Borat 2's biggest moments really did happen as you saw them

·8-min read
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

From Digital Spy

Borat 2, AKA Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, brings back Sacha Baron Cohen's inept Kazakh journalist and puts him in some shocking situations again.

At times during the comedy sequel, you'll struggle to believe things actually happened as we see them on screen. However, Baron Cohen and his scene-stealing co-star Maria Bakalova really did put themselves in those outrageous situations for the movie.

In fact, Baron Cohen and Bakalova have been filming in plain sight throughout 2020, so we thought we'd take a look at the biggest moments in the sequel to prove they genuinely did happen and the times Baron Cohen was being Borat without us knowing.

One we've left off the list below is Tutar's (Bakalova) heartwarming scenes with the babysitter Borat leaves her with, who shows her the error of Borat's teachings and encourages her not to get plastic surgery.

Fear not though, that one did genuinely happen too and the babysitter is not an actress as she wrote on Facebook: "At ABSOLUTELY NO time did I know this was a satirical comedy movie and that I was being 'setup' so to speak."

Anyway, back to the wilder moments of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and here's a round-up of the most shocking moments, including quotes from those who were the unsuspecting participants in the pranks.

Major spoilers ahead!

Rudy Giuliani

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

It may be the final sketch in the movie, but we'll start with what already is the most-talked about scene in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.

The scene sees Donald Trump's lawyer and former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani – who has since called the scene a "complete fabrication" – in a hotel room expecting to be interviewed by Borat's 'daughter' Tutar about the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ends with Giuliani following Tutar into the bedroom where she takes off his recording equipment.

Giuliani is seen lying back on the bed and appears to be putting his hands in his trousers when Cohen bursts into the room, saying she is 15 and "too old for you". (Maria Bakalova, who plays Tutar, is 24 years old.)

The incident happened in July, with Giuliani revealing that he had foiled an attempted prank, only to later realise that it was Baron Cohen who had burst into the room.

"This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shake-down, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away," Giuliani told Page Six. "I only later realized it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me."

Talking to Digital Spy and other press, Baron Cohen wants viewers of the movie "to come to their own conclusions" about the scene, while Giuliani has said that "at no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate".

March for Our Rights rally

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

After Borat falls out with Tutar, the sequel sees Borat go and stay with two conspiracy theorists for five days during the pandemic. They talk to him about the virus and Democrats, and help Borat write a song about the virus.

Disguised as a bluegrass singer, Borat goes to a right-wing March for Our Rights rally in Washington and manages to get some of the crowd to sing along to the racist and offensive lyrics. The performance genuinely happened.

It happened at the end of June and was filmed at the time (you can see it here, but be warned there is offensive language), although it wasn't known that it was Baron Cohen doing a stunt as Borat. It was even thought that it might have been him filming for a new season of Who Is America?.

We don't know if Borat's stay with the conspiracy theorists happened just before this as the movie shows, but Baron Cohen has opened up about having to spend five days entirely in character.

"I was waking up, having breakfast, lunch, dinner, going to sleep as Borat when I lived in a house with these two conspiracy theorists. You can't have a moment out of character," he told The New York Times.

Baron Cohen added that his time with the conspiracy theorists wasn't to mock them, but to show "that they're ordinary folks who are good people, who have just been fed this diet of lies".

Judith Dim Evans

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

One of the unexpectedly sweet moments in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm comes when Borat, dressed as offensively as you could imagine, visits Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta, Georgie and meets Judith Dim Evans and her friend Doris.

Instead of being insulted by Borat and ordering him to leave, Dim Evans takes the time to tell him that she is a Holocaust survivor and ends up challenging Borat's anti-Semitic views.

Evans died after filming and her estate filed a lawsuit against the movie due to filming taking place under false pretences and with the intention to "mock the Holocaust and Jewish culture".

According to Deadline though, the scene marked the first time that Baron Cohen broke Borat tradition. It's claimed there's footage of them being told about that he is Jewish and "playing an ignorant character as a means of Holocaust education".

The movie is dedicated to Dim Evans and the filmmakers helped her family members create a website in her honour. In a nice touch, Amazon Prime's X-Ray bonus content mode allows viewers to hear Dim Evans tell the story of what happened to her family in World War II.

Since the release of the movie, the lawsuit has been dismissed by a Fulton County Georgia judge, according to Deadline, with attorney Russell Smith, who represented Amazon in the proceeding, saying in a statement:

"Sacha Baron Cohen was deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Judith Dim Evans, whose compassion and courage as a Holocaust survivor has touched the hearts of millions of people who have seen the film.

"Judith's life is a powerful rebuke to those who deny the Holocaust, and with this film and his activism, Sacha Baron Cohen will continue his advocacy to combat Holocaust denial around the world."

Conservative Political Action Conference

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

What seems like being a major moment in the movie ends up happening fairly early on as Borat gatecrashes the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Disguised as Donald Trump and carrying Tutar over his shoulder, Borat interrupts Vice President Mike Pence's speech to offer his daughter to Pence, before being escorted from the conference.

This happened back at the end of February and it's another case of it being unclear at the time that it was Baron Cohen as Borat impersonating Trump.

The outrageous scene also features Borat sneaking into the conference under a Ku Klux Klan robe, before Baron Cohen hid in the bathroom "listening to conservative men go to the toilet for five hours" until he broke into the main room.

No charges were pursued against Baron Cohen for the stunt.

Debutante Ball

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

Before Tutar can be given away to Pence, Borat wants her to learn how to be a lady so Tutar gets some lessons from a debutante coach before she goes to a Debutante Ball in Macon, Georgia.

Borat and Tutar are disguised as Professor Phillip Drummond III and Sandra Jessica Parker Drummond, respectively, and shock the guests with a unique spin on a father-daughter dance that ends with Tutar revealing fake "moon blood" (Borat's description).

Monroe County Reporter publisher Will Davis was at the event and claims people were paid $100 to attend, as well as being questioned if they knew who Baron Cohen was, among other pop-culture knowledge.

Anyone who didn't know him was in the audience for the dance, including Davis, who recalled what happened after the big reveal.

"That's when all of us who were sober marched to the checkout desk, demanded our phones back and hit the road. My precious daughter and I walked out into the cool Macon night with mouths agape wondering what had just happened," he said.

Tom Hanks

Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video
Photo credit: Amazon Prime Video

It shouldn't need saying, but we'll do it anyway. The movie's climactic beat, that COVID-19 was the plan for Kazakhstan to get revenge on the world for the first movie, is completely fake and scripted.

The sequence 'reveals' that Borat was patient zero and was infected before he made his journey to the US, which saw him stop off in various countries to unwittingly spread the virus.

This includes a stop-off in Australia where Borat infects Tom Hanks in one of the most random celebrity cameos of the year. But just to repeat, THIS DIDN'T REALLY HAPPEN. (Well, they met, obviously – but Hanks is acting.)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is available to watch now on Amazon Prime Video.

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