15 September 2014, 16:06
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ImYerevan's Photo Shoot with Actor Ken Davitian

Borat co-star Ken Davitian visits Yerevan in July of 2014 and poses with the city's monuments.

This past July, Armenian-American actor from Los Angeles, Ken Davitian visited Yerevan. Davitian is best known for his role as Sacha Baron Cohen's quirky, Middle Eastern sidekick, Aramazt Bagatov in the comedy mockumentary film Borat. The actor told ReelzChannel in an interview that he almost wasn't selected for the role because he was too convincing. Producers asked Davitian to come in for a second hearing so that Cohen could determine whether he was "a crazy old man who was able to do 45 seconds of an American accent," or if he was "an American actor who's able to do half an hour of a crazy, old man."

The film sparked international controversy, as its climax depicts Cohen and Davitian wrestling one another entirely nude.  Davitian expressed to ReelzChannel some of his initial reservations over the scene:

"I kept saying, it's not gonna be funny. It's a 300 pound naked man! Not funny! When I have sex, turn the lights off! ...But they were right. I trusted them, and they were right."

In our photo series, we find the Borat co-star in a new context, pictured innocently next to some of Yerevan's most beloved monuments, rather than in the hilariously vulgar scenes of the movie.

We followed the actor around the city and from the pictures, it's hard to tell whether the some of the poses were at the request of the photographer, or whether they were the comedic actor's own bizarre inspiration. But at the very least, they reflect the sweet, yet strange and naïve relationship the diaspora has to territorial Armenia.

For our photoshoot, we respectfully asked that Davitian remain fully clothed. 


Stomping his foot at the foot of Cascade.


Reading our magazine...Not at all staged.


At Saint Zoravor Church


Near the headquarters of Imyerevan.com, one of the oldest buildings in Yerevan. Why he's pointing, we'll never know.


At the fountain in Hanrapetutyan Hraparak (Republic Square).


These pictures were posted in July with captions in a post that has been entirely altered for content. We have edited them to make this article digestable, but the sweet charm of this picture's original caption deserves to be read, "Say: Cheese, Iron Bull, you are being shot."


At Matenadaran, where collections of ancient and beautiful Armenian manuscripts are collected.


Original caption: "Reading books is fashionable." 


At the Poulpoulak (waterfountain) in Republic Square. 


He made it to the very top of the steps at Cascade! It's a great work out, you should try it some time.

 

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