Russian model/actress Yuliya Snigir is about to make her American debut playing villainess Irina in the upcoming film A Good Day to Die Hard. If this film does well, we may be seeing this Russian beauty in other projects in the near future, but for now here are some facts on what to expect from this gorgeous newcomer.
1. Yulia Snigir Was Born in Tula, Russia
Yuliya Viktorovna Snigir was born in June 2, 1983, and was raised in Donskoy, a small town in the Tula region of Russia. After finishing high school, she attended the State Pedagogical University in Moscow. Before becoming a model, Yulia had to support herself financially studying and working in order to make a living. To support herself financially, Yuliya took a job teaching English at a nursery school.
2. She Was a Professional Chess Player
In Russia, Snigir played chess professionally, and when she was 15, she earned the esteemed title of Candidate of Chess Master from the International Chess Federation. She was essentially a child chess prodigy. "My father wanted me to be a world champion," Yulia told Men's Health. She wanted to continue to play professionally, but instead decided to continue her education, moving to Moscow to study in college.
3. She Became a Successful Model in Russia
Realizing that teaching wasn't exactly what she wanted in life, Yuliya entered modeling when a close friend showed her pictures to a representative at one of Moscow's most prestigious modeling agencies. Yuliya worked as a model while she was in school, modeling for brands like Michael Kors and Tag Heuer. She also appeared on magazine covers including Glamour, InStyle, Esquire and Maxim.
4. Yuliya Snigir Became the Face of L'Oreal
Sniger shot to stardom in the fashion world, modeling on the runway and getting offers to endorse many accessories. One of them was L'Oreal, for which she became the face in her home country.
5. She Modeled With Singer James Blunt
Sniger was given the opportunity to model for international brand Mexx for its clothing and perfume line. She was the face of the Mexx Women's line along with British singer James Blunt, who represented the men's collection.
6. She Was Featured in a Music Video
As a model, Sniger was also taking other projects to broaden her horizons. Her first project outside modeling was a music video for Russian group Zveri, shooting for its song "Do skoroi Vstrechhi (See You Soon)." In the video, shot in 2006, Sniger played the girlfriend.
7. She's a Big Film Star in Russia
Snigir branched out into acting when she was invited for an audition by a casting director while she was in France. Her acting career took off when she joined the Vakhtangov Theater Academy and starred in some small independent films. Her big break came when she starred in the Russian sci-fi film The Inhabited Island and its sequel, playing lead female character Rada Gall. She became a versatile actress in Russian cinema acting in TV series, theater and film.
8. Her American Debut is Her First Time Playing a "Powerful" Woman
Russian audiences familiar with Sniger's work will see a huge difference between her role in A Good Day to Die Hard her work the films she has done in the motherland. Snigir told ScreenSlam about how different it was for her to play a powerful role, since she always played a delicate person on screen in Russia:
She's a strong woman for sure and I enjoyed playing a strong woman because in Russia usually I play really a soft girl and dramatic. It's a real pleasure for any actor or actress to try something new you know and it's like exciting to try it and it was unexpected for me.
9. She Played a Man Onstage
Yuliya also tried her hand in stage work, acting in experimental theater. One of her well-known roles in theater was when she played a male role in a successful production of The Last Lear, for which she earned many Russian and European theater awards.
10. She Has Another Hollywood Film Coming Up
After A Good Day to Die Hard, Yuliya will move on to her next Hollywood venture. ComingSoon reported that the Russian beauty will star alongside Peter Facinelli and Dylan McDermott in the thriller Freezer. The movie began shooting last January in Canada. The film happens to involve Russian thugs — will Yuliya be one of them?