The actress grew up in poverty in Soviet Russia and shared a tiny apartment with several members of her extended family and her single mother.
The beauty was discovered by a model scout at a train station in her early teens, and she is adamant it was fate which meant she stepped onto the platform at that precise time on her first ever trip away from her hometown.
She tells Britain's Live magazine, "I believe in miracles. At the age of 13 I was on holiday in Moscow with my mother. It was the only trip I took in my whole childhood. We stepped off a metro train and were approached by a talent scout who told me that she wanted to sign me to her modelling agency.
"That was the start of everything for me. If I hadn't been a model I couldn't have become a movie actress. If I'd stepped off the train a minute later, maybe none of this would have happened. To me, that chance meeting was a miracle, like something from a fairytale."