There is so much more that meets the eye with Milana Vayntrub, also known as Lily Adams from the AT&T television commercials. What is certain about her is that her breakout role was indeed in the commercial for AT&T but before her time as Lily, there was a lot that happened to this young woman. After her time in the commercial she went from unknown to much more well-known thanks to more high-profile roles in television shows. When she isn’t working as an actress and comedian, Milana is an activist for refugees and uses her social media following and newfound fame to make sure the causes she holds near and dear to her heart get heard by others as well.
On her activism and her comedy, Milana says, “People are really waking up to a global responsibility, especially our generation, and I think the internet has a big part in it. I think it’s maybe just a time of so much strife in the world that it’s hard to ignore. Then there are brilliant comedians that make it something digestible but also infuriating. So yeah, I think entertainment and activism go very much hand in hand. Though I don’t want to say it’s an entertainer’s responsibility to also be an activist. I don’t even really think of myself as an activist. I just feel very passionate about these people who are going through a hard time.”
Milana is a perfect example of someone who uses her own past experiences to help the world. The issue of refugees almost fell into her awareness since her own live experience was when she was too young to remember. While the world knows her as Lily Adams from AT&T (which is how we initially got to know her as well), the person behind the character is so much more interesting.
The real face behind Lily from AT&T
Allow us to introduce you to Lily. Sorry – Milana. While you may only know her as Lily from the AT&T commercial, the very real and funny face of Milana Vayntrub is the one making Lily a reality. Milana brought us the not so helpful yet all too hilarious AT&T store associate who had the innate ability to have us audiences actually remember her after the commercial was over. Milana is indeed unforgettable.
A bit of modeling
When you look like Milana, there is no way you don’t at the very least dabble in modeling (especially if you live in Los Angeles). Here we see one of her head shots that she sent out and brought with her for auditions. Milana has a very innocent look to her, although her comedic style is far from it. Milana did a lot of her own work in acting, being a part of the web series CollegeHumor Originals from 2011 to 2014, for a total of 15 episodes.
John Mayer connection
From 2006 to 2007 there were rumors that Milana was dating singer John Mayer. The Your Body Is A Wonderland singer has been linked to many famous women in Hollywood, from Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, and Katy Perry, to our very own Milana Vayntrub. We are not sure if this is just a rumor or if this is based on reality (there are no photos to prove this romantic link) but with John’s record, we wouldn’t be surprised.
Hilarious with Matt Damon
Milana starred and wrote, alongside her friend Stevie Nelson, a Youtube series called Lets Talk about Something More Interesting. Each episode of 3 plus minutes has a guest star and discusses an issue. This one in 2013 gust starred actor Matt Damon and discussed, in a very comedic way, the water crisis around the world. The episode was a great way to deliver information to the public in a way that is relatable and comedic.
In 2014, Milana spent a couple of days filming an episode of Californication. Californication was a very successful Showtime show that aired from 2007 through 2014. The show starred former X-Files lead, David Duchovny and was one dirty piece of television. Milana has a small part in one episode but she loved every minute of being on the set and working alongside David.
Her first tv role
Milana’s first acting role for television was on the hit series ER back in 1995. Milana’s first acting role ever was in 1993 in commercials but they came and went pretty fast. Her parents put her in commercials to help support the family’s financial state at the time. Vayntrub played the role of a Tatiana on ER for three episodes and was noticed right away. She also seemed to like acting a lot.
Her net worth
Milana’s net worth is said to currently stand on $500,000. Due to the fact that Milana has only recently gotten bigger roles in television shows, it makes sense that her net worth be this ‘low’. We are saying this is low only because she is being compared to other actors in Hollywood and the millions they are rolling with. We are 100% certain that she is going to be making a lot more money in the future as her kind of talent is highly attractive these days.
From 2014 to 2016 she played the recurring role of Tara in the sitcom Silicon Valley. The show centers around a group of young men who have founded a startup company together in, where else, Silicon Valley. The series is part of the HBO network and is still going strong today. While Milana only had a small role in the show, her comedic vibe meshed very well with the show as a whole since it is also a satirical format although it has some serious underlying themes.
First and foremost, Milana is an animal lover. All animals all the time is her motto. Here she is with her dogs, but her social media pages are also filled with cats and other such adorable animals that either need a good home or are hers to brag about. Her Instagram boasts photos of dogs who are modeling and dogs who are sound department canines. Either way they are very pleasing to look at!
Lily from AT&T
In 2013, Milana landed the role that would be the true foot in the door to fame – Lily Adams from AT&T. As soon as the commercial hit the airwaves, people wanted to know who Lily really was. From the commercials, we knew that Lily was funny and not very helpful but the marking in the commercials was brilliant, not only did people remember the AT&T brand but they couldn’t take their minds off of Lily. This was the point where Milana truly got noticed.
