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New Bond girl shows her Ukrainian roots

Published time: January 23, 2008 14:34
Edited time: January 23, 2008 14:34

James Bond

Born in Berdyansk in southern Ukrainene, Olga went on to become an international model. It was her mother who introduced her to the world of beauty. But Olga, she says, wanted to be a surgeon.

“When she was seven or eight she found a newborn kitten and it didn’t look like it would make it. But Olga insisted that we do CPR to the poor pet. I said we couldn't and she burst into tears,” Marina Alyabusheva said.  

Olga’s career took off after one lucky encounter in the Moscow subway. Stricken by her looks, a producer invited her to a modeling agency.

“I always told her that I love a beautiful nude female body. I was never against her advertising underwear. I was teaching her that it’s a form of art and there’s nothing obscene about it as it’s usually portrayed. I am very proud that the West didn’t break her. For instance, she doesn’t smoke like other models,” Marina added.  

Olga Kurylenko and Timothy Olyphant in ‘Hitman’
Olga Kurylenko and Timothy Olyphant in ‘Hitman’


After training in Moscow, Olga was invited to work in Paris at the age of 18. She graced the covers of Elle, Marie Claire and Vogue among others.

She caught the attention of filmmakers over after almost ten years on the catwalk.

Her old drama teacher Inna Vasilieva watched Olga star in the Hollywood film, Hitman, which she says left her with mixed feelings. She prefers memories of her student acting in adaptations of classic Russian novels.

“In the beginning she was moody. But then became more diligent. I practiced speech with her. I recall her playing a part of a court dame and she just couldn’t get it right. She was so slim and tall and the dame was supposed to be fat and big,” Inna Vasilieva said.  

The home town of this new Bond girl is struggling. In her school cafeteria students have no forks to eat their dinner.

But the mayor of Berdyansk, Anatoly Stepanenko, is hoping that Olga’s success will put them on the map. He has even suggested naming a street after her.

“I think a lot of world famous actresses are probably dying of jealousy. And we are so happy about Olga’s success. We want to build our own hall of fame and will ask Olga to leave her footprint in stone,” Mayor Stepanenko said.

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