Nauzet 1387 2 days ago


  • Anton de Waal
    Anton de Waal 2 days ago

    Ugh, "most of our agents wouldn't be caught dead in a a black catsuit". So CIA agents profiles are always boring and mundane whether disguised or not. Good to know.

  • ninetiesgirl
    ninetiesgirl 2 days ago

    Keep hoping in one video she reveals her true identity and snatches her wig and peels her mask off.

  • Kevin Puls
    Kevin Puls 2 days ago

    By Germans, you mean,... East Germans. BE SPECIFIC!!!

  • William Smith
    William Smith 2 days ago

    It seems to me that some of the things she is saying about how the CIA does things, and what they do and don't do with disguises would be classified. Particularly the thing about not pretending to be priests, journalists, or peace corps volunteers -- it true, that's pretty sensitive information.

  • KattenJonsson
    KattenJonsson 2 days ago

    The editing of this video is awful. Other than that the content was interesting.

  • Robert R
    Robert R 2 days ago

    I'd love to see her analyse The Recruit.

  • zak ellefson
    zak ellefson 2 days ago

    There's no such thing as "Former CIA".

  • iblandandra
    iblandandra 2 days ago

    I don't agree with the counting. I'm European (Swedish) and yes, I would count starting with my thumb, but if I would show a number on my fingers I would show three as he did. Not until five would I would use my thumb. Four would be all fingers except the thumb, two would be index finger and middle finger... Maybe he gave himself away in another way, but I would not react if someone did that.

  • Awol_01010001
    Awol_01010001 2 days ago

    did she just say Priests are vulnerable with no one to protect them ?? Bwhahahahhaahahahaahah

  • Мила Больсунова

    Typically Russian thing. You wish! First of all, Dominicas in Russia are as often as oranges in, say, to grow in Northen Canada. The stupidity of the movie, and the book, playing on the most common low American stereotypes is almost endearing.We too here like to watch things done wrong.

  • Scottie Aubrey
    Scottie Aubrey 2 days ago

    This is the real tea

  • P4tchimus
    P4tchimus 2 days ago

    Just a small point. The induction loop earpiece was not invented by the CIA. It was invented by Poliakoff in GB pre-WWII. It also isn't necessarily 'hands-free', because the issue is that the person can't hear what is being said so presses the earpiece into the ear more. Inductive loop earpieces do not do anything to mitigate that. The solution is to move to a quieter area or turn the volume up on your radio. Furthermore, it appears that the character is using one of those anyway. As you can see at 7:08 there is no tube to his ear.
    Inductive loops are used in a variety of ways, primarily by close protection but also just by people with poor hearing (for their hearing aids), and anyone that wants a more covert-type earpiece. There's also a similar system used on submarines, some boats and even in museums/art galleries (for tours) where the 'loop' is built into the building/vehicle.

  • PewDiePie Fan
    PewDiePie Fan 2 days ago

    Harness on body with induction loop around your neck and a receiver in your ear (aka microheadphone that is magnetic and you just drop it in your ear right on the eardrum) - thats how I passed exams in 9th grade. Im not joking.