Jeanise Jones thought she was taking part in a documentary about child brides

By Ale Russian
October 30, 2020 12:15 PM
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Jeansie Jones

Amid the wild antics in Borat 2 came the heartwarming presence of Jeanise Jones.

The grandmother of 6 became the breakout star of the sequel when she came in as babysitter to Borat's daughter Tutar, played by Maria Bakalova. Jones thought Tutar was a real 15-year-old girl in danger of being married off to an older man and did her best to reassure the young girl that she didn't have to do what her father, played by Sacha Baron Cohen, wanted.

While not much is know about Jones, fans have since learned that she didn't know she was taking part in the movie and instead had been recruited to star in a documentary. The revelation came from her pastor Derrick Scobey, who revealed in a GoFundMe that Jones was found through a casting call at their Oklahoma City church.

"She was recruited from our church the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Oklahoma City after Producers spoke to me about needing a 'Black Grandmother' for a small role in a 'documentary,'" Scobey revealed. "Jeanise emerged as that person and she was completely unaware that this was a comedy, and all of this was made up."

The GoFundMe has since raised over $144,000 after fans found out Jones was recently laid off from her job of 32 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Borat Subsequent
Maria Bakalova and Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
| Credit: Amazon Studios

In an interview with The New York Post, Jones spoke about thinking the situation was real and how worried she was for the girl.

“I’m feeling like she’s from the Third World and that kind of stuff does happen where they sell women. I’m thinking this is for real so I felt kind of betrayed by it,” she said.

Jones said she was paid $3,600 to film scenes in Oklahoma and later Washington State. She found out it was all a ruse when the movie's trailer came out earlier this year.

After Jones became a fan-favorite, star and creator Cohen thanked her by making a $100,000 donation to Jones's community on her behalf.

Sacha Baron Cohen
Sacha Baron Cohen
| Credit: Vincent Sandoval/Getty

The money, to be distributed by the Ebenezer Baptist Church at Jones' request, has been earmarked for shelter, food and any other needs the community has.

Pastor Scobey told PEOPLE the money would really help a struggling community affected by ice storms and power outages. The pastor said Jones and the church have been housing senior citizens and other people affected since Monday as hospitals were overrun due to the storm.

"While all these people around the world are loving how she's the moral compass of the movie, she's sitting here serving people in the dark and in the cold," Scobey explained. "This is who we are. This is what we do for our community, and we love our community."