'You're My Hero': Ben Stiller Meets President Zelensky in Kyiv on World Refugee Day

Hollywood actor Ben Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on June 20, World Refugee Day, as part of his role as Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Stiller told Zelensky that he was his hero. “You quit a great acting career for this?” Stiller joked.
“Not so great as yours,” Zelensky replied, with a laugh.

Stiller said it was an honor to meet the president.

“What you have done and the way you have rallied the country for the world is really inspiring,” he said.

“It’s not interesting to speak about the war every day … but for us it’s very important” Zelensky said.

“Ukrainians feel the support of the whole world, many famous people. And Ben Stiller’s visit once again confirms this. Your trip to Irpin and Makarov, meetings with our people say a lot. We appreciate that you are here at this difficult time for our country” Zelensky wrote on the Telegram post containing the video.

Stiller has been working as a goodwill ambassador for UNHCR since 2016. Credit: Volodymyr Zelensky via Storyful

Video transcript


BEN STILLER: Hi, sir. Really nice to meet you.


BEN STILLER: Thanks for taking the time.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: We know who you are well.

BEN STILLER: It's a great honor for me and nice to see you. It's really wonderful. You're my hero. You're amazing.


BEN STILLER: Yes. You quit a great acting career for this.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: Not so great like yours.

BEN STILLER: Now you look but pretty great. But what you've done in the way that you've rallied the country for the world it's really inspiring.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: It's too much for me to keep full focus.

BEN STILLER: Hello. Nice to meet you.

- Nice to meet you.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY: I understand in information, in media, yes, that there are a lot of information that it's not safety in Ukraine. So, yeah, we know because that is a worry couldn't be safety everywhere, but very important for us that people don't forget it's not interesting to speak about the war every day. That's for audience for different people. But for us, it's very important.

When people forget to speak about it, the influence, and how to push to Russia, then it's very difficult. Thanks to such people like you so we can do it.

BEN STILLER: I feel like it's hard to understand what is actually going on here. If you haven't been here, we were talking about just the actual impact of coming here, and I just was in awe being this morning.




BEN STILLER: And so you saw [INAUDIBLE] Mercado. I mean, so the level of destruction, I mean, you see it on television exactly what you're saying. You see it on TV. You see it on social media. I mean, it's something else to actually see it and feel it and then to talk to the people. We talked to a bunch of people this morning.