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Milla Jovovich – A Rebel With a Role
 
Milla Jovovich (Russian: Милица Йовович) was born in Kiev, Ukraine, to a family of a Serbian pediatrician and the famous Soviet actress Galina Loginova, who was popular in the 70s thanks to her leading roles in TV and film productions. In 1980, due to political reasons, the family was forced to leave the USSR for Great Britain and later immigrate to the US, settling in Sacramento, California. 
 
Her mother's trade, as has happened in many a family of a movie star, influenced Mila's career choices and helped her on the path to fame. She started modeling at the age of only nine, and at the age of 12 she was offered a contract by Revlon. Unlike Natalie Portman, another child talent to attract Revlon's scouts, she accepted, and that became the start of her career.
 
One more thing could have influenced Mila was the fact that soon after coming to America her parents divorced, and her mother, being unable to find an acting position due to poor language skills and having no income from her films (they were banned in the USSR right after her leaving the country), had to resort to cleaning jobs, including working at director Brian De Palma's mansion and often taking her daughter to work with her.
 
Mila attended a public school in Los Angeles, where she learned English in just 3 months but felt excluded and ostracized by other students for coming from the USSR. She became a rebel, engaging in acts of shopping mall vandalism and even credit card fraud! All this probably formed her film emploi as a strong, independent but at the time sensitive woman, or, at least, had a great effect on her attitude towards her characters.
 
Her first professional role was in the made-for-television film The Night Train to Kathmandu (1988), which was followed by a quick succession of TV dramas and series:  Paradise (1988), Married... with Children (1989) and Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990).
 
In 1991, at the age of just 16, Mila, thanks to her young age and beauty, was cast for the lead role in the Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991) - the film that quickly made her popular both among cinema goers as well as among directors and producers.
 
The sequel to the often-trashed-by-critics-but-loved-by-fans movie The Blue Lagoon with another young talent - Brook Shields - turned out to be highly polarizing. For her role in the movie, Mila Jovovich was nominated for the Best Young Actress award by the Young Artist Awards, and, simultaneously, for the Worst New Star award by the Golden Raspberry Awards. Part of the controversy was the fact that the girl, just like Shields, appeared nude in some of the scenes.
 
Much more serious and "grown-up" roles soon followed, starting from The Fifth Element (1997), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999) and the commercially successful but universally chastised by critics Resident Evil (2002-) series.
 
In addition to a movie career,  Mila continues modelling, records her own music albums and releases lines of fashion clothes in cooperation with Carmen Hawk. 
 
Mila's personal life has been just as rebellious and chaotic as her characters! She has had two or three marriages (depending on whether you can count an annulled marriage consummated when she was only 16!) and multiple romances with on-screen partners, directors and musicians. Jovovich is now happily married to director Paul Anderson and has a daughter Ever Gabo Andersen with him.
 
The actress is an active jiu-jutsu practitioner, a healthy food freak, a yoga adept, a skydiving enthusiast and also a vocal proponent of marijuana legalization, even appearing on the cover of the High Time magazine!
 
Sources:
"Milla Jovovich: Building a Perfect Action Star" -  C. Bottomley, March 2, 2006
"Milla's Tale". Harpers & Queen. January 2003

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