‘Borat 2’ Star Maria Bakalova: Behind the Scenes of the Year’s Most Surprising Breakthrough Performance

‘Borat 2’ Star Maria Bakalova: Behind the Scenes of the Year’s Most Surprising Breakthrough Performance
In 2018, Maria Bakalova had one more year of drama school at the National Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, when she went on vacation to Denmark. Her plan was to stake out the offices of Zentropa, the production company co-founded by Lars von Trier, to work with the directors whose Dogme ’95 projects inspired her.

“I said, ‘That’s it, I’m moving to Denmark, and I’m going to do my best work there,” Bakalova said in an interview via Zoom.

A few months later, at the age of 22, she was cast in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” as the fake Kazakh journalist Borat’s daughter, Tutar. She moved to L.A., and her career went in a very different direction.

Bakalova not only holds her own opposite prank artist extraordinaire Sacha Baron Cohen; she also injects his incisive satire with a surprising emotional arc. The role was a crash-course on Baron Cohen’s
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