Ben Stiller continues to discuss the devastation he saw during his visit to Kiev, Ukraine, this week to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In an interview on Tuesday “BBC Breakfast” actor and director is solemnly reflecting on its trip to a besieged nation that has been under attack from Russia since February. On Monday, Stiller spoke with Zelensky after spending time with survivors living in occupied settlements in the Kiev region.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Stiller said on the morning program that he had never gone to the “conflict zone” before his visit to Ukraine.
“It’s really weird because when you drive … to the west of the country, you don’t feel the conflict, except for the night curfew, which is very quiet and a little ghostly,” he said.
“And then as you get closer to Kiev … you start to see roadblocks and see the devastation, which is really shocking when you haven’t seen anything like that up close.”
During his meeting with Zelensky, Stiller praised the Ukrainian leader as his “hero” and praised him his “career as a great actor.” (Before taking office in real life, Zelensky described the fictional president of Ukraine on television, among other characters).
“Not as big as yours,” Zelensky joked, to which Stiller laughed and replied, “No, but pretty great.”
“What you’ve done and the way you’ve put your country and the whole world together is really inspiring,” he told Zelensky.
Performing at “BBC Breakfast” on Tuesday, Stiller said his first thought when he saw the wreck in Ukraine was, “It looks like a movie,” but “it’s even bigger in scale, and it’s true, so it’s really distressing.”
“What makes me get it is that these are just people like you and me who are in a situation that is completely out of their control.
“No one wants to escape their home. No one wants to leave the world and start over or even try to find a way to survive.”
“Night at the Museum” and the star of “Zoolander” also recounted a conversation he had with a Ukrainian mother of young twins who had been forced to flee their family home in the midst of a rocket.
“They went into the basement and had to wait until the sound of the rockets had disappeared … and then they didn’t even know where to go for safety,” he said.
“You’re just trying to get into a situation where [and] Think, ‘What would happen if a rocket came screaming past my apartment?’
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