Ben Stiller meets Ukrainian president Zelensky in Kyiv: "You're my hero"

Ben's journey
UNHCR Ambassador
A committed star
Impressed with Zelensky
They have a career as comedian in common
A real impact
A Stiller fan
Visits to important places in the conflict
With Karolina Lindholm Billing
First he passed through Poland
13 million Ukrainians displaced
An untenable situation
Improve cooperation between Ukraine and UNHCR
Impact of a star visit
Zelensky in Hollywood?
Ben's journey

In the series of unexpected encounters Volodymyr Zelensky has had since the Russian attack on Ukraine, the latest was with American actor and director Ben Stiller.

Photo: UNHCR

UNHCR Ambassador

The legendary Derek Zoolander visited Ukraine and met with the country's president, in his role as Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Photo: UNHCR - Andrew McConnell

A committed star

Ben Stiller, one of the most committed and active stars in Hollywood, has not hesitated to proclaim his admiration for the work of Volodymyr Zelensky in this conflict.

Photo: UNHCR

"You're my hero"

"It's really wonderful. You're my hero," the filmmaker told the Ukrainian president as soon as he saw him, in a video that Zelensky himself also shared on his social media.

Impressed with Zelensky

As reported by 'New York Post,' Ben Stiller is impressed by the way in which Volodymyr Zelensky has led Ukraine and its citizens.

They have a career as comedian in common

According to the actor, it's "inspiring" what Volodymyr Zelensky is doing, especially because he comes from a past as a comedy actor, something he shares with Ben Stiller.

A real impact

"It's hard to understand what's actually going on here if you haven't been here," Ben Stiller said. "It's something else to actually see it and feel it, and then to talk to the people. We talked to a bunch of people this morning... And that's a lot more shocking."

Photo: UNHCR

A Stiller fan

For his part, Zelensky thanked Ben Stiller for appearing in Kyiv, acknowledging that it is "an honor" to receive him and telling him all he knows about his career in Hollywood.

Visits to important places in the conflict

Ben Stiller's visit was not limited to a meeting with Zelensky. Before meeting with the Ukrainian president, he toured some of the formerly Russian-occupied settlements in Kyiv.

Photo: UNHCR

With Karolina Lindholm Billing

The actor was accompanied by Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR representative in Ukraine. She served as a guide and took him, among others, to the residential areas of Irpin. Stiller talked to the affected citizens, Zelensky reported on his website.

Photo: UNHCR

First he passed through Poland

Even a day before, Ben Stiller had already passed through Poland to visit temporarily displaced Ukrainian citizens.

Photo: UNHCR - Andrew McConnell

13 million Ukrainians displaced

The United Nations estimates that 13 million Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes since the Russian invasion. Five million of them have left the country.

An untenable situation

Zelensky told Stiller that if Irpin shocked him, some other places in Ukraine are surely worse. "What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful. But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east."

Improve cooperation between Ukraine and UNHCR

The objective of the visit was to bring Ukraine and UNHCR closer together and to seek ways of better cooperation to help, as much as possible, the Ukrainian people.

Photo: UNHCR

Impact of a star visit

Without a doubt, one way this visit had an impact was that it brought a big star to Kyiv and, with him, a renewed attention to the situation in Ukraine.

Photo: UNHCR

Zelensky in Hollywood?

Even though the conflict continues to last and nothing can be predicted, it wouldn't surprise us if we saw Ben Stiller and his hero Zelensky making some Hollywood project together in the future.

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