Milla Jovovich ( /ˈjoʊvəvɪtʃ/ yoh-və-vich; born Milica Jovović, Serbian Cyrillic: Милица Јововић, Ukrainian: Мiліца Йовович; December 17, 1975 in Kyiv, Ukraine) is an American model, actress, musician, and fashion designer. Over her career, she has appeared in a number of science fiction and action-themed films, for which music channel VH1 has referred to her as the "reigning queen of kick-butt".
Jovovich was born in Kyiv, Ukraine (former Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union, to Bogdan “Bogić” Bogdanović Jovović, a Serbian medical doctor, and Galina Loginova (after marriage, Galina Jovović), a Soviet actress.
In 1981, when Milla was five years old, her family had to leave the Soviet Union for political reasons and move to London; they subsequently lived in Sacramento, California, USA. Seven months later, they settled in Los Angeles, California. She also has a brother named Marco Jovovich born in 1988.
Jovovich's mother had "raised [her] to be a movie star" and in 1985, enrolled Jovovich in the Professional Actors school in California. Jovovich had begun working on a music album as early as 1988, when she was signed by SBK Records after the company heard a demo she recorded. In August 1990, she asserted in an interview that the then-forthcoming album would be "a mix between Kate Bush, Sinéad O'Connor, This Mortal Coil, and the Cocteau Twins". After it was initially presented by SBK strictly as a pop album, Jovovich protested, insisting on using her personal poetry for lyrics and recording her own instrumental material. Jovovich had written the songs when she was fifteen, with the exception of a Ukrainian folk song, "In a Glade", that she covered. In April 1994, billed under her first name, she released The Divine Comedy, a title that was a reference to the epic poem by Dante Alighieri of the same name. Jovovich had chosen the title after seeing Russian artist Alexis Steele's proposed cover artwork sketch for the then untitled album. Jovovich found that the sketch had "all the struggle that I'm singing about. It IS the divine comedy". The Divine Comedy was well received by critics, and featured pop-infused traditional Ukrainian folk songs that led to comparisons with musicians Tori Amos and Kate Bush. John McAlley of Rolling Stone called the album "remarkable", "strikingly mature and rich in invention", and as featuring "angst-laced poetry with vivid melodies and arrangements that find a common spirit in synth pop, European folk and psychedelic dream rock". Jovovich released the track "Gentleman Who Fell", with an accompanying music video, as the sole single from the album. The music video was originally directed by Lisa Bonet and featured Harry Dean Stanton, but Jovovich was unsatisfied with the results and decided to film another version. The second version of "Gentleman Who Fell", a homage to Maya Deren's short film Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), was subsequently played on MTV.
Jovovich toured the United States during most of 1994 to promote the album, opening for Toad the Wet Sprocket and Crash Test Dummies, as well as playing smaller acoustic sets. Jovovich had opted to perform in smaller and more intimate settings, turning down a musical appearance on Saturday Night Live. Milla has also been collaborating musically with longtime friend and musician Chris Brenner, who co-wrote with her on The Divine Comedy Album and who was the musical coordinator for the supporting tour. She and Brenner met in 1993 and have been working creatively on different ventures ever since. Following The Divine Comedy, she expressed interest in releasing a second album, having had ten songs ready for a future recording that was intended for a Summer 1996 release.
The 1998 release, The Peopletree Sessions, was recorded by David Turin and Milla Jovovich during several late night sessions at David Turin's apartment in the Hollywood Hills.
Before issuance, it was remixed in a San Francisco apartment on Haight Street by D.Elder, who is now known for Noise Music. Issued originally on Turin's People Tree Recordings, hence the name, the release at first circulated only in small record shops in Los Angeles and received some airplay on community and pirate radio stations. A copy fell into the hands of The Dust Brothers who remixed "Queen Of the Parade" to make "Queen Electric", one of the more recognizeable tracks from the sessions. "The Peopletree Sessions" is now regarded as a classic of home-made electronic music and of lo-fi folk music.
In May 1999, Jovovich along with Chris Brenner formed an experimental band called Plastic Has Memory, in which she wrote the songs, sang, and played electric guitar. The band was "[m]uch heavier and darker than the vaguely Ukrainian folk-sounding elements of her first album" and had a similar sound to a grunge and trip hop Portishead. Plastic Has Memory played about a dozen shows in Los Angeles and New York City for a potential Virgin Records album release, one of which Mick Jagger had attended. Though Plastic Has Memory was featured on Hollywood Goes Wild, a benefit celebrity compilation album, the group never formally released a record and is no longer together.
Jovovich has contributed tracks to several of her film soundtracks, including The Million Dollar Hotel (2000) and Dummy (2002), and has also provided songs for the soundtracks of films in which she has not acted such as Underworld (2003) produced by musician Danny Lohner who was the bass player in Nine Inch Nails for many years. In 2001, Jovovich was one of many celebrities whose vocals were featured in a cover of "We are Family" to raise money for the American Red Cross. She has appeared as guest vocalist on the song "Former Lover" on Deepak Chopra's album, A Gift of Love II: Oceans of Ecstasy (2002) and Legion of Boom (2004) by The Crystal Method.
Since 2003, Jovovich has worked with musician Maynard James Keenan, of Tool and A Perfect Circle, on his Industrial side project Puscifer, contributing vocals to the track "REV 22:20", which was featured on various film soundtracks in its original or a remixed form. As of January, 2009, she can be heard collaborating with Maynard and Danny Lohner on the Puscifer track called, "The Mission." She also performed the song at the first live Puscifer performance on February 13, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Danny Lohner, and longtime music collaborator Chris Brenner currently continue to record and perform with Jovovich who has made several highly praised appearances in recent years.
Jovovich continues to write songs which she refers to as "demos", and which are provided for free in MP3 format on her official website (www.millaj.com). She provides license to freely download and remix the tracks, but reserves the right to sell and issue them. Read more on Last.fm