Hollywood stars

10 Hollywood stars with Ukrainian roots: from DiCaprio to Stallone, discover their stories

The world is shocked by the war between Ukraine and Russia. Currently, thousands of people fear for their lives due to the invasion of those commanded by Vladimir Putin in several Ukrainian cities.

War is no stranger to Hollywood, as Ukraine – the second largest country in Europe – is rich in culture and art. It is therefore the birthplace of several celebrities who are now big names in the film, music and television industry.

From Leonardo DiCaprio, through Sylvester Stallone or actress Mila Kunis, many artists have their family roots in Ukraine, discover their stories here.

Mila Kunis

The protagonist of films like black Swan, Oz the Great and Mighty, ted and Friends with benefitsas well as the series That 70s show and Robot Chickenwas born in the city of Chernivtsi, Ukraine in 1983. The performer, who is married to actor Ashton Kutcher, lived in her hometown until 1991.

Mila’s mother worked in Ukraine as a physics teacher, her father was a mechanical engineer. The Kunis family moved to the United States to seek a better future. The actress recalled that the move was a horror for her, because she did not speak English and it was difficult for her to get used to the American educational system.

Steven Spielberg

In a newspaper interview The country, from Spain, the director said that his four grandparents were from Ukraine. Spielberg’s paternal grandparents emigrated to the United States and met in Cincinnati, the city where Arnold, the filmmaker’s father, was born.

Spielberg said Russian and Yiddish were spoken at home. “I grew up among Russians at home, but also with a terrible fear that I would not live long enough to get my driver’s license at 16, because there was going to be a thermonuclear exchange between Russia and the United States. . He was completely convinced that the end of the world was near. Someone was going to make a mistake, push a button and that would be the end of it,” he said. The country.

Sylvester Stallone

(André Medichin)

Stallone was born in New York in 1946. He rose to fame with the film series Rocky then with Rambo, but his family roots go back to the city of Odessa, the third largest in Ukraine. His great-grandparents were from this city, who belonged to a wealthy Jewish family that owned weaving factories.

Rose and Charles Labofish, who were Jewish immigrants from Odessa, were the paternal grandparents of Sylvester’s mother, Jackie.

Thousand Jovovich

Actress, model, singer, fashion designer and director; Milla Jovovich is perhaps the most famous Ukrainian. She was born in Kiev in 1975.

Milla’s mother, Galina Loginova, was a famous Soviet actress, while her father, Bogdan Bogdanovich Jovovic, was a pediatrician.

Child, the star of resident Evil he spent his early years in Ukraine and also in Moscow, his mother’s hometown. The family then moved to England and later to the United States, where they began their new life working as servants.

Milla said that during her school years in the United States, she was teased by other children who said she was a Russian spy and called her a communist.

steven tyler

During a press conference, before a concert that Aerosmith was going to present in Moscow, Steven Tyler admitted to having Slavic roots. His grandmother was German and his grandfather Ukrainian. “They met at a time when Ukraine and Russia were one country,” the artist said at the time.

Additionally, Tyler admitted that he grew up eating typical Ukrainian dishes, such as borscht soup.

In another meeting with journalists, the singer also said that his gypsy style is due to his Ukrainian roots.

Leonardo DiCaprio

With Leonardo DiCaprio there is a very curious situation. The actor thought he had Russian roots from his grandmother, Elena Smirnova, who was originally from Odessa. However, it was only recently that the actor and activist learned that the city is from Ukraine and not Russia.

Elena escaped from Ukraine to Germany with her family. She got married there, but was cheated on by her husband with another woman. During the Second World War, Elena fled to the United States, because of her origins, she could be the target of anti-Semites.

Elena became a very important figure in the upbringing of her grandson Leonardo, as the artist acknowledged in numerous interviews.

Vera Farmiga

The interpreter, recognized for having played Lorraine Warren in the saga of The spellwas born in New Jersey to a family of Ukrainian immigrants.

She grew up in a Ukrainian community, in the American city. She studied it in a Ukrainian Catholic school and she remembered that all her extracurricular activities were related to Ukrainian culture, from what she had collected The Guardian.

Her family’s cultural roots were so strong that Farmiga learned to speak English until she was six years old.

Vera is one of the international stars who showed her support for the Ukrainian people during this conflict. In her social networks, she posted the image of the Ukrainian flag, along with an excerpt from the lyrics of the anthem of this country.

Catherine Winnick

The artist, who played Queen Lagertha on the show vikings, was born in Canada, but is the daughter of Ukrainian immigrant parents. Her parents, in fact, raised her in the language of this country. Katheryn’s parents were born in Germany, after her grandparents fled Ukraine to protect themselves from the regime of the Soviet Union.

In his social networks, Winnick also showed his support for Ukrainians. She did it with a photo of the country’s flag with the caption, “I’m a proud Ukrainian.”

Leonard Nimoy

the star of star trek was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He has always been proud of his Jewish faith, inherited from Orthodox Jewish parents who immigrated from Ukraine.

Nimoy, who is in collective memory as the interpreter of Spock in star trekspoke and read Yiddish all his life until his death.

Nimoy’s family left Ukraine in the early 20th century when violent anti-Jewish riots began to sweep the country.

David Duchevy

“I grew up thinking I was Russian, only to find out now that I’ve been Ukrainian all this time. It’s never too late to change,” actor David Duchovny wrote on his Twitter account in 2014.

The interpreter, famous for his role as Agent Mulder, in the series X filesrealized his true family roots a bit late, but that didn’t stop him from feeling very proud to be Ukrainian.

David’s paternal grandparents were Ukrainian immigrants from the town of Berdychiv, who came to the United States to secure a new life.