Donald Trump Biopic Actor Says This 1 Harrowing Scene Was ‘Not Difficult To Shoot’

Maria Bakalova plays the former business mogul’s ex-wife Ivana Trump in The Apprentice.
Maria Bakalova attends "The Apprentice" Photocall at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 2.
Maria Bakalova attends "The Apprentice" Photocall at the 77th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 2.
JB Lacroix via Getty Images

While there are moments in the new Donald Trump biopic that make for a challenging watch, actor Maria Bakalova has insisted one scene was surprisingly “not difficult” for her to shoot.

Maria Bakalova plays Ivana Trump in the The Apprentice – which is said to be “based on real events” with fictional elements – starring alongside Sebastian Stan who plays the former president during his early days as a business mogul.

There are a number of less-than-flattering scenes in the new movie, which include moments depicting the business mogul taking diet pills and undergoing cosmetic surgery.

But one particularly distressing scene depicts Trump sexually assaults his wife, a reference to a claim Ivana made in a 1990 divorce deposition that Trump raped her once.

In 1993, she walked back on that statement, saying: “I referred to this as a ‘rape’, but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”

In a recent interview with Borat 2 star Maria, Deadline asked how the actor might categorise the “devastating” moment.

While she did not directly answer the question, she said the scene was not challenging to film.

She explained: “The scene was not difficult to shoot, because we had everybody that needed to be there, there. We had an intimacy coordinator who was incredible. We had a stunt coordinator. We had Ali who, if you’ve seen his last movie, Holy Spider, has a lot of intense scenes behind him.”

The actor continued that she saw it as more of a “cinematic piece, a cinematic scene”, adding: “And I think it’s important for the arc of the characters. But I have to say that I felt very safe and in good hands, because I trusted Ali and I trusted the team that it is going to be great and done safely. And Sebastian was also great.”

The Bulgarian actor also confirmed that they cleared the set for the scene, which was “perfectly organised”.

She continued: “I felt safe and excited to dive into this interesting exploration of how would you feel as a female under these circumstances and get back on your feet? And how will this – I don’t know – change the focus of your life in the future?”

Deadline reported that the scene caused a “sharp intake of breath” from the audience at the premiere, while Variety said it was “the most disturbing scene in a movie chock full of unflattering sequences”.

Trump previously referred to his ex-wife’s account as “obviously false”.

In a recent press conference for the film, director Ali Abbasi made the surprising claim that he doesn’t think the film is one that Trump himself “would dislike”.

A spokesperson for his presidential campaign also branded it “garbage” and “pure fiction which sensationalises lies that have been long debunked”.

Additionally, Trump’s rep branded the film “election interference by Hollywood elites”, claiming it “should not see the light of day” and belongs “in a dumpster fire” as it “doesn’t even deserve a place in the straight-to-DVD section of a bargain bin at a soon-to-be-closed discount movie store”.


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