‘Borat 2’: How Old Is Maria Bakalova, the Actor Who Plays Borat’s Daughter?

Sacha Baron Cohen’s new comedy movie, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, is a sequel to his 2006 award-winning film, Borat. The film follows the Kazakh journalist and his 15-year-old daughter Tutar to pursue their new mission in America. Maria Bakalova plays Borat’s daughter in the new movie, but how old is she in real life?

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

‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ star Maria Bakalova is much older than she looks

Maria Bakalova might play an innocent 15-year-old girl in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, but in reality, she’s much older. The Bulgarian actor is 24, and she’s been acting since 2015. Bakalova starred in a handful of film and TV projects in the last five years, including the Italian series Gomorrah and the Bulgarian film, Transgression

According to her IMDB bio, Bakalova is a well-trained performer.  She majored in acting for drama theater and minored in flute at the National School of Arts in Burgas. Bakalova then graduated from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia in 2019. 

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She auditioned for the film with a self-made tape

In an interview with Good Morning America, Bakalova revealed that she sent in her audition tape hoping for the best. She was then invited to audition in London, where she had to prove that she could pull off Cohen’s brand of comedy. 

“We started with self-tape,” Bakalova said. “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.”

In the same interview, Cohen suggested that the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm casting directors auditioned over 600 women for the role of Tutar Sagdiyev. But he noted that Bakalova’s bold and fearless performance is what made her stand out.

“She’s hilarious, she’s one of the most courageous actors in history,” Cohen said on GMA. “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.”

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One of her ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ scenes landed her in the spotlight

Just before Borat Subsequent Moviefilm was released, a scene featuring Bakalova made international headlines. Along with Cohen’s team, Bakalova duped former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani into meeting her for an interview. 

In the movie, an unwitting Giuliani goes to Bakalova’s hotel room, where she takes off his microphone. He touches her back and then lays down on the bed, slowly reaching his hand in his pants. Cohen then rushes into the room in lingerie, sending Giuliani into a panic.

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In a tweet, the Trump attorney denied doing anything wrong and claimed he was just fixing his shirt. “The Borat video is a complete fabrication,” Giuliani wrote.

“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment,” he added. “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 — This is an effort to blunt my relentless exposure of the criminality and depravity of Joe Biden and his entire family.”

When talking to GMA, Cohen revealed that he closely monitored the Giuliani scene with producers to make sure it didn’t go too far. Bakalova doubled down on his comment and said she truly appreciated how far the crew went to ensure her safety.  

In a recent post, the Borat Twitter account shared unaired footage of Bakalova, infiltrating the White House with OAN. In the clip, the Bulgarian actor meets Donald Trump Jr. in disguise. 

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video.