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Milla Jovovich

By Sara Templeton & Ines Mendoza

Milla Jovovich

Often known as 'that babe with the sexy smile', Milla Jovovich is an example of a model who did everything right. Naomi Campbell, on the other hand, is a good example of how to throw a pootie...

Milla was born in the Soviet Union, once called the USSR, now called Russia. With her mother (Galina Loginova) a prominent actress, and her father, whose occupation is still a closely guarded secret, Milla moved to the US of A in 1980 and from a very young age she was enrolled in acting school.

The most reliable information tells us that she started her professional modeling career at the tender age of 11. Interestingly, when I was eleven, I was eating dirt, then dribbling a lot and enjoying life on the Templeton farm.

However, Milla was chosen by a fellow named Richard Avendon, who was then in charge of marketing issues at Revlon, as one of Revlon's new faces. In fact, she was to be one of Revlon's "Most Unforgettable Women in the World". It's interesting how accurate Mr. Avendon's advertising campaign was.

At such a young age, Milla's role as a model caused quite a stir. On the one side were the media and paparazzi, who couldn't get enough of the young Russian beauty, while the conservative types were crying foul, arguing that many girls in these situations were much too young and emotionally immature to be burdened with the stresses of the fashion industry, and therefore were being exploited.

The publicity surrounding the child model, both positive and negative, was enough to propel her into the minds of Hollywood executives everywhere, and at the age of 15, she was cast for the movie Return to the Blue Lagoon.

Modeling took off for Milla, too, though her prime passion was always acting. Modest to the last, she wasn't afraid to state the fact that she didn't enjoy modeling that much, but that the money was good. This, in turn, has allowed her to bide her time with scripts, accepting the good(ish) ones and ditching the smelly ones.

Having a career in the fashion industry, Milla Jovovich has appeared for many of the big names. Everyone who has a TV will know her from L'Oreal, for whom she is the International Spokesmodel.

She's also worked for such labels as Prada, Redken, Versace, Revlon, Alberto Biani, Donna Karan, Gap, Iceberg Jeans, Anne Klein, Banana Republic, Black Flys, Calvin Klein, Cantarelli, Chanel, Mossimo, Perry Ellis, L.A. Gear and Christian Dior, to name just a few.

More recently, Milla has indulged in her preferred career path, acting. You may remember her from such movies as Dazed and Confused, The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc and The Fifth Element, the latter two of which were directed by her then husband, Frenchman Luc Besson. They have since divorced.

However, it wasn't until the release of the action blockbuster Resident Evil that Milla came into her own.  While performing releatively average at the box office, the film became a cult hit on DVD and has since spawned two sequels Resident Evil: Apocolypse and the forthcoming Resident Evil: Extinction. The films are, of course,  adapted from the classic Japanese videogames "Bio-Hazard" and "Resident Evil" and Milla admits this was part of the attraction to the role.

She's always been a videogamer and jumped at the chance to play a strong female lead adapted from a video-game franchise. Her last foray as a strong female lead was met with less enthusiasm in 2006's Ultraviolet which follows a biological warfare holocaust, in which a lone Hemophage warrior battles the totalitarian dictator who seeks to eliminate this sub-species of humans who have enhanced vampire-like abilities. Needless to say, fans in general found the only positive of the movie was seeing Milla dancing around in skin-tight outfits.

So what's in store next for the Russian belle now? Expect more L'Oreal bits and bobs and a fruitful movie career as she begins to take more naturally to the film cameras. Her acting skills may still need a little sharpening, but then she's always got modeling to fall back on. Now, back to eating dirt...

Milla Jovovich

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