Maria Bakalova is gaining some viral fame, even before her big break in Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat sequel.
The 24-year-old, who is set to make her American film debut in the project, captured some major interest this week after the release of stills from a movie in which she portrayed a 15-year-old journalist who ended up in in a compromising position with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Bakalova's Interaction With Giuliani Creating ControversyOn Wednesday, reports surfaced that claimed the upcoming film included a scene in which Giuliani appeared to place his hands in his pants and touch his genitals while in a hotel room with Bakalova. As The Guardian reported, the actress was posing as the teenage daughter of Borat, who had expressed interest in an arranged marriage to a member of Donald Trump's inner circle.
The footage apparently showed Giuliani reclining on a hotel bed with his hands in his pants before Cohen burst into the room, in character as her father.
"She's 15! She's too old for you," he shouted.
As The Inquisitr reported, the footage has caused some major controversy. Many said the footage of Giuliani was evidence that he could be easily compromised by foreign interests. As NBC News noted, American intelligence agencies had reportedly warned the White House about his alleged dealings with Russian agents.
Giuliani has denied that he was in a compromising position with Bakalova.
"The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment," he tweeted. "At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar."
There was no indication about whether he believed that Bakalova was underage.
The reports of the scandalous scene came as Giuliani, who has served as a personal lawyer for the president, has been instrumental in pushing allegations against Hunter Biden. He has claimed that a laptop connected to the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden contained incriminating information, including a tape of a sex act along with emails that allegedly proved that he used his father's influence to further his own business interests.
Bakalova's Involvement In Movie Originally Hidden
As Vanity Fair reported, the actress playing the teenaged character was originally billed under the name "Irina Novak" -- which people quickly figured out was a fictional name. A site alleged that the character was played by Bakalova. Until her involvement in the project, she had only appeared in two obscure Bulgarian films.
Though she's a newcomer on the American film scene, Bakalova's performance has been well-received by critics.
"But whatever Bakalova lacks in prior experience, she more than makes up for it with sheer force of will," the report noted. "From her first scene in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, where Tutar is trapped in a barn in Borat's village—watching a (fake) animated movie about Melania Trump and her ascension from living in a 'sh*thole country' to the White House—Bakalova matches Cohen step for step."