Ben Stiller meets President Zelensky in Kiev: You are my hero!
Steph Deschamps / June 21, 2022
The American actor Ben Stiller met Monday in Kiev with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to whom he expressed his admiration for his action since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
This is a great honor for me (...) You are my hero, said Stiller, a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, as he met Zelensky, himself a former actor, on World Refugee Day, according to images released by the Ukrainian presidency.
What you've done, the way you've mobilized the country, the world, it's really inspiring, the 56-year-old American added, referring to Zelensky's countless speeches to audiences around the world to get help for his country.
Earlier in the day, Ben Stiller had visited Irpin, a suburb of Kiev, where fierce fighting took place at the beginning of the invasion. It is also the closest point to the capital ever reached by the Russian army.
I feel like it's hard to understand what's really going on here without coming here, he told the president. I was in Irpin this morning (...) and the actual level of destruction, you see it on TV, you see it on social media, but it's another thing to really see it, feel it and then talk to people.
Speaking in English, Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Mr. Stiller for his visit and said it was very important for him to remind the world what is happening in Ukraine.
The two also discussed their shared interest in comedy with a laugh.
You gave up a great acting career, quipped Mr. Stiller, famous for such humorous films as 'Night at the Museum' and 'My Stepfather. Not as great as yours, retorted Mr. Zelensky, who, before being elected in 2019, starred in Servant of the People, a satirical series about a high school teacher who accidentally becomes president of Ukraine.