When Olga Kurylenko asks you to dance with her, you’d better be limber enough to keep up.
At Dance Arts, Olga offers words of encouragement to her passenger, who’s more Borat than Baryshnikov. She scopes the baggy T-shirt and Jordan basketball shorts and laughs before throwing out a last-chance lifeline. “You really don’t have to do this if you don’t want to,” she says. “I’ll understand. Ballet isn’t as easy as you may think.”
Guessing that her dance partner has all the grace of Frankenstein’s monster on a Quaalude binge, she offers a final word of advice: “Try to follow what I do.”
Rushing down the hallway of the ballet studio, Olga points out a large group of grade-school-age girls in black leotards practicing in an adjacent room. “If they can do it, you can do it, too,” she adds before stepping into the beginner-level class. “Just try to keep up.”
In early July, photos from the Oblivion set showed Olga and newly divorced Tom Cruise kissing—in character, of course. 'Those shots were clearly from the set,' she says. 'There was a spaceship next to us!'
For her part, Olga won’t have to worry about keeping up with preconceptions anymore. With her multilayered Magic City character, she’s found the perfect balance between sexiness and drama. The show’s benefits have spilled over into Olga’s off-screen life too. She’s currently dating co-star Danny Huston, whom she met during Magic City’s first season. Their relationship was able to withstand a flurry of gossip items in early July, when photos from the Oblivion set showed Olga and newly divorced Tom Cruise kissing—in character, of course. “Those shots were clearly from the set,” she says. “There was a spaceship next to us!”
Inside Dance Arts, there’s no flying saucer alongside Olga and her sweaty dance companion—only a ballerina’s practice barre. Clad in tight red Abercrombie sweatpants and a black tank top, she's in the zone, cracking a couple smiles but mostly staring into the wall-size mirror and nailing every move with piercing intensity. Impressively limber, she lifts her legs above her waist with ease while her cohort can barely raise his ankles halfway to his knees.
The humiliation is short-lived. After a grueling 45 minutes, Olga looks every bit the professional dancer, casually chatting with the instructor. Her “friend,” on the other hand—gasping, his T-shirt soaked with sweat, and a damp towel draped around his neck—looks like Rick Ross after a decathlon.
Back in the Fiat, Olga keeps a straight face. “You did great,” she says with a radiant smile. “That was brave of you.” It’s enough to make any guy think he’s ready to sign up for the next Swan Lake audition—but not everybody switches lanes so easily.
WATCH OLGA'S BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIDEO:
ADDITIONAL CREDITS: (STYLING) Leila Baboi. (HAIR) Campbell McAuley (MAKEUP) Spencer Barnes. FIRST, SECOND, & SEVENTH IMAGES: Top by Lisa Marie Fernandez / Pants by adidas by Stella McCartney / Harness by Chromat. THIRD & FOURTH IMAGES: Top by Lisa Marie Fernandez / Pants by Nike. FIFTH & SIXTH IMAGES: Top and shorts by adidas by Stella McCartney. NINTH IMAGE: Bodysuit by Olima Atelier / Sneakers by Nike / Bracelet by Gilda Grey. TENTH IMAGE: Tops by Lisa Marie Fernandez.