Watch: Sacha Baron Cohen & Maria Bakalova Talk Rudy, Borat & Tutar

Friday October 23, 2020

Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova on "Good Morning America" on Friday
Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova on "Good Morning America" on Friday  (Source:YouTube)

It wasn't hyperbole that "Good Morning America" introduced a segment on "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm" on Friday as "the movie everybody's talking about."

In large part due to a sequence with President Trump's consigliare Rudy Giuliani that has him in a compromising situation in a Manhattan hotel room. Word of the scene went viral earlier in the week to tease the film's release on Amazon Prime Thursday night.

Maria Bakalova and Rudy Giuliani in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

The scene happens between Giuliani and actress Maria Bakalova, who plays Borat's 15-year-old daughter Tutar. The 24-year-old Bulgarian actress is interviewing him for a fake news organization in a New York hotel room, gushing over him as they drink Scotch and talk about eating "bats." (This was in late January when COVID-19 was thought to have its origins in bats being sold at a Wu-han market.)

After a brief interruption by Borat, Bakalova leads Giuliani into the bedroom where he lies down on the bed. In footage that cuts between a close-up view and a second reflected in a circular mirror, Bakalova removes Giuliani's microphone then he appears to loosen his belt and put his hand into his pants.

Maria Bakalova and Rudy Giuliani in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

At this time Borat (dressed in a hot pink bikini) breaks in shouting, "She's 15. She's too old for you," then adding as he leaves the hotel room with Tutar, "Rudy, Trump would be disappoint, you are leaving hotel without golden shower!"

Since then Giuliani has denied any impropriety on his part in a number of tweets and radio interviews, calling it a "hit job" and that Cohen is a "stone-cold liar."

But Cohen says Giuliani knew exactly what he was doing.

"If the president's lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he's done with other female journalists in hotel rooms," Cohen said Friday on "GMA" where he was joined with Bakalova.

"I urge everyone to watch the movie," he said. "It is what it is what it is. He did what he did. Make your own mind up. It was pretty clear to us."

Bakalova was a bit tongue-tied when asked to respond, but reached out to Cohen to thank him saying, "I was sure you were going to save me from everything."

Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

Cohen added that he was concerned during the scene and it was his "responsibility as a producer as well that the lead actress be looked after."

Asked if she was concerned for her safety, Bakalova said, "No. I have always felt with our team... I actually never felt I was in danger. That's why I am lucky that I have them."

"GMA" host questioned Cohen as to how different America was since Borat first came to the US in 2004.

"Well, at that time people were shocked there was an underbelly of hatred and racism. Now it is overt. You hear these words being projected by the President of the most powerful country in the world," he said. "What I wanted to do is to reveal that underneath all the hatred and underneath all the division, we are actually not that far apart... I wanted to show the humanity.

"There were a couple of Q-Anon conspiracy theorists I lived with who actually are good people but have adopted a couple of negative conspiracy theories being propagated by social media and by the Trump presidency," he added.

Sacha Baron Cohen and Maria Bakalova in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

One of the film's most elaborate stunts involved Borat, dressed as Donald Trump and carrying his daughter over his shoulder, crashing the 2020 CPAC convention during a speech by Vice President Mike Pence.

"That was pretty difficult because I woke up at 2 o'clock in the morning and had a world-class prosthetic team turn my face into the president's," he said. "That took about six hours and I was wearing a fat suit and it was quite a large fat suit because of the — I don't how to say it — because of the president's physique.

"And I obviously had to get through of layers of security, including TSA security. And the last thing you want is, I knew the moment they touched the fat suit they would not allow me in. And one of them warned me and there was a 'beep.' And they said, 'What was that?' And I said, 'It's a pacemaker.' I was obviously doing my American accent.

"And they carried on with the wand, and they lowered to the belly, and it beeped again," he said. "And they said, "What is that? Why is it beeping?" And I had no answer. And the TSA officer said, 'hold on. It's the wire for the pacemaker? Right.?' And I was like, 'Yeah,' And he said all right. go through.

"Then I hid the bathroom at CPAC for five hours listening to the ablutions of various conservative men," Cohen said. "And then eventually we did the scene and got escorted out by about 15 security staff including Secret Service and local police. Interestingly enough they never got my identification.

"So if you watching this, Secret Service, I think next time try to insure if someone breaks into a political event with the Vice President and President, be sure to get their ID," the actor said.

Maria Bakalova in "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"

Baklova said that she got the role through an audition process that took her from Bulgaria to London, one in which she and Cohen used "real people" from the first day.

"She means within the scene she auditioned with people who thought I was a real person as Borat and she was really my daughter," Cohen added.

What was "most important," Baklova continued, "was that people should believe in me. That I am real. That Tutar exists and I think Tutar actually exists now."

To which Cohen, interrupting a final question, gushed about his co-star.

"She does exist. Actually Maria has been staying in character since the movie. And actually recently got taken on a tour of the White House about a week before the Superspreader event by people that believed that she is a real journalist. I mean she's an incredible actor," he said. "We viewed 600 young women from all around the world. And she is hilarious. She is one of the most courageous actors in history.

"If she doesn't get nominated for an Oscar, then that's a travesty. She's hilarious, and has the capacity to deliver a scene and make you cry which is what finally got her the part... she is one of a kind," he continued.

"Imagine coming to America for the first time — she's barely been out of Bulgaria — and suddenly she is playing a role with real people in some terrifying situations, and she got through it. I don't know how. But she's a revelation," he said.

"Now you're making me cry," she told Cohen.

Watch the interview:

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