Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova
First Name(s): Maria
Surname: Bakalova
Date of Birth: 4th June, 1996
Date of Death: N/A

About Maria Bakalova

Maria Valcheva Bakalova is a Bulgarian actress, best known for her role as Tutar Sagdiyev in the 2020 mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. 

Date of birth

Maria Bakalova was born on June 4, 1996 in Burgas, Bulgaria.


She is the only child of Rumyana Bakalova and Valcho Bakalov.

Education & Early life

Bakalova began singing lessons and playing the flute around age six. She expanded into acting at the age of 12, majoring in drama theater and minoring in flute at the National School of Music and Stage Arts in Burgas, where she was a straight-A student: "I was a super-disciplined child. I was reading too many books. I was obsessed with Dostoyevsky, at like 15, 16."

Bakalova later moved to Sofia where she majored in drama at the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts.[6] She has credited filmmakers Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, who taught the only film acting class at the Academy, for what she has learned about movies. Bakalova volunteered to help the directing duo with scheduling and other tasks, and traveled with them to the set of a film they were working on so that she could watch and learn. In her third year at the Academy, one of the directors invited her to audition for a small part in their movie The Father. She landed the part and filmed a brief flashback scene as the young version of one of the characters. The Father was selected as the Bulgarian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. As a student, Bakalova also appeared in various stage productions such as Les Liaisons dangereuses, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Kennedy's Children and The Trial, among others. She graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Love life

Her love life is not yet publicly known.

Net worth

Not yet established.


Bakalova made her movie debut as Milena in the 2017 comedy-drama sequel XIIa. In the same year, she starred in Transgression, where she played Yana, a young girl who has an unusual relationship with an aging rocker. The film was premiered in Europe in 2018, and had its official worldwide release on HBO in 2021.

In 2018, Bakalova won the award for best actress at Toronto’s AltFF Alternative Film Festival for her role in the movie. In this period, she also starred in multiple short films such as Angels, Due to Unforeseen Circumstances and Dream_Girl, and played a minor role in The Father.

She next starred in the 2020 comedy-drama Last Call as Alexandra, a girl who is on the verge of ending her life. 

Bakalova was cast as Tutar Sagdiyev in the mockumentary Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the daughter of fictional Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev. Although initially credited as Irina Nowak, reports later revealed her involvement. Fellow Bulgarian Julian Kostov connected her with casting director Nancy Bishop for the role.  For her performance, Bakalova received several awards, winning the Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Golden Globes. She became the first Bulgarian actress to be nominated for these awards. In November 2020, it was reported that Bakalova had signed with Creative Artists Agency.

In 2021, Bakalova starred in Women Do Cry, which revolves around a family of women united by a shared trauma who confront the family patriarch's troubling past, against the backdrop of anti-Istanbul Convention protests in Bulgaria. The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival where it competed in the Un Certain Regard section.

The same year, she joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a member of the Actors Branch.

In April 2021, she was cast in A24's slasher film Bodies Bodies Bodies, also starring Amandla Stenberg and Pete Davidson. The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest in March 2022, and will be released theatrically later in the year.

Her next role was in Judd Apatow's The Bubble (2022), about a group of actors trying to finish a film during the COVID-19 pandemic, starring in an ensemble cast alongside Karen Gillan, Fred Armisen and Pedro Pascal.

In March 2021, Bakalova announced that she and her producing partner Julian Kostov were in the early stages of developing a period drama miniseries with the working title Freedom or Death, based on the 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War.

In August 2021, it was announced that she had been cast as the lead in Dean Craig's upcoming rom-com The Honeymoon, which she is also set to co-produce.

She features in the true crime film Branded alongside Alex Pettyfer, based on an article by David Grann for The New Yorker.

Maria also starred in Bodies Bodies Bodies, a 2022 American black comedy slasher film directed by Halina Reijn.

In June 2022, it was announced that Bakalova had joined the cast of the 2023 superhero film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

She will voice a gender-swapped Cosmo the Spacedog.