Actor Ben Stiller met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a trip to Ukraine and Poland over the weekend. New videos showed his meeting with Zelenskyy, surveying destruction caused by the war with Russia, and meeting war refugees in Poland.
Zelenskyy shared video of the meeting with Stiller, saying, “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.”
“Really nice to meet you. It’s a great honor for me. You’re my hero. You’re amazing,” Stiller told Zelenskyy. “You quit a great acting career for this.”
“Not so great,” Zelenskyy said, laughing.
“What you’ve done, the way you’ve rallied the country, for the world — it’s really inspiring,” Stiller said.
The video cuts to Stiller and Zelenskyy sitting around a table discussing the conflict.
“It’s hard to understand what is actually going on here if you haven’t been here. The actual impact of coming here…the level of destruction,” Stiller says. “You see it on tv, you see it on social media, but it’s something else to actually see it and feel it and to talk to the people.”
Another video shared on Twitter shows Stiller apparently holding a video call while walking around war-torn Ukraine in the western city Lviv.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Stiller – a Goodwill Ambassador – traveled to the region for World Refugee Day “to stand in solidarity with people displaced by war and conflict all around the world.”
“Hey, I’m Ben Stiller and I’m here in Ukraine. I’m meeting people who’ve been impacted by the war and hearing how it’s changed their lives. War and violence are devastating people all over the world. Nobody chooses to flee their home. Seeking safety is a right. And it needs to be upheld for every person,” Stiller said in a video shared on Twitter by the UNHCR.
Stiller also tweeted a photo of himself hugging two children who are apparently Ukrainian refugees.
“At the Medyka border in Poland I met families who fled the war in Ukraine, leaving loved ones behind, with no idea when they will be able to return home. I’m so impressed w/@refugees representatives & how committed they are to supporting people on their journeys. #WithRefugees,” Stiller tweeted.
A man who identifies himself as the “chief coordinator in refugee center, Poland” tweeted photos of the actor speaking with refugees.
“Ben Stiller came to a refugee center in Poland. Came to help. Great person!” he wrote.
Stiller’s trip to Ukraine comes after another actor – Sean Penn – said earlier this year that he is “thinking about taking up arms against Russia.”
Penn, 61, began filming a documentary in the region last year, and after spending some time in Ukraine, the actor told Hollywood Authentic magazine in an interview that he thought seriously about fighting in the conflict.