Here's How Much Borat 2 Star Maria Bakalova Is Really Worth

Maria Bakalova enjoyed an incredible breakout year in 2020. The Bulgarian-born actress had several smaller roles on her slate prior to popping up in Borat 2or Borat Subsequent Moviefilm to give the flick its full title, but it's safe to say playing Tutar, the teenage daughter of Sacha Baron Cohen's hapless Kazakh journalist, was her coming out moment. Bakalova was rewarded for her headline-making work with a Golden Globe nomination, making her the first Bulgarian actor ever to receive one, per Deadline

Being up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy alongside "actresses [she has] admired since childhood" is surreal to the 24-year-old, who hopes her nomination brings more attention to the work of Eastern European artists. She credits Cohen and his team with bringing Tutar to life, opining to Deadline, "To be able to build a character like that you need a great script and brave producers willing to get behind you and believe that you can do it." Her work as Tutar is only the beginning. 

The Bulgarian actress is about to be huge

Although Bakalova didn't intimately know Cohen's work prior to appearing alongside him in the Borat sequelher director and co-star has been adamant his leading lady get her due now the film has been unleashed upon the world. As IndieWire noted, the British satirist is even campaigning for an Oscar for the Bulgarian star. Naturally, for a young woman who never even imagined herself making it to Hollywood in the first place, the opportunity to do what she loves is exhilarating. "I hadn't spent that much time thinking about bigger movies," Bakalova admitted, explaining, "Most of the parts we are given are like two lines as a prostitute, a hooker, or maybe a Russian mafia person who's not even Bulgarian."

She's incredibly grateful for Borat 2, noting, "Tutar's story is about strong women. The art that Sacha is doing is designed to make the world a better place." The process of nailing the role was grueling, but it was ultimately Cohen who decided Bakalova was up to the challenge after she proved herself fully capable of playing off him in high-stress improvisational situations. The Bulgarian breakout even came up with one of Tutar's funniest lines, asking, "Why is the sky so low?" upon being indoors for the very first time. Clearly, she was destined for comedy!

Bakalova will be associated with Tutar for the foreseeable future, but she has her sights firmly set on the future. With the success of the film, she's now worth $1 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.