Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has impressed the world with his courageous resistance of Russia’s invasion of his homeland — and stolen hearts with resurfaced clips from his days as an actor.
When it comes to rallying international support, a president with screen presence doesn’t hurt.
Zelenskyy, who played Ukraine’s president on the sitcom “Servant of the People” before winning the actual 2019 presidential election on an anti-corruption, anti-Russian platform, has put a brave face on the war in his biggest role yet.
- As he stepped into the global spotlight, social media users have started posting highlights from his entertainment career.
2006: Zelenskyy appeared on the Ukrainian version of “Dancing With the Stars,” where he wowed judges with his flamboyant moves.
Volodymyr Zelensky on the Ukrainian version of Dancing with the Stars in 2006. Turns out brave, courageous leaders, wear pink 🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/dbezW2pgDf
— Doncor Leonie 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🇺🇦 (@Doncor_Leonie) February 27, 2022
2014: Zelenskyy applied his choreographic flair to the Beyonce hit “Single Ladies” with other members of his comedy troupe and production company, Kvartal 95, on their sketch show “Evening Quarter.”
Ladies, gentlemen, both and neither – Ukrainian President Zelensky dancing in high heels to completely blow your minds. WORK
— Outstar (@outstarwalker) February 27, 2022
2014: Zelenskyy took on another, less risqué piece of beloved Anglophone culture when he voiced the lead role in the Ukrainian versions of “Paddington” and its sequel “Paddington 2.”
And here is Zelensky as the voice of Paddington 🐻 pic.twitter.com/vif4L8hGGz
— Nick de Semlyen (@NickdeSemlyen) February 27, 2022
2016: In a live performance, Zelenskyy — whose government Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused of Nazism — paid a cocky tribute to his Jewish heritage with a rousing rendition of “Hava Nagila” in another episode of “Evening Quarter.”
Who among us has not played "Hava Nagila" on a piano with their genitals on stage and then gone on to lead their country against a foreign invasion? pic.twitter.com/6IlRgF83he
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) February 28, 2022
2017: On Monday, Zelenskyy submitted a request for Ukraine’s expedited admission to the European Union despite his failure to win admission as the fictional president in the popular “Servant of the People” TV show.
I can’t wrap my mind around the existence of this clip. pic.twitter.com/1XvBYWlMxg
— Vera Bergengruen (@VeraMBergen) March 2, 2022
A strong bipartisan U,S. consensus in support of Ukraine is emerging thanks in large part to Zelenskyy’s leadership.