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Exclusive: Ben Stiller meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv, tells president ‘You’re my hero’

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Ben Stiller meets Zelenskyy in Kyiv, tells president ‘You’re my hero’

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Actor and director Ben Stiller met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv on Monday to mark World Refugee Day.

Stiller, who was visiting Ukraine as a goodwill ambassador of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), gushed about Zelenskyy upon meeting, telling the president, “You’re amazing.”

Stiller’s visit to the country comes as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to force millions of people to flee the war and become displaced internationally.

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The pair shook hands in introduction and Zelenskyy told the Zoolander actor that he and the other government officials in the room (including Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba) knew Stiller “very well.”

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Ben Stiller meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine on World Refugee Day.


President of Ukraine

“It’s a great honour for me,” Stiller, 56, told Zelenskyy, 44.

“It’s really wonderful,” Stiller continued, telling the Ukrainian leader, “You’re my hero.”

The pair briefly discussed Zelenskyy’s own acting career. Up until his landslide election win in 2019, Zelenskyy was an actor and stand-up comedian. He had even played a Ukrainian president in a popular TV series.

“You quit a great acting career for this,” Stiller mused.

“Not so great as yours,” Zelenskyy replied.

“But what you’ve done and the way you rallied the country and the world, it’s really inspiring,” Stiller continued to compliment.

Later, Stiller, Zelenskyy and several other Ukrainian officials sat down to discuss the Russian invasion and its impact on the country’s people.

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“It’s not interesting to speak about the war every day,” Zelenskyy explained. “But for us, it’s very important.”

The Ukrainian president said ending the war becomes especially difficult when “people forget to speak about it.”

Russia launched its invasion of the country nearly four months ago on Feb. 24.

Zelenskyy thanked Stiller for continuing to bring new attention to the war.

“I feel it’s hard to understand what’s actually going on here if you haven’t been here,” Stiller said.


Ben Stiller meets Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Ukraine on World Refugee Day.


President of Ukraine

“The level of destruction … You see it on TV, you see it on social media,” said Stiller. “It’s something else to actually see it and feel it.”

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The actor told Zelenskyy that he had just visited Irpin, a city close to Kyiv in northern Ukraine.


Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller visits Lypki, Irpin.


UNHCR/Andrew McConnell

According to a press release from the president’s office, Stiller visited Irpin to speak to people who have survived the occupation.

The UNHCR also released a statement, claiming the trip to Irpin will “enable Mr. Stiller to communicate the need for continued and increased support to the humanitarian response in Ukraine.”

The UNHCR statement claimed Stiller visited Makariv as well, in order to visit families whose homes were destroyed.

“What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful,” Zelenskyy confirmed. “But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east.”

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Following his meeting with Zelenskyy, Stiller tweeted about World Refugee Day. The actor wrote it was an “honour” to meet the president “to stand in solidarity with people forced to flee in Ukraine and worldwide, and bring more attention to the humanitarian situation.”

While in Ukraine, Stiller also met the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink. On Twitter, Brink wrote that Stiller’s visit “brings much-needed attention to humanitarian needs during the largest and fastest humanitarian crisis in recent memory.”

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Earlier this week, Stiller also visited Poland. There, he met with refugees who were forced to flee to the neighbouring country. According to the UNHCR, Stiller met a mother and her three children who fled Kharkiv two months ago.

“Shortly after she and her children fled, her father was killed back home in Kharkiv after a bomb fell on her parent’s apartment building,” the statement claims. “The family want to return home to Ukraine but the neighbourhood where they are from has been devastated by the war.”

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Stiller is not the only celebrity to visit Ukraine. In April, Angelina Jolie visited the country to meet children effected by the war. Sean Penn also visited Ukraine to make a documentary about the Russian invasion.

Since Russia’s invasion in February, more than 12 million Ukrainian residents have fled their homes, according to the United Nations. More than five million Ukrainian refugees have been recorded in Europe, while another seven million people are believed to be displaced still within the country.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Exclusive: Chuck D Reacts After 'Jeopardy!' Player Forgets Public Enemy – TalkOfNews.com

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Exclusive: Beyoncé explains why she created Renaissance alongside epic new photo – TalkOfNews.com

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We now know a bit more about Beyoncé‘s forthcoming new album, Renaissance.

The superstar singer posted an ethereal photo of herself upon a see-through horse on her Instagram account on Thursday (Friday morning AEST), captioned with some insight.

“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyoncé wrote.

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“It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.

“It was a beautiful journey of exploration.”

READ MORE: Dannii Minogue reveals her wildest celebrity encounters from Jennifer Lopez to Lenny Kravitz

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She released her first single, Break My Soul, from the new album last week and it became a quick hit.

The dance track was co-produced by the same team who brought us Single Ladies – Tricky Stewart and The-Dream. Jay-Z is also on the writing credits, as are the writers of Robin S’s 1993 hit Show Me Love, which is prominently sampled in the song.

In an apparent slight to major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, the song initially appeared only on Tidal – the streaming service co-owned by Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z – three hours before its announced release time of midnight in the US, and on Vevo/YouTube an hour or so later.

Beyoncé has a history of this: her 2016 Lemonade album was available only on Tidal for three years.

Renaissance, the singer’s long-expected seventh album, is set to come out on July 29.

Beyoncé’s last full-length album was Lemonade in 2016 – the singer has actually released four albums since this blockbuster outing, although none of them are full Beyoncé solo albums.

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Beyonce released the first new song, Break My Soul, off the album last week (Getty)

“I hope you find joy in this music,” she said on Instagram.

“I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”

Fans have already sleuthed information suggesting the album will contain 16 tracks, and signs of a multi-part release are clear from the billing as “Act 1”.

Sources told Variety the album will feature both dance and country-leaning tracks, with contributions from hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote Beyoncé’s 2008 hit Halo as well as hits for Adele, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers and Tedder’s own group, OneRepublic.

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The new song initially appeared only on Tidal – the streaming service co-owned by Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z (Instagram / @beyonce)

Also said to be involved is Raphael Saadiq, who has crafted hits for Mary J Blige, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Andra Day as well as his own excellent solo albums, and executive-produced A Seat at the Table, Beyoncé’s sister Solange’s widely praised 2016 album.

– Reported with CNN and Variety.

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Exclusive: See Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in First Look at Apple TV+ Series – TalkOfNews.com

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Michael Douglas is stepping into the shoes of renowned inventor, politician and writer Benjamin Franklin.

Apple TV+ shared a first look at the actor in the upcoming series Franklin June 30. In the photo, Douglas wears a long white wig and 18th century attire as he stands by a window, deep in thought. 

This is one of the first times Douglas has starred in a period piece, having previously played businessmen and other modern figures in moves like Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction and A Perfect Murder.

But executive producer Tony Krantz said his lack of experience in the genre doesn’t show. “Michael’s become the role, transforming his physicality, voice, cadence. And his humor is so much fun,” Krantz told Entertainment Weekly. “I think people will see one of Michael Douglas’ greatest performances ever in this project.”

The series will chronicle Franklin’s efforts to garner the support of the French monarchy during the American Revolution. At the time, the inventor was 70 and had little experience in diplomacy. 

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