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Movers and Shakers Interview with Eugenia Kuzmina

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Eugenia Kuzmina

Tell us your name and a little about yourself.

I am Eugenia Kuzmina. My two favorite words are adventure and fun. I’m not a typical Capricorn, and I don’t have a normal birthday, it’s on Dec 25.

I’ve always been one of those kids who doesn’t fit in the box.

Early creative ideas caught my scientist parents, and my early teachers by surprise, like the time I made bikinis out of soviet uniforms or snuck into a screening of “Terminator 2“ at five. In fact, I was so blown away by it, I had to sneak in twice in a row.

Let’s just say I’ve been feeling much happier pursuing professional ice skating than sitting at a school desk. Who cares about everyday training in -22F when you can feel that excitement of doing a live show on ice, like “Red Riding Hood“, “Snow White,” etc. The smell of freshly cleaned ice, the lights, the music bursting…

And then came modeling. It’s not something you can pursue, it’s just about the look you have… and the Russian designer Slava Zaitsev thought I had a look for his brand and a few others, like M&Ms (love chocolate) RC Cola (we went through 50 bottles shooting the commercial) and magazines like Vogue and Elle. Then, at 15, came contracts for Dior, L’Oreal, Hermes to travel to France, Tokyo, London, and New York. I would wake up in the planes from the Amazon Jungle to Shanghai, to the Sahara to New York. That was the most gypsy time of my life!

Then at 23, I gave it all up to have a baby with a man I fell in love with. It was a big leap of faith, and I believe life has its magical ways.

Not long after Rodrigo Prieto was looking for a model character in a short film, he wanted to direct with Elle Fanning. He was looking for someone who could portray decadence, vanity, and extreme neurosis. Who knew you can share all the dark sides of being human on camera! The past three years have been a rollercoaster of discoveries and stories, like playing a girl of the oldest profession with John Turturro and Woody Allen on the streets on NY, making Zoe Deschanel act even more awkward on “New Girl,” playing an FBI agent with Stana Katic on Castle, being a mean night club host with Danny McBride, Scott Caan, and Bill Murray and improvising with Lisa Kudrow on “The Comeback,” playing Eric Roberts’ much younger wife on the verge of a breakdown, Rich Bitch in Guy Ritchie “The Gentlemen, ” etc.

I’m incredibly grateful for being part of the creative process and working with such incredible artists.

Recently, I’ve decided to get back to doing live shows and found Stand Up! I fell in love just being in a room with total strangers, sharing life at its most unexpected moments, simply brings me a lot of joy.

 

What exactly does your company do?

Comedian, Actress, Model Mom

 

What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

Growing up in Post Soviet Russia on food tickets, loosing my nuclear scientist dad at 15 with mom not working and having a younger sister to support, moving to Paris by myself at 15 , being an adult at 15 in the modeling industry signing contracts, and living on my own, anorexia, having kids in early 20 in the busiest time of modeling career, overcoming cliches in Hollywood being from Russia, and having a career after having kids.

 

What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?

The importance of self-value despite outside circumstances, the value of saying no to projects and relationships, and that time is something you don’t get back.

 

Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?

Princess Diana for her charity work and kindness, Keanu Reeves for his humbleness and values, Benzair Buhto for her courage and passion, my family, and Jim Carrey and Robin Williams for their humor.

 

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

My first agent at 15 years old in Paris was Nathalie Cros. Coitton for instilling in me that modeling is work and business and not glamour and parties. My agent at IMG Luiz Mattos for believing in my uniqueness, my husband Bill Block, and Gillian Greene who cast me in the first film.

 

How can people follow your journey? Please list your social media URLs

www.eugenia-kuzmina.com

https://www.instagram.com/eugeniakuzmina/

https://www.youtube.com/user/eugeniakuzmina1

Founder & Editor-In-Chief of Kivo Daily Magazine

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