It’s the scene where Bakalova goes into a hotel room alone with 76-year-old Rudy Giuliani that has everyone abuzz. Now, she has opened up about the shocking moment, where Tutar and Giuliani meet so she can interview the former New York mayor—and where he appears to stick his hands inside his pants before Borat ambushes them.
“Sacha jumped into the room quickly, because he's been worried about me,” the 24-year-old Bulgarian actress told the New York Times. “So, if he were late, I don't know how things were going to go. But he came just in time.”
When asked what she thought Giuliani was doing in the room—since the two were initially alone—Bakalova replied, “What do you think he was doing?” She continued, “I saw everything that you saw. If you saw the movie, that's our message. We want everybody to see the movie and judge for themselves.”
Since the film came out via Amazon Prime, Giuliani has alleged he was just trying to tuck in his shirt (...while laying down on a bed) after Tutar removed his microphone. “At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” Giuliani tweeted in October. “If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar.”
The Times asked Bakalova if she thought Giuliani believed Tutar to be 15, to which she said she’s “not sure what he knows or does not know” prior to filming since she didn’t book him for the scene. “I was nervous,” she explained. “My heart was racing. But Sacha was like, you should be nervous in this situation. So use your nerves. Convert them and accept them and they're going to help you through everything.”
Giuliani calling the police at the end of the scene was daunting for her. “I was kind of scared that something would happen. But fortunately, we escaped,” she recalled.
She said Baron Cohen—whom she calls her “nonbiological father”—did his best to make her feel safe while filming the movie's many tricky situations. “We'd been talking a lot about different scenarios,” she said. “How should I act, this way or this way? What should I do? What is smarter? But in all of the scenarios, I was confident that Sacha will save me and he will save the scene, so it's not going to be a disaster. He's my guardian angel.”
Ultimately, Bakalova doesn’t regret the prank. “Movies like this are showing people's true colors,” she said. “It's going to show Rudy's real character. You're responsible for your own decisions. So, no, I don't feel bad.”