Volodymyr Zelensky: a name that did not mean much to us yesterday, but which sadly makes the front page of all the newspapers today. Zelensky is the president of Ukraine, now a victim of Russian bombing. While the war imposes its difficult law, the young president tries to maintain links with these fellow citizens, in particular through social networks. He publishes videos of him in the streets of Kiev, calling on the population to resist, at the very moment when the Russian army surrounds the capital. A man of a thousand lives, the 44-year-old president has had an unusual career. Back on his evolution, from TV candidate to the presidency of a country at war.
1. He participated in the KVN TV show
KVN means “Kloub Veselykh i Nakhodtchivykh”, which could be translated as “The club of cheerful and intelligent people”. In short, this is a humorous game show, which is very popular in Russia. The rule: several teams of students, representing their respective universities, compete around Quizzes and through the interpretation of small comic scenes. He took part in it in 2001, when he was 23 years old.
2. He founded the production company Studio Kvartal 95
In 2003, after his appearance on the show, Volodymyr Zelensky formed the “KVN team”, with, as its name suggests, former participants. From this team was born the “Studio Kvartal 95”: a television entertainment production company in Ukraine. Among its productions: audio and visual content (such as the “Servant of the people” series, which we will find in point 8) in Russian and Ukrainian, as well as concerts. The company’s goal is to make the world a better place, a kinder and more joyful place using these tools that we have, which are humor and creativity. And inevitably, when we compare these words with the current context, our hearts sink.
3. He presented “Quartier Soir”
At the same time, Zlensky became the presenter of “Vecherniy Kvartal” (“District Evening”): a variety show, produced by the company Studio Kvartal 95, which would be the most watched program in Ukraine for several years.
4. He participated in the Ukrainian version of “Dancing with the Stars”
“Tantsi z Zirkami” is the Ukrainian name of this show, in which celebrities learn to dance alongside professionals. In 2006, the current Ukrainian president is not content to just participate… He wins the edition!
5. He played Napoleon in “Rvhevsky versus Napoleon”
In 2012, he played “Napoleon Bonaparte” in “Rvhevsky versus Napoleon”, a Russian film by Marius Waisberg. The Story: As Napoleon invaded Russia in the 19th century, the Russians disguised a lieutenant as a woman and ordered him to seduce the Emperor, to slow his progress. All interspersed with dance, reference to Joe Dassin and an appearance by Jean-Claude Van Damme. A rather uncomfortable merry mess, what.
6. He provoked in risque musical parodies
A clip that parodies “Cossacks” shot in 2014.
7. He was the voice of Paddington Bear
In 2014, he lends his voice to dub the Ukrainian version of the film Paddington Bear. An experience he repeated in 2017, when the second film was released. Recently, actors from the “Paddington family” (Hugh Bonneville and Guillaume Galienne) sent their support to him and underlined the courage of the president.
8. He starred in “The Servant of the People”
In 2015, the bridge between fiction and reality is very thin… In this popular series, produced by his company, he plays a history teacher who becomes… President of Ukraine. Inception. This role will give him ideas.
9. He became President of Ukraine
In 2019, he was elected President of Ukraine, winning nearly 73% of the vote. A crushing victory against the outgoing president: Petro Poroshenko. His party is then called… Servant of the People. Like his series. Inception again.
Often mocked, especially after a rather humiliating phone call with Trump, the world’s gaze is changing today on Zelensky. In this fight of David against Goliath, the one who inherited the label of “president by accident” shows a rather remarkable coolness. And if he were to shoot a new season of “Servant of the People”, I think we would all like it to be called “The War is Over.” ” Really.
Sources: HuffPost, Wikipedia, Les Echos, Mosquito