Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko is a Ukrainian-born actress and model best known for her role as a Bond Girl in the film “Quantum of Solace.” She was raised by her Russian mother, Marina Alyabysheva, and grandmother, Raisa, after her father, Konstantin Kurylenko, divorced Alyabysheva and moved away when Olga was only three years old.
Growing up in poverty due to her mother being the soul breadwinner for both Olga and her grandmother, she was still able to get a very good education due to her mother’s dedication to doing everything she could for her. Olga was put through five years of ballet, as well as music, art and languages courses.
At 13, Olga and her mother took a trip to Moscow, where she was discovered by a talent scout for a modeling agency while traveling on the subway. After initial skepticism from her mother, Olga was eventually allowed to stay in Russia where she trained to be a model. By age 16, she moved to Paris and signed with the Madison Agency. While there, she was also able to pick up the French language in a period of six months.
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By age 18, Olga’s modeling career was in full swing. She was gracing the covers of every magazine from Glamour to Vogue to FHM. Eventually, she became the official face of the Bebe clothing line, Lejay lingerie and Helena Rubinstein cosmetics, among others.
When Olga was 20, she married longtime friend and fashion photographer Cedric Van Mol. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as their union came to an end after three and a half years. However, this allowed Olga to begin focusing on her acting career. She landed her first starring role in the 2005 film “L'Annulaire” aka “The Ring Finger.” From there, she landed several eye candy roles in films such as “Paris, je t'aime” and “Le serpent” before making her move to U.S. films such as “Hitman” and “Max Payne.”
Her biggest break in film would come from the 2008 James Bond flick “Quantum of Solace,” where she starred opposite Daniel Craig. The international success of this film lead to Olga making appearances on several television productions in Russia and the Ukraine. Last year, she played Angela in the indie dark comedy “Seven Psychopaths” opposite Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell. She stars in the latest Tom Cruise vehicle, “Oblivion,” set to release on April 19th, 2013.
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