March 17, 2019,

Thankfully, where we start out in life, especially if it is in a bad place, is not where we necessarily end up.

So much of that future depends upon our internal makeup and intestinal fortitude.

The international beauty Olga Kurylenko seems to have learned this lesson well.

If music is your passion you may recognize her from one of her first acting appearances in Seal‘s music video, “Love’s Divine” in 2003.

Olga Kurylenko is a Ukrainian-born, France-based actress and model. article, Sony Pictures photo credit

Her initial entry into our world was under challenging circumstances.

“My mom cleaned toilets for a long time, and she’d seen a lot of terrible things, but she was still the strength of our family. And there are women like that all across the country – all around the world – who show that type of fortitude.”… Dwayne Johnson

She was born Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union.

Her mother, Marina Alyabysheva, divorced her father, Konstantin Kurylenko, soon after her birth. After the divorce her mother struggled to survive as an art teacher. Young Olga was brought up by her mother and her grandmother, Raisa.

Unfortunately during her youth Olga had the humbling experience of living in poverty; she had no choice but to wear rags and had to darn the holes on her sweater.

Things would improve in her youth.

She was discovered as a model in Moscow at the age of 13.

One day she and her mother made a trip to Moscow. There she was spotted by an agent, who approached her at a subway station and offered her a job as a model. Understandably, initially Olga’s mother was very suspicious, but she checked out the agent’s credentials and eventually allowed Olga to accept training as a model in Moscow, which turned out to be a fantastic career choice.

By age 16 she was ready for the next step.

She had the courage to move to Paris, learned French in six months (wow) and was signed by the Madison agency. At age 18 she appeared on the cover of Glamour, and in short order graced the covers of Elle, Madame Figaro, Marie Claire, and Vogue. She also became the face of Lejaby lingerie, Bebe clothing, Clarins and Helena Rubinstein cosmetic companies.

Her brilliant and sexy movie career began in earnest.

In 2007, she starred in Hitman alongside Timothy Olyphant. She had a minor role in Max Payne as Natasha. Olga then appeared in Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, shot in autumn-time 2010 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

She also appeared in Oblivion, a science fiction film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Joseph Kosinski. Kurylenko played Alice Fournier who is the main subject of the spy thriller November Man.

In 2014, Ms. Kurylenko starred in the historical drama film The Water Diviner alongside Russell Crowe (who made his directorial debut), Jacqueline McKenzie and Jai Courtney. She also played the headmistress in Vampire Academy.

Most of us who love film recognize her from her outstanding role opposite Daniel Craig in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. article, Sony Pictures photo credit

Look how far she has come from very humble circumstances.

A popular video appearance and a stellar movie resume including starring in blockbuster films alongside A list actors is very impressive.

We are also amazed by her modeling career which she put to good use at a very early age.

By the age of 18, she had appeared on the covers of Vogue and Elle magazines. While working as a model in Paris, our beautiful teenager supported her mother in Ukraine.

She also appeared on the covers of Madame Figaro and Marie Claire magazines. She became the face of brands Bebe, Clarins, and Helena Rubinstein. She has also modelled for Roberto Cavalli and Kenzo and appeared in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue.

Yes, Olga Speaks Russian, English, and French fluently. She can speak Spanish and Italian as well.

Is there more? Of course.

She is also a trained ballerina and plays the piano.

There appears to be nothing that she can’t do, nothing that she can’t achieve. She is, as they say, highly motivated.

Perhaps it is due to those humble beginnings.

It is time to visit Olga’s part of the world. article, Andrew Butko photo credit via Wikimedia

Berdyansk is a port city in the Zaporizhia Oblast (province) of south-east Ukraine.

It is on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov, which is the northern extension of the Black Sea.

It serves as an administrative center of Berdyansk Raion, though it does not belong to the region. The city is named after the river Berda forming Berdyanska spit at the foot of which it is located.

What is a spit?

A spit or sand spit is a deposition bar or beach landform off coasts or lake shores. It develops in places where re-entrance occurs, such as at a cove’s headlands, by the process of longshore drift by longshore currents.

The deposits enrich and fertilize the soil making it an ideal place for plant growth and animal species migration.

The region exhibits a wide variety of fauna. Here it is possible to see hares, hedgehogs, martens, foxes, weasels and steppe cats. There also are: geese, sandpipers, swans, herons, ducks, magpies, seagulls, cormorants, warblers, lapwings, red-breasted geese and mute swans. Their numbers swell during the migration season.

This helps to make Berdyansk a very attractive place, which is home to a safari zoo, water park, museums, health resorts with mud baths and climatic treatments, and numerous water sport activities.

The local tourist site summarizes it so well. “Berdyansk, a southern city warmed by the sun and set amid azure waters, is called the gem of the Azov Sea. This resort, known for its beaches, climate, and healing mud, is among the most famous in the south of Ukraine, and its qualities make it an ideal spot for relaxation.

The picturesque Berdyansk Spit, near the city, is an amazing natural creation. This sand peninsula, which cuts into the Azov Sea for over 10 miles, serves as a defensive barrier for the city. The most valued treasures of the Berdyansk Spit are its unique curing mud, mineral springs, and coastal salt lakes.”

Warmly sensational. The area appears to be an ideal place for a vacation getaway to relax, cleanse your body and rejuvenate. article, Andrew Butko photo credit via Wikimedia

Though Olga grew up poor, there was a natural richness that surrounded her.

In so many words she said so herself. She was once quoted as expressing, “I maybe missed money in my childhood, but I didn’t miss love, that’s for sure. My dad wasn’t there, but I can tell you not even once did I think I was missing something.”

Spoken like a true Bond Girl.

“Acting is a hard profession. More than anything, it takes fortitude.”… Jeffrey Dean Morgan

With her model looks, international flair, command of various languages, budding movie career and passionate zest for life, it is clear that despite her humble beginnings, due to her intestinal fortitude and positive determination, Olga far exceeded anyone’s expectations.

Except hers.

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Opening photo via Pinterest