Born in Kiev, Ukraine, on December 17th, 1975, but raised in Los Angeles, California, Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich is an actress and model best known professionally as Milla Jovovich. She emigrated with her parents to the United States in 1980 and her mother, a popular Russian actress herself, made her take acting classes from the age of ten. When she was twelve years old, Milla left school to focus on her modeling career, which she had been doing since she was nine (having appeared on the cover of several international magazines). In 1988, she made her acting debut in the romantic film Two Moon Junction, followed by a role in television film The Night Train to Kathmandu. She also appeared in episodes of popular television series Paradise, Married… with Children, and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose during this time.
In 1991, Milla starred in the sequel Return to the Blue Lagoon, and the nudity scenes required for the role sparked controversy due to the actress’ young age. She was then cast in the comedy Kuffs (1992), and the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused (1993). Afterward, Jovovich took a four-year hiatus from filming, in which she moved to Europe and continued modeling. During her years in hiatus, Milla released her first studio album, The Divine Comedy (1994), through SBK/EMI Records. In 1997, she returned to the big screen with what is considered her breakout role: the sci-fi movie The Fifth Element. The film was a box office hit and received positive feedback.
Following the success of The Fifth Element, Milla had a supporting role in the drama film He Got Home (1998), and later starred in Lenny Kravitz’s music video for “If You Can’t Say No.” Her next big action movie was as the title character in 1999’s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc. Her performance as Joan of Arc was well-received although the movie wasn’t a commercial success. Other notable film roles were The Million Dollar Hotel and The Claim (both 2000), and Zoolander (2001). In 2002, Jovovich was cast in the action horror film series Resident Evil (2002-2016), based on the games by the same name. This role would become her most prominent role to date and would bring her international fame. The first movie in the franchise was a big hit, and Milla reprised her role in all five subsequent films in the series. Since then, she has taken roles in other sci-fi/action features, such as Ultraviolet (2006) and The Fourth Kind (2009).
Due to her frequent roles in action movies, Milla was nicknamed the “reigning queen of kick-butt.” Aside from big action movies, she can be seen in the coming-of-age dramedy Dirty Girl (2010), crime thriller Stone (2010), adventure film The Three Musketeers (2011), and Cymbeline (2014). Jovovich also made a cameo in Zoolander 2 (2016) and starred in the drama film Shock and Awe (2017). In 2018, she returned to sci-fi films with Future World. Most recently, Milla was part of the main cast in superhero film Hellboy (2019) and monster film Monster Hunter (2020).