Olga Kurylenko knows how lucky she is, says Nisha Lilia Diu in the London Daily Telegraph. A cover girl for Elle and Vogue, the 28-year-old model is now starring in the new James Bond film. That’s quite a startling turnaround for a young woman who grew up hungry and dirt-poor as the daughter of a single mother in Ukraine. “I couldn’t have anything, basically,” she says. “I couldn’t have any clothes I wanted, shoes, beds, because my mom couldn’t buy them. We struggled, we had nothing to eat.” She was crammed with various relatives into a single apartment. Then, at 13, a modeling agent spotted her. Overcoming her hesitation (“A lot of girls, you know, end up not in modeling agencies but somewhere else”), she began taking 27-hour train rides to Moscow for assignments. Soon, she moved to Paris to model in lingerie ads. “You know, when you come from Ukraine, and seriously I had no future whatsoever, when they want you to pose in lingerie, I was f---ing doing it! Because I was starving!” Now secure in her career, Kurylenko knows she was one bad break from going back to some crowded apartment in her hometown. “The agency invites you for a trial, and if nobody likes you, you move back. There are a lot of girls who go back.”
of The Week magazine.