Interview with Lolita Milena of the movie “1UP” by Thane 4/3/23
It was great to interview Lolita about being an actress, her favorite TV shows, disability representation on screen and whether theatre is accessible to actors with disabilities. She has a fascinating story!
Lolita Milena is a paraplegic actress and author. Born in Siberia, Milena immigrated to the United States in 2002 as a toddler with her then-foster family. The fall of the same year, through child abuse, Milena was left permanently paralyzed. It was shortly after that she was adopted by her current family. Her introduction to the art form began in musical theatre at the early age of 6 years old. Having performed in an accumulated 20 theatrical productions, Milena had turned to social media platforms to create content ranging from short skits to special effect makeup. During her junior year of high school in 2017, Milena had taken on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in only 30 days. Not only did she surpass the word count goal by 14,000, but she did so in 20 days. Her first published novel, “2459,” won her first place in her state for the NANOWRIMO content. Also in 2017, Milena had discovered TikTok, opening a new world of possibilities and opportunities. She had gained popularity on the platform by uploading short acting and comedic skit clips.
As of January 2023, Milena has been steadily climbing the ranks on the popular app, sitting at around 720,000 followers. In 2019, Milena was discovered by her management through TikTok, who had assisted her into the industry, eventually booking the character Jenna in Lionsgate and Buzzfeed’s “1UP”. While being an actress and self published author, Milena also begun work relationships with cosmetic and clothing brands through social media platforms. These brands including but are not limited to: TTDEYE, Abercrombie & Fitch, and OrangeJuicetheBrand Clothing. In the summer of 2019, Milena was one of the faces for Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Face Your Fierce” campaign.
Milena was adopted by her current family at the age of 2 years old after the incident. She has 8 sisters, 1 brother, and is the third youngest. She hopes to continue growing as a performer, and with her influence, show young men and women in a similar predicament that, “Just because you have a disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t follow your dreams.”
Proofread and Edited by Brenda