Milla Jovovich (pronounced "mee-luh" "yo-vo-vitch") was born December 17, 1975 in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine to father Bogdanovitch Jovovich (Serbian doctor) and mother Galina Loginova Jovovich (Russian actress). In 1981, Milla and her family left the Soviet Union and moved to London, England and then to Sacramento, California, ultimately settling in Los Angeles.
At the age of eleven, Jovovich was spotted by photographer Richard Avedon, who featured her in Revlon's "Most Unforgettable Women in the World" advertisements. In October 1987, she was on the cover of the Italian fashion magazine Lei, her first of many covers. In 1988, she signed her first professional modeling contract.
Milla has appeared in hundreds of magazines and on dozens of covers. She has been featured in ad campaigns for several brands, including Banana Republic, Christian Dior, Damiani, Donna Karan, Gap, Versace, Mango, Etro and several others (see "Gallery" dropdown menu above). Milla has recently been in campaigns for Chic Outlet Shopping, ICB, Ann Taylor, Mercedes-Benz, Metrocity, and Jacob & Co. Milla starred in 2012 calendars for Campari and Pirelli.
Milla's early modeling led to acting roles, and in 1988 she appeared in her first film role in the romance thriller Two Moon Junction. Her first leading role was in Return to the Blue Lagoon in 1991, for which she was nominated for the "Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture" in the 1991 Young Artist Awards. She appeared on some TV shows around this time and also in the films Kuffs (1992), Chaplin (1992), and Dazed and Confused (1993).
Milla's breakout role was as Leeloo, the perfect being in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element (1997). She later starred in several other action movies, including Ultraviolet (2006), A Perfect Getaway (2009), and The Fourth Kind (2009).
Milla and husband Paul W.S. Anderson have made 5 Resident Evil films to date: Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Resident Evil: Extinction (2007), Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010), and Resident Evil: Retribution (2012).
Milla has also been in several comedies and dramas, including Spike Lee's He Got Game (1998), The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), The Claim (2000), The Million Dollar Hotel (2000), Zoolander (2001), Dummy (2003), No Good Deed (2003), You Stupid Man (2003), a faux trailer for a non-existent remake of Caligula (2005), .45 (2006), Palermo Shooting (2008), Stone (2010), and Vykrutasy (2011).
In 1994, Milla released her critically acclaimed folk album, The Divine Comedy. Inspired by a love of "elves and magic trees", Milla wrote the lyrics at 15 and recorded the album when she was just 16. Acoustic, folky, and hard to categorize, the eleven songs on The Divine Comedy are laced with Slavic sadness and X-istential self-doubt. "In a Glade" is a beautiful traditional Ukrainian folk song that Milla sings in her native tongue.
Milla led a band called Plastic Has Memory which played about a dozen shows in Los Angeles and New York City in 1999. Although Plastic Has Memory never released a record, they did contribute one song, "On the Hill", to Hollywood Goes Wild, a benefit CD for The Wildlife Waystation.
Milla performed the song "Left and Right" at Fashion Rocks in London, England in October 2003 (MP3). She has also had songs on several albums, including 2 cover versions of Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" on the The Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack (2000), "Rocket Collecting" on the Underworld soundtrack (2003), and "Shein Vi Di L'Vone" & "Mezinka" (Yiddish Klezmer songs) on the Dummy soundtrack (2003).
Milla has collaborated with Puscifer (Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle) several times. She sang on "Rev 22:20" on the Underworld soundtrack (2003) and also on the Renholder remix of The Cure's "Underneath The Stars" on the Underworld: Rise of the Lycans soundtrack (2009).
Milla released the single "Electric Sky" on May 18, 2012 and performed it the following night in Vienna, Austria at the Life Ball. [ Amazon ]
Milla will be releasing an EP soon!
Milla sang on "We Are Family" (2001) (American Red Cross benefit CD), "Former Lover" from Deepak Chopra's album, A Gift of Love II: Oceans of Ecstasy (2002), and "I Know It's You" by The Crystal Method (2004).
Jovovich-Hawk was a fashion line founded by Milla and Carmen Hawk in 2003. Jovovich-Hawk was a finalist in 2006 for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative. Milla's character Alice wore Jovovich-Hawk clothing in Resident Evil: Extinction (2007). Mango released a Jovovich-Hawk for MNG collection in 2007. CNN interviewed Milla and Carmen for a feature on Jovovich-Hawk in 2007 (video). Jovovich-Hawk ended in 2008. See Jovovich-Hawk.com for more information (video preview).
Milla is an ambassador for amfAR (The Foundation for AIDS Research) and also supports several other charities, including OCRF (Ovarian Cancer Research Fund), The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Wildlands Project, and UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
Milla's PSA for the OCRF:
2009: Milla attended the Montblanc Signature for Good opening event for the official unveiling of her portrait along with 11 other actresses on February 20, 2009 in Los Angeles, CA. Milla posed as Esmeralda from Victor Hugo's classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame to raise funds for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Milla's print was sold for $20,000 USD in September 2009!
Milla was one of the featured artists in a global campaign titled "tck tck tck: Time for Climate Justice" addressing climate change headed by Bob Geldof. The campaign features a collaborative single recording a reworded version of Midnight Oil's 1987 protest song "Beds are Burning". The single, available as a free download from iTunes is designed to both to raise awareness and act as a "giant digital petition" by those who download it.
2010: Milla was photographed by Helena Christensen for the Tommy Hilfiger Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. Milla: "As a devote supporter of charitable causes, I really am grateful to be the ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger's initiative to support Breast Health International. To be a part of such an inspirational initiative is an incredible honor, and I hope that through our partnership we can help make a difference in the thousands of lives touched by the horrible disease." [ article ]
2012: Representing the US AIDS research foundation amfAR, Milla will join former US president Bill Clinton and others for this year's 20th edition of the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria on May 19, 2012 to benefit AIDS charities. Milla will also be performing her new single, "Electric Sky". [ Article ]
Milla is part of Got Your 6, "a campaign led by the entertainment industry that will help create a new conversation in America, one where veterans and military families are perceived as both leaders and civic assets." For more information please visit gotyour6.org.