Sacha Baron Cohen On Maria Bakalova’s Brave Turn In ‘Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’ – Contenders Film

When Amazon released it in the heat of presidential election season, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm captured the zeitgeist as Sacha Baron Cohen and his breakout co-star Maria Bakalova acted out a father-daughter story with the unwitting help of QAnon followers, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. The results included some shocking revelations and often side-splittingly funny interactions between the doltish Kazakh television journalist and Tutar, the daughter he conspires to present as a gift to Pence, Giuliani or anyone in the Trump Administration who will welcome Borat’s leader into the strongman fold as was done with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and others.

Baron Cohen, Bakalova and director Jason Woliner discussed the accomplishments of the film during Amazon Studios’ panel at Deadline’s Contenders Film awards-season event.

Among the obstacles they overcame – which included threats of violence and arrest — was to take a movie that had been largely completed and ready for theatrical release by Universal, and heading back out in a pandemic that shut down most film production, changing the plot on a fly.

Baron Cohen also bares why he and Woliner turned the movie upside down and had it ready to land in time to make an impact during the U.S. election, and why to him the movie would have been a useless exercise had it not been released when it was “to remind them of the gross negligence of Donald Trump, including the management of this catastrophic virus.”

They also discuss how they were encouraged and disappointed by the way the subjects in the film revealed themselves in good and bad ways over the course of the film — including a Holocaust survivor that so moved them that they did something unprecedented and returned to tell her about the nature of the film.

Check back for the panel video.

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