Today’s Guest: Ken Davitian, actor, Borat, “Chuck”
Granted, the role for which everyone best—or maybe worst–remembers actor Ken Davitian is “Azamat Bagatov,” Borat’s manager in the 2006 movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan starring Sacha Baron Cohen. Anyone who saw it will forever have the image of Davitian and Cohen wrestling naked in a motel room scalded into their brains.
But Ken Davitian has appeared in plenty of other films, fully clothed. He’s a terrific character actor and from what I’ve seen of him being interviewed elsewhere, quite a gentle soul. In other words, nothing at all like Azamat.
KEN DAVITIAN podcast excerpt: “It was in Dallas I was told we were going to do this. I kept saying to Sacha Baron Cohen, ‘A fat guy in boxers, that’s funny. Funny, funny! No?’ He said, ‘I want naked.’ We ran into an engineers convention, twelve o’clock in the afternoon, somewhere in the Dallas area. We started doing our schtick with each other. I looked into his eyes. I could see him looking at the audience. He stopped. He went out of character, said ‘We’re not getting any response. Let’s go.’ We walked out of there totally in character, naked.”
He recently played the role of “Uncle Bernie” to perfection in an episode of NBC’s “Chuck” titled “Chuck Versus the First Kill.”
He was also “Shtarker” in the otherwise forgettable Steve Carrell remake of Get Smart. He’s also been seen in movies such as Soul Men, Meet the Spartans, Holes and S.W.A.T. as well as TV shows such as “The Closer,” “ER” and “Ghost Whisperer.”
Coming up, his new film Prankster just got picked up for distribution and will come out in October. He also finished a feature film with former “American Idol” finalist Katharine McPhee and Dave Annable of “Brothers & Sisters” called You May Not Kiss the Bride. It also stars Rob Schneider, Mena Suvari, Tia Carrere, Kathy Bates and Vinnie Jones. Also in the pipeline is another film, Melvin Smarty.
Davitian also co-owns a hot dog restaurant in Sherman Oaks called The Infield.