She was born Olga Konstantinovna Kurylenko on November 14, 1979, in Berdyansk, Ukraine, Soviet Union. Her mother, Marina Alyabysheva, divorced her father, Konstantin Kurylenko, soon after her birth. After the divorce her mother struggled to survive as an art teacher. Young Olga was brought up by her mother and her grandmother, Raisa. During her youth Olga had the humbling experience of living in poverty; she had no choice but to wear rags and had to darn the holes on her sweater. During her years in Ukraine she studied art and languages and spent seven years studying piano at a local school of music in Berdyansk. She also went to a ballet studio until 13.
Kurylenko's 13th birthday proved to be a momentous one in both her personal and professional life. That year, she contacted her father for the first time since he left her mother. She also traveled to Moscow with her mother, where they met a talent scout for a modeling agency in a subway. The woman was struck by Kurylenko's appearance and offered her a job as a model.
In 2008, Kurylenko was cast as Camille, a Russian-Bolivian agent who assists James Bond (Daniel Craig) in his plan to avenge the murder of his wife Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in "Quantum of Solace," the sequel to 2006's "Casino Royale." Kurylenko underwent extensive training for the film, from instruction in handling weapons and stunt work to studying the Bond film franchise as a whole - something she was unable to do in her native Ukraine.