Ukraine-born actress Mila Kunis and Kiev-born actress Milla Jovovich have both publicly denounced Russia’s move to seize control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. So have American-born actors including, most notably, Jared Leto, who addressed the tense political situation while accepting his Oscar this month. (His speech didn’t appear in the broadcast aired via state-run Russian TV.) But it depends on your perspective: there is at least one guy in the movie business who publicly supports Putin and his efforts to “protect ethnic Russians” in Ukraine – award-winning director Emir Kusturica. Kusturica was at the Kremlin for Putin’s third inauguration in May 2012 and said: “If I was English I would be very much against Putin. If I was American I would even fight with him, but if I was Russian I would vote for him.”
With his rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars not-just-an-actor Jared Leto recently traveled to Ukraine and is scheduled to play two venues in Russia this summer (Kazan, Ekaterinburg). Kusturica, not-just-a-director, is also touring Russia with his Belgrade-based band, No Smoking Orchestra. While Thirty Seconds to Mars performs songs like “This Is War” with the chorus “We will fight to the death!” they are innocuous compared to the lyrics of No Smoking Orchestra’s “Wanted Man.” When performed live (though not in the published lyrics), the song pays homage to former Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadžić, who’s currently in the custody of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, accused of ordering the Srebrenica massacre. Karadžić is often referred to by Western media as the “Butcher of Bosnia.” Closing arguments in his trial are expected to begin in late September. After the summer concert season.
L to R: Actor Jared Leto of Thirty Seconds to Mars, Director Emir Kusturica of No Smoking Orchestra