Milla Jovovich's Paper Covers, a Retrospective

by Maggie Dolan
After being spotted at 11-years-old by Richard Avedon, who featured her in Revlon's "Most Unforgettable Women in the World" ad campaign, Milla Jovovich has pretty much done it all -- model, actress, singer/songwriter, fashion designer -- and done it all with her own admirable, mish-mash brand of bad-ass bohemianism. PAPER fell in love with the Ukrainian talent early on, featuring her on our cover three times. Join us on a walk down Milla memory lane below.

Summer 1994
After rising to semi-fame from modeling and acting roles in films like Night Train to Kathmandu, Return to Blue Lagoon and Dazed and Confused, Milla released her debut album The Divine Comedy, which featured the cult folk hit 'Gentleman Who Fell' (see the Lisa Bonet-directed video below) in 1994. She was 18-years-old. In our cover story she talked to Mr. Mickey about an emotional encounter she had with an NYC hot dog vendor from Kiev, her hometown, and how a love for reading propels her songwriting.

Milla on her rising fame: "I just wanna ride this thing so hard until somebody forces me to stop and even then, somehow, I'll slide out of their fingers. I'll never put myself in the position of doing something that doesn't make me happy."

May 1997
After focusing on her music, Milla returned to film with a breakout role in the critically-acclaimed and box office hit The Fifth Element while continuing to model for fashion's biggest names. In Mr. Mickey's cover story we found out that Milla's admirers included famous faces like Winona Ryder, who told Gwyneth Paltrow at a Maverick Records party that she loved Milla, Mr. Mickey heard, and Kristen McMenamy, who told Milla after a Sonia Rykiel show, "Ya know, I wasn't sure about you until that W story--that one where you look like a boy? But now I think you're alright...I'm convinced."

Milla on acting: "I'm not the best actress yet. I need to work with people who know what they are doing. You just need to know what you want, and I'll give it to you...I'm still an artist. I'm never gonna do a shit movie, because I've got my modelling to support me."

March 2001
In the early naughties Milla hit her stride. She had lucrative contracts with L'O'real and Donna Karan, who described Milla in Mr. Mickey's cover story as a woman who "knows what's sexy to a man, and it's not necessarily being this perfect person. She's not a woman who spends her time in front of a mirror. To me, Milla is an alive woman. She has a seduction about her." In 2002 Resident Evil was released, the first of a five film series in which she starred. By 2004 she topped Forbes' "Richest Supermodels of the World List."

Milla reflecting on her fame: "I didn't want to be involved in fashion. I wanted to experiment with my music and live a bohemian lifestyle. I was very underground. I didn't want to be fabulous Milla on the cover of Seventeen. I felt that wasn't me, but I couldn't keep up with the lifestyle I was leading without making money....I am not fabulous. I have a lot of things I have to think about, a lot of problems. Everything's not fabulous all the time."

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