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Maria Bakalova plays Borat’s 15-year-old daughter, Tutar, in Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest comedy movie,  Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The actor recently opened up about her infamous hotel room scene with Rudy Giuliani and admitted there was one point in filming when she started feeling “scared.”

Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm dance
Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova | Amazon Studios

Maria Bakalova is a Bulgarian actor  

Maria Bakalova portrays a 15-year-old girl from Kazakhstan in Borat 2. But the 24-year-old is an accomplished actor from Bulgaria. She has appeared in several foreign projects, including the Bulgarian film Transgression. In an interview with Good Morning America, Bakalova and her producer/co-star, Sacha Baron Cohen, revealed she was chosen via audition tape from a pool of 600 actors. 

“We started with a self-tape,” Bakalova shared. “It was an open call. I sent another one, and then I went to London, England a few times and we even started with real people in the first audition. It was crazy. The most important part was that people would believe in me — that I’m real.”

“She’s hilarious, she’s one of the most courageous actors in history,” Cohen added. “If she doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar, that’s a travesty. And she has the capacity to deliver a scene and make you cry, which is what finally got her the part.”

Her scene with Rudy Giuliani made headlines

Borat 2 features a scene in which Bakalova meets former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani under the guise of an interview about President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 

During the interview, Bakalova suggests they take a break, and then leads an unwitting Giuliani into her hotel room. While she helps him take off his microphone, the Trump attorney places his hand on the arch of her back. But just as he lays down on the bed and begins reaching into his pants, Cohen bursts into the room in women’s lingerie.

In a tweet following the movie’s release, Giuliani called the scene a fabrication and insisted he was just tucking in his shirt.  “At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he wrote. “If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar.”

Maria Bakalova was ‘scared’ at one point

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Bakalova revealed how nervous she was going into the hotel room with Giuliani. But knowing Cohen and the production team were standing by, Bakalova said she knew that she’d be safe. 

“Sacha, he’s my non biological father, and he will be like that forever,” she explained.  So I trusted him from the beginning, and I knew he would never put me in a dangerous situation. At the same time, we had a security team that was able to save us in a moment.”


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But Bakalova did feel some fear that day. She said that Giuliani called the police as soon as he realized what was going on. And along with Cohen and his team, she had to run out of the hotel before the cops arrived. 

“The scene when we were at the hotel, and Rudy Giuliani called the police, I was kind of scared that something would happen,” Bakalova revealed. “But fortunately, we escaped.”

Borat 2, also known as Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

[Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated that Bakalova had a role in the Italian series Gomorrah.]