Many stars graced the red carpet at the 76th Cannes Film Festival opening; among them was Eugenia Kuzmina in a luxurious Vivienna Lorikeet dress – an American actress and a model of Russian descent, the wife of film producer and head of Miramax film studios, Bill Block. We go into detail on who the Kim Basingert look-alike is and what she is famous for.
Eugenia Kuzmina was born in Moscow in 1981. Her father, Igor Kuzmin, was a nuclear physicist, Chernobyl liquidator, and the right hand of Valery Legasov, who worked in the government commission for the investigation of the Chernobyl disaster. Her mother was a homemaker. Since early childhood, Eugenia did ice skating and even thought about a sports career, but her looks were too outstanding to be left unnoticed by the world of high fashion.
At 13 years old, the girl was taken under the wing of Russian fashion designer Vyatcheslav Zaitsev, who saw great potential in her. This is how her career in the modeling business started. Aside from the catwalk, she also appeared in the national RC Cola, M&Ms and Krasny Oktyabr chocolate ads, as well as Russian TV shows like Pole Chudes and Yeralash.
Young Kuzmina quickly landed a role in a movie starring Chuck Norris. However, she couldn’t leave Russia and attend the set. According to her, she wasn’t allowed out because of her father’s work, who had access to state secrets of the Cold War period.
Nevertheless, Eugenia didn’t stay in the post-Soviet space for long. In 2003 her father passed away, and she began to make a living herself and support the family. Kuzmina was spotted by an agent from Paris, and ended up there, which started her dizzying European career.
In Paris, she successfully passed a casting with Yves Saint Laurent himself, thanks to which she received a chance to shine on the catwalk in the company of such stars as Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Carla Bruni.
She also participated in the show Mugler, where she shone with models Gisele Bündchen and Ivanka Trump. Many famous brands signed contracts with her – Prada, Gap, Dior, Cartier, Hermes, Armani, L'Oréal, and others.
At the age of 21 Eugenia met movie producer Bill Block, who was 55 at the time. “My boss Katie Ford introduced me to Bill. He was extremely charming, he had all these intellectual ideas about movie making. He had to pursue me for quite a while: he would fly to our shoots in Hawaii, take care of the whole crew and take us for dinners. He was such a gentleman,” she said in an interview with Daily Mail.
The couple moved to Hollywood Hills, getting married seven years later. After the wedding, Eugenia changed both her last and first name, and became Parker Block.
The couple has three kids. Eugenia got pregnant with her first child after she signed a contract with Ford Models agency. That meant the end of (or at least a long pause in) her modeling career. However, she could pursue different avenues.
In 2017 Block headed film company Miramax, founded by Harvey Weinstein, and helped his wife with roles in movie blockbusters. Despite the fact that Eugenia’s roles in movies are mostly episodic, her filmography already features Spy City, Bad Moms, as well as Guy Ritchie movies ‘The Gentlemen’ and ‘Operation Fortune’. By the way, looks aren’t the only thing Kuzmina and Kim Basinger have in common – Bill Block was also the latter’s producer at the dawn of her career.
Parallel to her movie career, Kuzmina trained in another craft – that of a comedian. She does stand-up comedy, joking about the modeling business in clubs such as The Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, Improv and Flappers. She has already toured the U.S.; in 2022 she launched her own stand-up show Models of Comedy, in which other supermodels also took part.
One of the funny stories that Eugenia likes to tell is about her mom. She moved to the U.S. to be with her daughter, but she was alien to Hollywood cinema. Once she almost beat up Jason Statham. “Jason is one of my husband’s best friends. They've been involved in real estate for a long time, he lives next door as well. When my baby was born, he used to come over sometimes. One time he came over, it was dark, my husband was away. My mom doesn't know anybody in Hollywood and she thought: ‘Who is this very intimidating man who is here without announcement?’ And she literally grabbed something to smack him. We had to explain that it’s OK, he's actually not an intruder,” Eugenia said.
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