Milla Jovovich Says “You’ve Gotta Be More Than Just A Pretty Face”

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Not many actresses can boast a career spanning more than 20 years these days. Especially ones that are still relatively young. But one who actually can, is Milla Jovovich, the 37 year old Ukranian beauty known for her highly stylized roles in action movies.

The daughter of a Russian stage actress mother and Serbian pediatrician father, her most notable roles are playing the title role in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, her breakthrough role playing Leeloo in The Fifth Element alongside Bruce Willis, and more recently as Alice in five of the Resident Evil films directed by her husband Paul Anderson.

She has also had a lot of success as a model, and has dabbled in music and designing. But her unique features are distinctly recognizable and she has certainly carved out a great career for herself. Whenever we see successful, beautiful women like Milla, we always wonder what makes them tick and ponder whether there is “something else” about them that makes them so alluring. In Milla’s case, she was kind enough to go deep in an interview with Net-a-porter’s online magazine The Edit about what she is like after the cameras stop rolling.

One of the themes of the article was how Milla is happy in her own skin. Being a model and an actress, she has succumbed to her fair share of industry pressure of losing weight to feel good, but she found it was when she, in fact, put on weight she felt more comfortable. She also felt it made her look older to be too skinny!

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“I’m very happy with the way I look; I look great for my age. But for me, when I was 23, I personally felt like no one could touch me,” she says about her attitude when she was younger.

And herein lies the secret to her longevity in her career. She says people lose interest very quickly in a pretty face, and you need to give them something else if you want to be in it for the long haul.

The actress, who has been a L’Oreal ambassador for 15 years says “It’s who you are when nobody is watching you that matters. You’ve got to have something else to bring to the table.”

She thanks her mother for the good advice. Milla left the (then) Soviet Union in 1982 with her parents, and came to California, where she pursued acting with the encouragement of her mother. But times were tough for her family, and she never took anything for granted, which is something she hopes to instill into her own daughter, six year-old Ever, as she grows up.

“No matter how awesome it would be to be a trust-fund kid from an extremely wealthy family, I think often people are pretty miserable when they have everything.” she says.

Her message is that there is far more to having longevity than there is to having looks. And she couldn’t be more spot on. It is a message we don’t hear often enough by celebrities, but who better to tout it than a woman who, 26 years into a solid career, can see a bigger perspective.

We hope Milla’s words will inspire all women out there not to change for someone else’s ideals, nor for an industry. Embrace who you are and use your unique qualities as a way to help others and make a difference. You never know when and how you might be able to empower another person’s life. It’s far more attractive (and easy!) to be yourself than to try and be someone else. Own who you are and be proud of yourself, warts and all!

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