The Bulgarian actress had never done improv comedy before starring in the film, in which she plays Borat’s teenage daughter Tutar. But her performance has already garnered praise and even talks of an Oscar nomination. What’s most incredible, she told Corden, is that she wasn’t even sure if the Borat film she auditioned for was legit when she first sent in her tape.
“I [recorded the tape] at 5 a.m., after my prom at the university,” Bakalova said, “and a friend of mine shot it for a joke. I was extremely scared that this was something sketchy, it’s not a real audition, they’re gonna try to do human trafficking on me.”
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case: After a few more rounds of auditions, Bakalova was flown out to London to meet Baron Cohen and begin work on the film. When discussing one of the most talked-about scenes in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, where Bakalova as Tutar tricks Rudy Giuliani into participating in a fake interview, she told Corden that it was a genuinely nerve-wracking moment for the crew.
“Rudy Giuliani actually did call the police,” she said. “But we did nothing illegal. So we left the place together… and we were happy! It’s like a family moment.”
While Bakalova’s interview with Corden marked her late-night debut as herself, she did previously appear in character as Tutar alongside Baron Cohen’s Borat for a bit on Jimmy Kimmel Live.