The entire world has gotten to know Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the past week as he fights to defend his country from the Russian invasion.
However, Dancing with the Stars fans have been reliving his time on the Ukrainian version of the show in 2006.
That was the first season of the Ukrainian version of Dancing with the Stars, and Zelensky actually won the competition and took home the Mirrorball trophy.
Watch Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky perform on Dancing with the Stars
Zelensky was not the President of Ukraine at the time, and he wasn’t even in politics.
Instead, Zelensky was an actor and comedian who was working his way through college.
When Zelensky was 17, he joined a comedy competition team called KVN and worked with the Ukrainian team there to win the KVN Major League in 1997.
That led him to a career in acting. It also led to him taking part in the first season of Dancing with the Stars in Ukraine.
He teamed with professional partner Olena Shoptenko and they ended up winning the entire competition. The duo beat out Ukrainian singer Natalia Mohylevska and her pro, Vladyslav Yama.
What has a lot of people’s attention is the video that was just released on Twitter that included bits of Zelensky’s performances on his way to victory.
Volodymyr Zelensky also voiced Paddington Bear in Ukraine
While Zelensky was acting before his presidency, he got some pretty big roles.
In 2009, he took the lead in Love in the Big City and its sequel that arrived three years later. He also starred in Office Romance: Our Time in 2011 and he played Napoleon in Rzhevsky Versus Napoleon in 2012.
Humorously, he also played the Ukrainian President in the political satire Servant of the People from 2015 to 2019.
However, the role that most Americans might recognize was in the 2014 movie Paddington.
In that movie, Ben Whishaw voiced the iconic Paddington Bear in what was one of the year’s best comedies. However, in the Ukrainian dubbed version of the movie, it was Zelensky who voiced the iconic bear.
Hugh Bonneville, who starred in the movie as the father, Henry Brown, posted on Twitter that he had no idea it was Zelensky in the Ukrainian version voicing Paddington.
“Until today I had no idea who provided the voice of @paddingtonbear in Ukraine,” he wrote. “Speaking for myself, thank you, President Zelenskiy.”
Dancing with the Stars is on hiatus.