Maria Bakalova is opening up about that scene with Rudy Giuliani in Borat 2.
Appearing virtually on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Wednesday, the 24-year-old Bulgarian actress admitted that it "was nerve-racking" filming the Sacha Baron Cohen movie's most controversial scene with the former New York City mayor.
In the scene, Bakalova, who plays Borat's daughter Tutar Sagdiyev in the film, poses as a journalist interviewing Giuliani, 76. After their interview, Bakalova invites the politician into a hotel bedroom for a drink, and then tries to take off Giuliani's microphone. Giuliani is then seen leaning back onto a bed and appears to put his hand down the front of his pants. It is unclear if he's adjusting his shirt. (Giuliani has called the clip a "complete fabrication").
"I do have to admit that I prepared myself really hard to know every single detail about his life and be his biggest fan," Bakalova told Ellen DeGeneres of Giuliani, who was former President Donald Trump's personal attorney. "And for me, who isn't an American person, It wasn't about the political situation, it was more about again, how we treat each other."
She continued: "It's not even about how old he is, what is his position, it's about how he treated me. And I'm thinking about, would he have behaved the same way if I was a man journalist, would he have been coming with me to the bedroom, or drinking or laughing this way. I don't know, those kind of questions."
Bakalova also spoke to DeGeneres about becoming the first Bulgarian actress to receive a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film. She's also garnered Screen Actors Guild and Critic's Choice Award nominations.
"That's probably my biggest gift," she said. "Because of this recognition for the role of Tutar, so many Bulgarians and so many people just in general from Eastern Europe, their hopes are bigger and their dreams are strong that things can happen and things are possible and that's why I am so humbled that it's happening, because that's all we want, to be seen."
When asked by DeGeneres what she thinks the mockumentary film's true message is, Bakalova responded: "equality."
"For me this is the most important message because behind all of the silliness and jokes there are some really strong messages about how we should treat each other with love, respect, kind. Because at the end of the day, we are all equals, we are all human," she explained.
"Your gender should not matter, your ethnicity should not matter, your religion, your race, your sexual orientation, because we are here, we are human," Bakalova added. "We should support each other and love each other more."
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is streaming now on Amazon Prime.
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