Borat 2 Director Jason Woliner Explains What Really Happened During Rudy Giuliani Scene
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We all remember that scene right? It involved Giuliani getting into a potentially compromising position with actor Maria Bakalova, playing the daughter of Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat Sagdiyev.
Now, director Jason Woliner has spoken with The Daily Beast podcast 'Last Laugh' about how he had to adopt a disguise and bleach his hair blonde for the scene, as well as a few other salient details about the controversial shoot.
He told the podcast hosts: "Well, I was watching it as it was going,
"I was in a control room kind of hidden right there. And Sacha was hidden in a cubby that we had built into a little closet and he and I were texting because he couldn't see what was going on.
"So I was watching the feed, there were hidden cameras, obviously.
"We're unable to communicate with Maria, but we're just trying to text with Sacha to determine when is the right time to jump out."
As the scene unfolded before their eyes, and things started to get more and more weird, the pair had to make an important decision about when to end the cringefest.
Get it wrong, and there would be no scene at all.
He continued: "At a certain point it's not funny anymore. It's just a sting operation.
"So, we're texting with him, we're watching.
"They're doing this interview [and] he's saying all these shocking things about Covid and all this racist stuff about Chinese people, and then we have the first beat of it when Sacha comes in as the boom guy, and that's step one.
"There's a chance - step one - he sees Sacha in what I think is the most absurd costume of the movie it could blow up.
"Rudy could be like 'what the f*** is that?' and it doesn't.
"If we just got that, we could maybe put something together. We didn't want to just get that, but every step of the way is like, OK, let's try it again.
"There was actually a beat that we shot where we pushed in a room-service tray and Sacha was hiding underneath it.
"We were doing this kind of farcical thing where he's trying to communicate with her again and we wound up cutting it out of the movie. Again, Rudy didn't discover anything weird, his radar didn't go up."
Still, it continued to get even more strange. Eventually, Woliner decided enough was enough.
He explained: "The interview winds down and they go into the bedroom, and of course there are no visible cameras in the bedroom,
"Then it's really as you see it. He's touching her shoulder, he's asking for her number. He sits on the bed, he touches her lower back. And every moment of that we were watching thinking, 'Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.'
"Imagine watching that in real life, a few feet away... he lies down and he puts his hand down his pants.
"My jaw hit the floor. It was one of those moments you never forget. And that's when we said, 'OK, Sacha, I think it's time to go in now.'"
Yep. That sounds about right.
Whilst Giuliani has consistently denied any impropriety, and said he was just tucking his shirt in, Woliner doesn't necessarily buy that.
He concluded: "You know, I've been doing this for a long time. I've seen a lot of people get microphones applied and removed. I've never seen anyone have to lie on a bed and put their hands down their pants."