Eugenia Kuzmina doesn't fit the typical stand-up comedian mold. The former gorgeous Russian model looks more like she just stepped out of a James Bond movie but Kuzmina swears she's not a spy – she just wants to make people laugh.
"I love doing comedy," Kuzmina told Headlines & Global News in an exclusive interview. "I just love making people laugh. I feel like it's been a revelation for me and I want to continue to grow on that path whatever it is, film or on stage. It's definitely my favorite."
The 30-year-old actress appears in the new film "Rock the Kasbah," starring Bill Murray and Kate Hudson. She also has roles in the upcoming movies "The Family Fang," starring and directed by Jason Bateman, and plays a hippie in "Dirty Grandpa" opposite Zac Efron.
"I have a really small part but it’s comedic and it’s so fun," she said about her role in "Dirty Grandpa," which also stars Robert De Niro.
Since Russian comedy is more male oriented, Kuzmina has enjoyed spending her time in comedy clubs and with other comedians in the United States. As a pioneer for female comedians out of Russia, her comedy sometimes gets lost in translation.
"In Russia, it's a completely different style of jokes. So my Russian friends, they don't get it," she said about her own brand of comedy. "I love to make fun of myself. Making fun of Russian stereotypes I think is hilarious."
Her stand-up act plays up her past as a model, her life as a mother of two young children and dating in America versus Russia.
"Most comedians start just based on their life and what they're going through. I wrote a lot of material about my modeling. A lot of time models seems to be perfect, but there's such a different side to the industry," Kuzmina said. "Also, I had two kids in the middle of my career so I was in a funny place. I just wanted to share the way I can be a mom and also work to pursue my passion. Now I'm doing more jokes about dating and for me, it's so interesting because it's such a different society in America."
Kuzmina began modeling as a teenager and moved to Paris around age 15. At first, her mother feared her leaving the country, worried by real stories of human trafficking. Fortunately, her modeling career led her to greater opportunities around the world and her transition to acting has allowed her to connect with people in a way she could never do modeling for a designer or photographer.
"I definitely prefer acting [to modeling]. I always wanted to have a voice and be a part of the art... As a comedian and actor, you have much more to bring to your project," she said. "I feel like I’m connecting to who I am as a person or who people are, kind of a reflection of things. I feel like I can share more of my humanity in a lot of ways."
In addition to her blossoming comedy and acting career, Kuzmina also enjoys action movies and doing her own stunts. She has trained with professional stunt coordinators and obtained her motorcycle license.
"It's always fun to do some stunts if you can," she said. "I trained with one of the best stunt people in Los Angeles. I went to train with them for a month and it was one of the most intense things I've ever done."
As Kuzmina continues to brave the stage performing stand up at The Comedy Store and Flappers Comedy Club in Los Angeles, her ultimate goal is to work with the best directors, writers and performers in the entertainment industry.
"I'm open to different projects. I think it’s more important to work with directors that I really love," she said. "It’s only my third year acting so I just want to be around people I admire and go for that."