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Borat 2 has succeeded in a big way, and one of the reasons for this is definitely Maria Bakalova’s scene-stealing performance as Borat’s daughter, Tutar. The up-and-coming actress is gaining a lot of buzz, with some even arguing that she could pick up an Academy Award nomination for her performance. It was already clear that Balova fully committed to her role, but the actress drove this point home even further when she explained her somewhat “gross” preparation for the movie.
When Tutar is first introduced in Borat 2, she’s shown to be unkempt due to her neglectful upbringing. One of the key aspects of this is the amount of hair she has, and Maria Bakalova recently revealed that she actually grew out her real body hair ahead of filming. While she couldn’t do so with her facial hair, this was definitely the case when it came to her legs and armpits, and it made for an experience that wasn’t too pleasant:
It’s something like hypnosis. You’re just going for it. We actually decided that I would grow out my real body hair. L.A.’s hot almost all the time. Every time I’m supposed to wear a dress or a top, you were able to see my armpit hair and leg hair. It was kind of gross. My facial hair never grows. I tried my best. But my eyebrows are never growing out. The facial part is because of my makeup artist, Katy Fray, but everything else is completely natural. It was so interesting when I finally shaved — I was able to feel the wind on my arms and my legs.
If Maria Bakalova’s recent comments to The New York Times don’t prove her commitment to her role in Borat 2, then I don’t know what will. One can only imagine just how much of a relief it must’ve been for her to finally shave again. Regardless, her dedication to making things as authentic as possible is appreciated and only added to the shabby look both she and Sacha Baron Cohen were going for with Tutar.
Both Maria Bakalova and Sacha Baron Cohen seemed to have bonded quite a bit while making Borat 2. With Bakalova being relatively new to the industry (and this kind of comedic filmmaking), Baron Cohen was more than willing to show her the ropes. This included showing her a smart trick to keep herself from breaking during scenes.
Bakalova did a masterful job of keeping her composure during some of the film’s most outrageous scenes, and this was especially true of the highly controversial scene that involved Rudy Giuliani. Sacha Baron Cohen explained that he was concerned for Bakalova when they were shooting the scene, but he made sure he wasn’t too far away when they were shooting the moment.
After watching her performance and hearing about how she prepared to play Tutar, I think Maria Bakalova, at the very least, deserves an Oscar nod for her work. It’s not often you get a performance as unique as this one, especially from a relatively new actor. Hopefully, she’s able to land a few honors during awards season.
Borat 2 – or Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – is now available to stream on Amazon Prime.