The woman who played Borat’s daughter is giving her take on that icky scene she filmed with Rudy Giuliani!
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm star Maria Bakalova opened up about what really went down during the now infamous scene with the former New York mayor, telling The New York Times that filming the unscripted tête-à-tête had her heart “racing.”
For those who haven’t seen the shocking sequel, Bakalova plays Borat’s (Sacha Baron Cohen) 15-year-old daughter, Tutar, who ends up interviewing Rudy alone in a hotel room, where he seemingly puts his hands inside his pants before Borat comes to the rescue.
Reflecting on the headline-making moment, the 24-year-old Bulgarian actress said:
“Sacha jumped into the room quickly, because he’s been worried about me. 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 the comedian actually interrupting anything is not entirely clear. Since the film’s premiere, Giuliani insisted he was leaning back on the hotel bed to tuck in his shirt after Tutar removed his microphone. He tweeted:
“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.”
But, of course, those who have seen the film say otherwise. But with editing, it’s certainly possible they just made him look worse.
…of course they didn’t make him go into a hotel room alone with a very young-looking woman after the interview.
So what does the other person in the room think? Was he trying to start something inappropriate with her? When asked about her take on what was going down (or up…), the actress said:
“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.”
Hmm… very vague.
When pressed on whether she thought the politician believed Tutar to be 15, Bakalova said she’s “not sure what he knows or does not know” before filming took place because she wasn’t present when he was booked for the scene.
Even though the breakout star knew of the political figure before meeting him, “because 9/11 is something everybody should know,” it didn’t make the experience any easier for her. She added:
“Yeah. I was nervous. 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.”
It certainly didn’t help that the scene ended with Giuliani calling the police on them!
She recalled of that moment:
“I was kind of scared that something would happen. But fortunately, we escaped.”
Overall, though, Bakalova said she felt safe during filming thanks to Cohen, whom she now calls her “nonbiological father.” She explained:
“We’d been talking a lot about different scenarios. How should I act, this way or this way? What should I do? What is smarter? But in all of the scenarios, 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.”
Unsurprisingly, she doesn’t think quite as highly of Giuliani. When asked if she has remorse over the ex-mayor being widely ridiculed for the prank, Bakalova said:
“Movies like this are showing people’s true colors. It’s going to show Rudy’s real character. You’re responsible for your own decisions. So, no, I don’t feel bad.”
Fair point, Tutar!
The best (and most horrifying) thing about Cohen’s comedy over the past couple decades has been his ability to get people to show what monsters they can be when they think no one is around to judge them for it.