Named by VH1 as the “Reigning Queen of Kick-Butt”, Milla Jovovich packs a punch almost as striking as her distinctly beautiful face. From model, to fashion designer, to musician, Milla is one actress who truly goes after her ambitions. Nominated on several sexiest/hottest actress countdowns, the 36-year-old Ukranian star is best known for her green-blue eyes, husky voice, and performing many of her own stunts.
When Mila was only 5-years-old, her family left the Soviet Union for London but eventually settled in Los Angeles, where her parents divorced. Jovovich quickly became fluent in English but was teased by schoolmates for immigrating during the Cold War. At age 9, the rare beauty stepped into the print, catalog, and runway world. She left school to pursue a career in modeling at just age 12 and became a U.S. citizen in 1994.
After booking with several agencies, Jovovich appeared with other models in Revlon’s “Most Unforgettable Women in the World” advertisements. This gained Milla her first professional modeling contract in 1988. Throughout her entire career, Milla has been featured on over 100 magazine covers including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. She also served on campaigns for some of the biggest names in fashion like Dior, Versace and Armani. Despite her striking face and fit physique, Milla has noted that modeling was never a priority for her.
A Rough Start
In 1985, Jovovich enrolled in the Professional Actors School in California. After gaining her first roles in a made-for-television film and several television series, Milla burst onto the big screen in the 1991 sequel to The Blue Lagoon, Return to the Blue Lagoon. Scrutinized much like Brooke Shields, who starred in the original, for appearing nude at a young age, Jovovich was nominated for both “Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture” at the 1991 Young Artist Awards, and ironically the “Worst New Star” at the 1991 Golden Raspberry Awards.
After a series of unfulfilling roles in the early ’90s, like Kuffs with Christian Slater and the cult classic Dazed and Confused, Milla moved back to Europe to pursue a career in music. Luckily for us, she returned to acting in 1997 for a her breakout performance as a starring role in The Fifth Element alongside Bruce Willis. Jovovich worked hard to portray alien Leeloo because of her love interest with director Luc Besson, whom she later married but eventually divorced. Fortunately for Milla, her hard work paid off as the sci-fi flick banked over $250 million at the box office. But unfortunately, most of the praise for the movie was for its visual and graphic effects, while Milla was actually nominated for another Razzie as “Worst Supporting Actress.”
Milla was down, but out. She starred in several other films in the late ’90s and early 2000′s including a small role in the mega-hit comedy, Zoolander. In 2002, Jovovich starred as Alice in the video-game based zombie apocalypse film Resident Evil, her best known role to date. Milla said she joined the project because she was a huge fan of the video game. After training in kick-boxing, karate and combat-training, Milla performed nearly all of her own stunts. Her enthusiasm for the film and her intense physical transformation helped turn Resident Evil into a box office hit and a five film series.
In edition to the sci-fi flick, Jovovich also starred in crime thriller No Good Deed and romantic comedy You Stupid Man in 2002. In 2004, Milla followed a sequel to Resident Evil, with another sci-fi film, Ultraviolet. Although the film was negatively received, it did inspire a novel and a Japanese anime movie.
In 2007, Jovovich returned for more in the third film of the Resident Evil series Extinction, which was more successful at the box office than the second sequel Apocalypse. The film also featured a few familiar faces, including Ali Larter and singer Ashanti, helping it bank over $150 million.
Jovovich’s next two projects were psychological thrillers A Perfect Getaway and The Fourth Kind in 2009. Both films involved less action than Milla ‘s previous films, but the roles definitely helped her mission to prove that she could act. After the fourth edition to the Resident Evil series, Afterlife, Milla starred in yet another psychological thriller, Stone, opposite Robert De Niro. She even received the Hollywood Spotlight Award for her work in Stone at the 14th Annual Hollywood Awards Gala.
Returning to her butt-kicking abilities, Milla starred in the 3D adventure flick, The Three Musketeers, based on the novel of the same name, in 2011. That same year, she also starred in the Fanke Janssen directed comedy, Bringing Up Bobby. And once again, Milla stepped into the psychological thriller genre and played Anna Marchant in Faces in the Crowd — a film about a woman suffering from “face blindness.”
Present and Future Endeavors
In September 2012, Milla slipped back into her all black, skin tight outfit for the 5th installment for Resident Evil: Retribution. While we’ll never truly know if there’s more Resident Evils in the works, Jovovich is signed on to the action-drama The Winter Queen.
While you may know Milla for her projects as an actress and model, you’re probably less familiar with her music and fashion design careers. Jovovich has had musical albums in the works since the late ’80s and is known for her pop-infused traditional Ukrainian folk songs from the 1994 album, The Divine Comedy. Milla continues to collaborate with other musicians, lend her voice to her soundtracks, and even has some free tracks available on her personal website — MillaJ.com. For four years, Jovovich was part of the fashion design duo Jovovich-Hawk with fellow model Carmen Hawk, beginning in 2003. The pair also designed the costume for Milla in Resident Evil: Extinction.
Milla Jovovich is much more than just an actress. She’s a dedicated artist, a beautiful woman, and an overall bad-ass. Whether she’s mind-f****ing you in a psychological thriller or making you feel out of shape in an action flick, Milla is indisputably one girl you don’t want to mess with.
‘Resident Evil: Retribution’ Trailer:
Interview with Milla:
- 2012 The Winter Queen (pre-production)
- 2012 Resident Evil: Retribution
- 2011 Faces in the Crowd
- 2011 Bringing Up Bobby
- 2011 The Three Musketeers
- 2011 Lucky Trouble
- 2010 Dirty Girl
- 2010 Stone
- 2010 Resident Evil: Afterlife
- 2009 The Fourth Kind
- 2009 A Perfect Getaway
- 2007 Resident Evil: Extinction
- 2006 .45
- 2006 Ultraviolet
- 2005 Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal’s Caligula (short)
- 2004 Resident Evil: Apocalypse
- 2002 King of the Hill (TV series)
- 2002 You Stupid Man
- 2002 No Good Deed
- 2002 Resident Evil
- 2002 Dummy
- 2001 Zoolander
- 2000 The Claim
- 2000 The Million Dollar Hotel
- 1999 The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
- 1998 The Fifth Element (Video Game)
- 1998 He Got Game
- 1997 The Fifth Element
- 1993 Dazed and Confused
- 1993 Gentleman Who Fell (short)
- 1992 Chaplin
- 1992 Kuffs
- 1991 Return to the Blue Lagoon
- 1990 Parker Lewis Can’t Lose (TV series)
- 1989 Married with Children (TV series)
- 1988 Guns of Paradise (TV series)
- 1988 The Night Train to Kathmandu (TV movie)
- 1988 Two Moon Junction