Milla Jovovich is like lots of other 12-year-old girls. Her bedroom is strewn with stuffed animals. She’s hoarding CDs by the Pet Shop Boys. She gripes about wearing a retainer. It’s what she does in front of a camera that has transformed her from imp to vamp and made her the hottest preteen model since Brooke Shields. In the last year, 5’5″ Mil-la’s precocious, electric-blue gaze has lit up the covers of 13 magazines, including Mademoiselle and Seventeen, and Richard Avedon just finished shooting her as one of Revlon’s Most Unforgettable Women in the World. “She photographs much older than she really looks,” says her agent, Jeff Dash, and she gets paid that way too—$3,500 a day.
Seven years ago Milla’s mother, Galina, was a successful actress in the Soviet Union, but her father, Borgi, a Yugoslav and a medical administrator, wanted better opportunities. Because of his citizenship, the family was allowed to leave, and they headed for Beverly Hills. Galina enrolled Milla in acting classes in 1985, and she has had roles in the film Two Moon Junction and in Night Train to Kathmandu, debuting June 5 on the Disney Channel. Already stardom seems kind of ho-hum. “I don’t even bother to count my covers,” says Milla. “When it comes to models my age, I think I’m it.”