Natalija Ugrina

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I was 16 when a modeling agent approached me in Split, Croatia and signed me up for the Fashion TV International Model Contest. I ended up being one of the finalist and decided to move to Italy to pursue my career. Shortly after, I signed up with Elite Model Management and worked for several fashion designers and walked Fashion Week in Milan, Los Angeles, Paris, and New York. I appeared in publications like Vogue Italia, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar. Even though being 6 ft tall and slender opened many doors in fashion, I was always fascinated by acting. I decided to get more serious about it and what’s better place to start then Hollywood! I signed up for The Lee Strasberg Institute where I studied method acting.

After graduating, I booked my first acting roles and decided to continue my studies at the UCLA Extension Acting Program. I appeared in several commercials (Budlight, Nike, Kia) and recently played a news anchor in “College Ball Movie” starring Tom Sizemore. I was never too much into social media but going to castings and auditions, I often got asked “How many followers do I have?” I created account on Instagram and what started as fun, became a huge part of my life and a full-time job. I get paid to travel, try out new things and I can really say I’m living a dream 🙂

What does it mean to you to be a model? To be confident with your body and project that confidence through the picture.

What sort of person usually follows you? Who’s your main audience? Usually people that are interested in Fashion & Travel as that is mainly what I post and that’s also why I have all sorts of people following me and I love it! I would say though, I do have a slightly higher percentage of super young crowd, mainly because I am very active on TikTok. 

What’s the biggest challenge to modelling? With the lifestyle I have, it’s really hard for me to maintain a healthy relationship and it’s mostly due to the fact that I travel all fo the time. Every guy that I meet seems to be OK with it at first until they are not (laughing).

Have you always wanted to be in the modelling industry?  I actually never wanted to be in the modeling industry but I was very tall since I was young (I’m 6 ft tall) and it was a logical path to take. I am grateful I did, as I live such an interesting life, meet so many different people and visit different countries. But, my only true dream is acting and it’s all I want to do in life, but sometimes in life, you need to take detours to get where you want to be.What’s your personal mission in life? I hope to be a positive inspiration for people, help whenever I can and be the change. When many people follow you, I think it’s your responsibility to spread positive message and do good.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far? Even though I’ve met many celebrities, athletes, politicians etc., I find that the most interesting people I met were the ones I met during my travels, especially in the poor countries. I find it fascinating, how some people have nothing and yet, they have the most beautiful smiles and would share the last piece of their meal with you. Those people are the true wealth of this world.

How active are you on social media? Lately, especially since the pandemic, I feel like I live on social media LOL But seriously, being and influencer is much more work than everyone thinks and it takes most of my day, especially since I am active on several platforms. I remember not posting a story one day and my followers started asking me if I was ok and something happened. They are so used to see new content from me every day.

What is your favorite social media platform? Even though I signed up just for fun, TikTok became my favorite platform by far! It’s fun, easygoing and you don’t have to think too much about the content and aesthetics, people are way less judgmental than other platforms and very supportive! Another thing I really like about it is, that you can have literally zero followers, post a video and have million views overnight. Everyone has a chance and everyone’s talent can shine. 

What will you advise other models who may wish to follow your footsteps? Always be yourself and never try to fit the standards! I remember when I started modeling, the agencies wanted us to be almost “anorexic” and look how everything changed nowadays. Love yourself the way you are and don’t follow the beauty trends. If you truly believe in yourself and modeling is what you really want, the right Agent recognize it.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it. Other than acting and modeling, I was always interested in producing as well and I am currently working on my own feature movie, so stay tuned!

Now, 5 questions for the ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round: 

  1. Last good movie I’ve seen 

Can’t think of a really good movie, but my favorite show that I have seen in a while is “Money Heist”. I can’t wait for the new season!

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? 

Nothing is more beautiful to me than people who wake up with a smile, truly excited for every new day and what it has to bring, grateful for the blessings they have and not resentful for what they don’t have. World is a beautiful place, it’s all about the perspective and it’s better to look at everything through rose colored glasses 🙂

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? 

I would love to live in Caribbean at some point of my life and actually own an island! Dream big, they say.. 😛

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…love to jump with a parachute!

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?

Speaking up even when it’s against the popular opinion. I’ve been judged a lot of times for that, but I’d always rather say what I think and fight for what’s right. I truly believe that one person can change the world.

Natalija Ugrina


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