Model May 1989

It's Milla Time
by Anne Senelly

Milla Jovovich is growing up right before our eyes. When we last featured her in MODEL in September 1988, she was 12 years old and 5'4". In December she turned 13 and has since topped 5'7". Her fame as a model is growing too. She's appeared on dozens of magazine covers and has fast become the darling of the top photographers. Firooz Zahedi, the photographer who shot MODEL's cover this month, believes Milla will do well in whatever she chooses to do. "She has a strong image of herself and you have to let that come through", he says. "But at this point," he adds, "even though she's completely professional in front of the camera, you have to have patience and remember that she is a kid." An American success story, Milla is originally from Kiev, Russia. Eight years ago she and her parents, Gallina and Bogie Jovovich, emigrated from there to southern California. In 1987 she signed with Prima Models in Los Angeles and began working immediately. Milla has also done two films: Two Moon Junction and Night Train to Kathmandu. With such success at such a young age, where does she go from here?

What jobs have you done lately?
I just worked with Helmut Newton which was fabulous, and I did the cover of a European magazine. And I'm going to Italy in March.

Are you doing collections there?
No, I'm not ready for that yet. When I do the collections, I want to be completely professional. I don't want people to look up and just see a 13-year-old kid - I want them to see an accomplished model. I'm working on my walk, and I'm sure I will do runway soon.

You've just turned 13. Does it feel any different?
I can feel myself growing. But otherwise, the only thing that's different is that I can stay out an hour later. My curfew is 10:30 or 11.

Do you ever miss your curfew?
Yep. The worst was when I had gone to a movie in Westwood with a boy, and his father came to pick us up. His father decided he wanted to take us out to dinner. Well, it was already 10 o'clock and I knew I had to get home, but he insisted. So I told him I had to call home as soon as we got to the restaurant. The father took us to a restaurant that my friend and I didn't like, so we decided to go somewhere else. The second place was too busy so we left there too. There is this Japanese restaurant on Sunset that I like so we decided to go there, but we didn't know where it was. We got completely lost, so we went to Benihana. We really wanted sushi and they don't serve it there, so we went to another Japanese restaurant, but it was closed. By that time it was about 11:00 and I still hadn't called home. While we were driving, we passed the restaurant we had been trying to find earlier, so we went there. By the time I got home my parents were fuming - especially my dad; he sets my curfew. Boy, did I get grounded that time!

You get grounded?
Are you kidding? I probably get grounded more than most kids. I think I'm grounded again. I just don't understand parents sometimes. I never do anything really wrong.

Your mom goes with you on all your jobs. Do you get along?
We get along great. I'm pretty young, so it's important that she's there.

How about your father? What does he think of your career?
He thinks it's fine. His only comment was that I should pick one thing and stuck with it. He thinks it's important that I try to do the best I can. Mostly he cares that I'm happy.

You've done two films; are you planning on doing more?
We're looking at scripts now, and I'm still taking acting lessons. I'm trying to find a quality script with a role that I feel comfortable with.

If you could play anyone, who would it be?
Well, I'd love to do Scarlet O'Hara in a remake of Gone With the Wind. That's my all-time favorite movie.

Do you have a boyfriend?
Kind-of-sort-of. He's in Italy right now - he's also a model. But it's not serious. It's only been the last few months that boys have even been interested in me, so it's pretty new.

You make a lot of money in your career. What's the best thing you've bought lately?
An electric guitar. I've been playing it constantly. I also play the piano and take voice lessons. It would be neat to record an album.

Do you spend a lot on clothes?
Not really. My mother helps me pick out my clothes. She's got a great sense of style. It would be ridiculous for someone my age to spend a fortune on clothes. I can't wait until I'm older, though. My favorite designers are Armani, Kenzo and Azzedine Alaia, but I'll have to wait a few years to wear their designs.

As you get older, do you find you have to watch your weight?
Yes. During the week I eat healthy foods; salads, stuff like that. On weekends I'll order a pizza or something. But only pepperoni. I won't eat any other kind.

Are you happy modeling? What happens if you don't want to do a job, can you say no?
I always want to work. I can't imagine turning down a job, as long as it's appropriate for me. That's where my focus is, so I'm happy.

"Crossroads of Tomorrow Lead to a New Horizon"