At Home With Eugenia Kuzmenia In Hollywood Hills
by Janine Barrera Castillo
It is not everyday that one encounters someone whose beauty is its own excuse for being, if you can please pardon that classic line. Many times, our closest experience would be simply to gaze at their visage in some glossy publication, so perfect, so fashionable, so coolly beautiful, and oh so beyond reach. It was therefore, quite a surprise and a delight to be able to meet the warm human in the flesh, who laughs, who chats it up, and who expresses very human emotions. Eugenia Kuzmina is that beautiful creature who is as real as your girl next door.
The first thing that will greet you upon entering Eugenia's home is children. Yes, happy children live in this household, as evidenced by the toys, the splashing sounds from the swimming pool, party hats and party plates all set for a children's party, loud dance music and merry laughter heard all around the house. All these are as much at home in this residence as the impressive collection of contemporary art displayed on the walls. Check your pre-conceived ideas or notions of how a high fashion model's dwelling would look like, because this is definitely not the scene you would expect to see, at least not at any given average day. Yet, somehow, the ordinary everyday chaos of a household with children lends a new depth of beauty to Eugenia Kuzmina, the kind that is above and beyond the fading pages of a glossy magazine, the eternal kind. It inspires a warm feeling of kinship to know that she is above all, a mommy.
Born in Moscow to Russian scientist parents, Eugenia Kuzmina, realized early that she definitely did not fit easily into any box. Her father disapproved of her modeling and anything else related to it. He was one among the first scientists appointed by then Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev to supervise the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster. Sadly, no human being could have survived that kind of exposure to acute radiation. Her mother, also a scientist, stayed home to be a full time housewife and mother. Unlike her parents, her interest in creative, crazy ideas defined her early in childhood, where pursuing professional ice skating seemed more like a worthwhile activity than sitting behind a school desk. She was first discovered in school by a local TV team who happen to be recruiting child performers for a children's version of SNL (Saturday Night Live), apparently a very popular show in Russia. This was her very first exposure to show business. Growing up free spirited and creative in Russia would probably not be the norm given the more regimented and conservative nature of the environment. It wasn't long before her natural joie de vivre, her singular beauty, and her penchant for adventure brought her to places beyond her native place of birth.
IT'S A MODEL'S LIFE
Modeling came at the young age of fifteen, bringing her all the way to Paris, working for big prestigious fashion icons like Yves St Laurent, Christian Dior, Hermes and many more. She was first taken under the wing of Yves St Laurent, who saw something beyond the tall, gangly, and shy teenager. Under his tutelage, she was transformed into an elegant, beautiful muse, a perfect model for his creations. She possessed that much sought-after quality in a model, and that is, the ability to transform according to the artist's vision, the ability to take on different looks, different acts. In Eugenia's words - “fashion is about vision, different looks all the time”. Her modeling career took her further out to the far corners of the world, living a life that can be described as almost gypsy-like. To this day she loves being around creative people, learning the different aspects of the modeling industry, showing a keen interest in the process. To Eugenia, being involved in the modeling process is one way to build a lasting career in a very fast paced and often fickle industry. The concept of beauty changes rapidly and Eugenia feels that today's more inclusive world is actually a great time and place for all kinds of models.
ACTING AND BEYOND
Unsurprisingly, her modeling path led her to an acting career, opening up several roles in movies like Bad Moms, Dirty Grandpa, Fury, to name a few films. She also appeared in several TV programs like True Blood and Blue Bloods as well as a multitude of commercials and music videos. She trained under several professionals to help hone her acting skills. Being fluent in Russian and French certainly helped her land roles in the movies as well. It would be interesting to see the many more acting projects that Eugenia will be taking on in the future. But one thing is definite, with her talent, her looks and her personality, and most importantly her willingness to learn and to work hard, many more doors will be opening up for her.
A PASSION FOR COMEDY
Eugenia's most favorite thing to do is stand up comedy. This is probably the most interesting and surprising facet to this multi-talented individual. It is uncommon that a gorgeous model would be willing to open herself to a certain kind of selflessness and vulnerability that is necessary to win the hearts of an audience, if one wants to succeed as a comedian. She expresses an irreverent attitude by taking on the modeling stereotype and the fashion industry in general. We are all quite aware how difficult it is to make an audience laugh, much more sustain that attention span long enough to finish one's act and be funny all the way through. Eugenia possesses this knack and indeed, she is funny. Do not take this author's word for it, subscribe to Eugenia Kuzmina's YouTube page as well as her website to catch some of her comedic acts. Her most current comic undertaking may prove to be her most successful one yet. She is working on a Melania Trump character in one of her acts and based on the few, initial shots that have been shown, she hilariously nailed that character. She is very excited about this much anticipated project, working alongside another very talented actor who plays the Donald Trump counterpart. It would be worth following up on this gig as they develop the different outrageous and comical plots that will certainly be spun off of these two characters.
Ms Kuzmina first became a mommy at twenty three years old to a baby boy, to be followed not long after with a baby girl. She is married to Bill Block, a Hollywood producer and financier of studio films. After her stint with the hit movie Bad Moms, she was inspired to start a platform for mothers out there who lead unconventional lives. There is quite an extensive amount of traveling involved as a full time high fashion model. Acting and comedy definitely require time and attention as well. Add to that the unrelenting responsibilities of a full time Mommy, and your world can easily go into a frantic tailspin. But as the old argument goes, why do women have to choose? Well, Eugenia Kuzmina certainly felt there is no need for such a choice. She loves her career and she loves being a mommy, and she will certainly do them all to the best of her ability. It will not be easy, it may be messy sometimes, there will be sacrifices to be made, a lot of adjustments and patience with your loved ones, and it will certainly require grit and determination to succeed regardless. It was with these concerns in mind that she decided to create the platform modelmom.tv to share her experiences as a mom, a model, an actor and comedienne. For mothers out there who live outside the box and are not afraid to do so, having a platform where they can lend voice to their experiences can prove invaluable in helping them cope and continue on with their dreams.
MARRIAGE IN TINSELTOWN
For someone who initially hadn't thought of marriage as a choice she would consider, Eugenia has been enjoying a fulfilling and most importantly, enduring marriage. She met her husband Bill Block through the efforts of Katie Ford of Ford Models. In spite being both very strong minded individuals, somehow something special and true developed between these two, resulting in a marriage that is now on its ninth year. Eugenia attributes the success of their marriage to their willingness to understand the nature of their individual lifestyles and careers as they navigate through the different stages of marital life. They are both raising two wonderful children. Spending time in the company of Eugenia Kuzmina was a sublime experience rivaled only by the beauty of that sunny day. Eugenia is a stunning person, both in appearance and character. She will welcome you into her home like a long lost relative. The feeling of inclusion and the warmth of family will engulf you with her engaging ways, her easy smile and her kind words. Much is written about her in magazines and the internet, much will be seen of her in the movies and her comedy shows, certainly much more in the near future. But having had the pleasure of meeting the real person, in the comfort of her own home, is a rare joy to be treasured for a long, long time.
EUGENIA KUZMINA for PUMP MAGAZINE | Executive Producer: RENE GONZALES | Featured Fashion Designer: CORAL CASTILLO | Featured Writer: JANINE BARRERA – CASTILLO | HMUA: RENE GONZALES | Photographer: VINCENT GOTTI