Borat Sequel's Maria Bakalova Speaks Out on Infamous Scene with Rudy GiulianiNovember 12, 2020
Maria Bakalova — who appeared in the recent Borat sequel with Sacha Baron Cohen and was in a now-infamous scene featuring Rudy Giuliani — is opening up about the experience.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Bakalova, 24, said that she wasn't very familiar with Giuliani before doing the film and had only heard of him because he was the mayor of New York City on 9/11.
"But I’m not American, I don’t get into American politics," she said. "I don’t think I’m that informed with the situation in America and its political system. Sacha has been living here for a long time. I trust him."
Bakalova plays Borat's teenage daughter Tutar Sagdiyev in the movie, and in the scene involving Giuliani poses as a journalist. After their interview, she invites the former politician up to a hotel room for a drink and tries to take his microphone off.
Then, Giuliani leans back onto a bed and appears to put his hand down the front of his pants. Giuliani has denied he was doing anything inappropriate in the shot. It is unclear if he's adjusting his shirt, as he claimed on Twitter after photos of the scene circulated online shortly before the movie's release last month.
Bakalova admitted that she was "nervous" to film the scene, and told the Times, "My heart was racing."
"But Sacha was like, you should be nervous in this situation. So use your nerves. Convert them and accept them and they’re going to help you through everything," she said. The Bulgarian actress added, "I was confident that Sacha will save me and he will save the scene, so it’s not going to be a disaster. He’s my guardian angel."
In the scene, Cohen eventually runs into the hotel room as a costumed Borat, saying, "She’s 15. She’s too old for you."
Bakalova didn't give an outright answer when asked what exactly Giuliani was doing.
"I saw everything that you saw. If you saw the movie, that’s our message. We want everybody to see the movie and judge for themselves," she said, adding that Cohen arrived in the scene "just in time."
"Sacha jumped into the room quickly, because he’s been worried about me," she said. "So, if he were late, I don’t know how things were going to go. But he came just in time."
As for whether or not Giuliani was aware of her character's age, Bakalova said that she didn't know.
"I’m not the person who is actually booking these people, so when we get to the scene, I’m just doing the scene, without introducing myself," she told the Times. "I’m not sure what he knows or does not know."
"The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment," Giuliani previously wrote on Twitter of the scene. "At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar."
Bakalova added to the Times that she doesn't feel bad tricking the subjects of Borat, including Giuliani.
"Movies like this are showing people’s true colors," she said. "It’s going to show Rudy’s real character. You’re responsible for your own decisions. So, no, I don’t feel bad."
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