last night on late night

Sacha Baron Cohen Is Campaigning for Maria Bakalova to Win an Oscar

Sacha Baron Cohen Zoomed into last night’s Late Show to chat with Stephen Colbert about his new Borat movie, including one part of the film that went viral but arguably shouldn’t have (the Rudy Giuliani thing) and one thing that should have gone way more viral (Maria Bakalova’s excellent performance as Borat’s daughter, Tutar). Looking back at filming the tense scene between Bakalova and Giuliani, Baron Cohen was asked by Colbert what he thinks of Giuliani’s denial that he did anything inappropriate and said, “My feeling is if he sees that as appropriate, then heaven knows what he’s intended to do with other women in hotel rooms with a glass of whiskey in his hand. I mean, I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone, so I would just say, see it and make your own mind up.” He also pointed out that he was hiding in a wardrobe for the entire scene between Bakalova and Giuliani and that the filming plans were almost ruined thanks to the cell phone he had with him while hiding having only 3 percent battery left. This is the climax of the movie, and no one thought it might be worth charging the phone?! Baron Cohen remembers thinking. “So I managed to keep it on AirPlay mode and occasionally check in.”

Later in the clip, Baron Cohen told Colbert about the long process that resulted in casting Bakalova, who landed the role despite tons of competition. “It’s a tough order because you have to be an incredible improviser; you have to be able to stay in character for many, many hours; you have to be able to play emotional in the reality of the scenes; and you have to be hilarious. So we interviewed 500 different actors, and we eventually found this woman who had just come out of drama school. She was 22 at the time,” he told Colbert. “It’s a really rigorous process, but she was … I mean, if she doesn’t win an Oscar, then I don’t know what the Academy’s for.” Agreed.

Sacha Baron Cohen Wants Maria Bakalova to Win an Oscar