That’s quite the upgrade. Bradley Cooper’s new lady definitely had humble beginnings. 

Daily Mail – She was raised eating potatoes, boys teased her that she had ‘stick legs’, and when she first applied for a US visa she was rejected – amid fears over her Muslim roots.

Today 29-year-old Irina Shayk, once seen as a ‘spotty village girl’, is the talk of America as she steals passionate kisses with Hollywood heartthrob Bradley Cooper.

But her road from a bleak Russian industrial backwater to fame as a swimwear and lingerie model was fraught with setbacks, just as it was aided by astonishingly lucky breaks, one of them at a bus stop.

Daily Mail Online has explored her roots in the grim industrial Urals region nudging Siberia to hear from those who knew her, and her extraordinary life story.

She once said of her polluted birthplace Yemanzhelinsk, where she lived in grinding poverty as Russia’s casino economy collapsed under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s: ‘It’s a beautiful place – if you wear a mask.

‘It’s a mining town, but all the collieries have shut already.’

Read more: Daily Mail