Meet Borat’s Daughter, Maria Bakalova — The Woman At The Center Of The Giuliani Scandal

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Studios.
If you had told me a few years ago that Borat and his fictional daughter would infiltrate the U.S. government and ignite some pretty weird scandals right in time for the presidential election, I would've probably laughed in your face. But jagshemash, it's 2020, so...makes total sense.
In Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the follow-up to the hit 2006 comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Sacha Baron Cohen's Kazakh journalist character causes some major mayhem, including successfully pranking Mike Pence and Rudy Giuliani — but this time, he isn't working alone. He's joined by his 15-year-old daughter, Tutar, played by 24-year-old actress Maria Bakalova.
Advertisement
In Borat 2, Tutar becomes the perfect sidekick for Borat, helping him get into events adding a whole other level of wild to his antics. In one scene, Borat tries to offer his daughter as a ceremonial gift to Vice President Mike Pence; in another, she pleads to an anti-abortion pastor to "take her baby out." And then there's the pièce de résistance, in which she poses as a flirty journalist interviewing Rudy Giuliani and he ultimately nearly exposes himself to her. (He denies that was the case, but the footage is pretty sus.)
There are few people who can match Cohen's flair for the hilariously uncomfortable, but Bakalova, despite being a relative newcomer, seems to keep up. According to IMDB, she was born in Burgas, Bulgaria in 1996 and has been acting since she was six-years-old. She studied at the National School of Arts in Burgas where she majored in acting for drama theater, and later attended the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts in Sofia. She's appeared in a few Bulgarian films, including 2018’s Transgression and 2020’s Last Call. In the closing credits of Borat 2, Bakalova is "introduced" and billed right under Cohen.
Bakalova has flown completely under the radar thus far — when the film was first announced, the character of Tutar was called "Borat's sidekick" and in press materials and was said to be played by an actress named Irina Novak. She hasn't responded to any of the Giuliani news or given any interviews yet.
The fact that this woman — who was virtually unknown until this week — is now at the center of a major political back-and-forth (Guliani now maintains that this prank was “a hit job” in response to his recent allegations against Hunter Biden) might make her officially one of the bravest women alive. Or, as Borat says, wawaweewa very nice!
Borat 2 premieres on Amazon Prime on October 23.

More from Movies

R29 Original Series