‘Jeanise is a true angel’: Borat actress Maria Bakalova talks keeping in touch with on-screen babysitter

‘Jeanise is a true angel’: Borat actress Maria Bakalova talks keeping in touch with on-screen babysitter

‘Jeanise is a true angel’: Borat actress Maria Bakalova talks keeping in touch with on-screen babysitter

‘Jeanise is a true angel’: Borat actress Maria Bakalova talks keeping in touch with on-screen babysitter

One of the touchstones of a Borat movie involves some on-camera players being unaware that they’re being spoofed by a man pretending to be a foreign journalist from Kazakhstan.

In Sacha Baron Cohen‘s recently released Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which follows up his first Borat film from 2006, the titular character teams up with daughter Tutar, played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.

In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Bakalova described how she still kept in touch with Jeanise Jones, a 62-year-old woman who babysits Tutar in the film. (During filming, Jones had been unaware of the film’s satirical nature.)

“Jeanise is a true angel,” Bakalova said. “I will probably always think of her as my godmother, a real hero and life coach. She just wanted to help this girl become a strong woman.”

Describing how they still keep in touch, the 24-year-old actress said she’d actually called Jones on Thanksgiving. “It was my first American Thanksgiving and was also my best,” she said. “I was so happy to talk to her that I started to cry. When we were shooting, it was very hard for me, because I wanted to tell her not to worry about me. She is a really good example of how important it is to be a good person and care about others.”

After the film’s release, a fundraiser set up for Jones generated more than $140,000, with Baron Cohen donating $100,000 himself.

Commenting on her appearance in the film, Jones took to Facebook last year, writing, “Yes, it was me in the Borat movie. I was recruited to be in a ‘Documentary’. At ABSOLUTELY NO time did I know this was a satirical comedy movie and that I was being ‘setup’ so to speak.”

The New York Post reported in October that Jones felt “betrayed” by the film, though Jones disputed the wording.

“‘Betrayed’ never came out of my mouth,” she told Variety. “I don’t know where they got that from. I’m not ever going to say I was betrayed because it was partially my fault I didn’t read the contracts. I’ll take my responsibility on that.”


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