Ben Stiller Meets Zelensky: 'You're My Hero'

UN Goodwill Ambassador visits Ukraine
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2022 12:29 AM CDT
Ben Stiller Meets His Hero: Zelensky
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller visits Lypki, Irpin, in Ukraine, Monday, June 20, 2022 on the occasion of World Refugee Day.   (Andrew McConnell/UNCHR via AP)

(Newser) – Comedian and actor Ben Stiller on Monday met the man he says is his hero: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Stiller is visiting Europe in his role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, and had just visited the ruins of Irpin before his sit-down with Zelensky, who himself was a comedian before getting into politics. "You're my hero, you know," Stiller said. "You quit a great acting career for this?" "No, not so great as you," Zelensky joked. Stiller told him it was "inspiring" the way Zelensky rallied the Ukrainian people and most of the rest of the world amid Russia's invasion of the country.

"It's one thing to see this destruction on TV or on social networks. Another thing is to see it all with your own eyes. That's a lot more shocking," Stiller said of his visit to the ruins, per People and the Hollywood Reporter. "What you saw in Irpin is definitely dreadful. But it is even worse to just imagine what is happening in the settlements that are still under temporary occupation in the east," Zelensky replied. He and Stiller discussed what refugees and displaced Ukrainians need, among other things. Stiller's visit marked World Refugee Day, and he also visited refugees in Poland during his trip. (Read more Volodymyr Zelensky stories.)

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