In the midst of the Russia Ukraine crisis, a stark figure of hope has been Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. With his clarion calls for action, perseverance and persistence, he has won the hearts of the world. His speeches have brought tears on global platforms and been a beacon of motivation to his country which is battling Russian forces as the invasion continues. One would naturally assume that this man who has been commanding the nation with the next course of action, undeterred by progressing invasion, must be a leader with a background in politics and has this embedded in his DNA.
That, however, isn’t the case. Here’s mapping the great man’s journey from rom-com star to President of a nation that is stunning the world.
Role of Volodymyr Zelenskyy as reel President of Ukraine
Servant of the People a hit among Ukrainians was where Zelenskyy played the role of the President of Ukraine. The satirical TV series was created as well as produced by him and portrayed the storyline of a 30-year-old teacher who rose to the post of President after a video of him criticising the Government went viral. Little did the actor know that by the time the series ended he’d be elected as President of Ukraine.
A dynamic entertainment career
Hugh Bonneville, an acclaimed English actor took to Twitter to share some surprising news. “Until today I had no idea who provided the voice of @paddingtonbear in Ukraine. Speaking for myself, thank you, President Zelenskiy.”
Kat Abu was the next to share a clip of Volodymyr Zelenskyy dancing on the sets of a reality show, and had people the world over impressed! “so apparently Zelenskyy won the Ukrainian version of Dancing with the Stars in 2006 and the tape is even better than whatever you're imagining.”
Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a rom-com star in the making
No Love in the City made waves for the fun, easy-going, and yet captivating storyline it had. The 2009 film was co-written by Zelenskyy and stars him as a promiscuous dentist who weaves his way through New York City along with two fellow expats. The trio enjoys a lifestyle of fun and frivolity until they are cursed by the human form of St Valentine. Following this, they lose their virility and can now only have sex with their one true loves.
Another rom-com Office Romance has Zelenskyy play the role of a financial analyst and a single father to two girls, who manages to woo his hot boss. While the film did not receive much praise, Zelenskyy’s acting certainly did.
From romcoms, the now President shifted to playing prominent historical figures.
Playing reel political figures
Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon is a comedy film that has Zelenskyy playing the role of Napoleon and portrays his insatiable sexual desires, a quality which is then taken advantage of by his rivals as they send seductresses his way to stop him from making moves.
Among his other works as an actor, were 8 First Dates, and Me. You. He. She. At the recent SAG Awards, Scottish actor Brian Cox, said about Zelenskyy “The president of Ukraine was a comic. He was a wonderful comic performer. And we should respect that for him. And to come to the presidency is amazing. But the thing that’s really distressed me is what’s happening in Russia to my fellow actors and actresses and performers and writers and critics. They are told, under pain of high treason, that they cannot say a word about Ukraine. And I think that is pretty awful. And I think we should all stand together.”
Michael Keaton of Batman fam also said “We have a fellow actor in Zelenskyy, who deserves some credit tonight for fighting the fight.”
In an article to GQ, American Director David Dodson, who has directed Zelenskyy in three movies, recounts how even during his entertainment career, the then actor was loved by people. “When we were shooting in Kyiv and Lviv, he was mobbed. People adored him. We would have to stop shooting just so that he would take pictures and sign autographs, and he did that completely guilelessly. He never turned anyone away for a photo. If we were in the middle of a shot, he would just politely ask them to wait a few minutes. He had that kind of relationship with the people.”
As President Volodymyr Zelenskyy continues his efforts to secure Ukraine and protect the country from enemy forces, the tale of his rise to power has stunned the world.