The director of Hungry Man, Hank Perlman, said of the character of Lily, “I think Milana’s Lily resonates with audiences because she’s a multi-dimensional character in a way that’s rare for commercials,” Perlman was the director for most of the AT&T commercials. “We try as hard as we can not only to make her funny but to make her as strong, smart and human as possible. And hopefully all of that makes her as relatable as a character in a 30-second commercial can be.”
Milana Aleksandrovna Vayntrub was born on March 8, 1987 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Back then, Uzbekistan was part of the yet to be dissolved Soviet Union. Her parents took a then-three-year-old Milana and fled Tashkent due to religious persecution for being Jewish. The Vayntrub family went from Tashkent to Austria, followed by Italy (where they waited for final permission to board a plane to the United States). The family arrived in West Hollywood, California in 1990.
Her family was on the run
Milana came to the United States when she was just three years old. Her family, originally from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which was back then a part of the Soviet Union, fled to the United States for their own safety as they were being hunted down for being Jewish. Her family fled religious prosecution, stopping in Austria and Italy on their way to their final destination – America. The Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991, shortly after her parents decided to leave.
See that girl on the left?
That’s Milana in one of the episodes she was in on the show Lizzie McGuire. She was on the show from 2001 to 2002, appearing in three episodes as a dancer. Lizzie McGuire was Milana’s third television appearance (in 1997 she was also in Days of Our Lives for one episode). Milana was getting more and more minor roles on television shows and was slowly earning herself quite an acting portfolio.
Once her parents got to the States, Milana said, “Once here, my parents worked their butts off to give me a good education and upbringing… They did a great job.” They were a wonderful example for Milana, showing her how hard work can pay off in the long run and produce a life that is both admirable and fulfilling. Milana took what she learned from her parents and utilized it in her own life.
Was the name of a television series that Vayntrub was in from 2012 to 2013. She played the role of Denise for three episodes. Milana was beginning to gain some traction with her acting and her name was being heard more and more throughout the industry. She may not be the biggest name out there, but she is a steady working actress, and that’s more than most aspiring actors can say.
Milana is one proud sister. Her little sister is much younger than her but looks just like her! She posted a photo of her sister on her Instagram page, captioned “My little sister graduated! Glad she finally got a hat to cover her enormous brain.” From the very beginning, Milana has put her family first, especially after what they all went through in coming to the United States.
She’s a joker
Obviously she’s a joker, she’s a comedian. Milana loves making fun of herself but also others (in the best way possible, of course). She’s a stand up comedian, television star, and soon sure to be film star! Milana uses humor to get through to people, since we all know that works so well. Her role as Lily was the first time we all realized how funny Milana can be, there is no stopping her now.
She’s everyone on-screen, so why not radio as well? Milana is using every media possible to get the word out about her own career as well as her personal agenda of causes that are close to her heart. One of those causes is helping refugees. She has become an activist who supports refugees in any way she can find. On her activism, AT&T has been supportive in saying, “Milana’s passion for her cause is absolutely remarkable. We respect Milana’s personal interests outside of her role in our ads.”
How she keeps her curves
So here’s something you won’t like hearing – Milana doesn’t really do much to maintain her figure. She is one of those remarkable people who is pretty cool with how they look and just lead through that. Milana isn’t advocating for any product that will make you look better or worse, she is not in that part of the industry at all. Her main focus is her comedy and her activism, so other than some funny photo of her looking like she’s boxing, she isn’t doing much.
In 2015, Milana was part of the main cast of Other Space. Other Space was a show that debut on Yahoo! Screen and was set around a crew of inexperienced space explorers who spend their time venturing through an unknown universe. The show had 8 episodes and one season. The science fiction sitcom had Milana play the role of Tina Shukshin, who added a much-needed kick of hilarity to the show.
This Is Us
What really changed Milana’s life in terms of public awareness of her was her time on the hit television show This Is Us. Milana landed the role of Sloane Sandburg in 2016 and spent eight episodes on the show as the adorable theater director turned love interest for one of the main characters on the show. It took us a few episodes to realize that Milana looked familiar to us because we recognized her from her Lily days.
Milana has done a lot of television work during her career, but she is slowly moving to film as of 2017. In 2017, Milana was part of the cast of the film All Nighter. The film centers around an estranged father who comes to visit his daughter in Los Angeles, only to find out that she is missing. He then teams up with her ex-boyfriend to find her. The film depicts the nightlong mission to find her.
Milana’s latest project is being a part of Marvel’s New Warriors, a television series where she plays the live role of Doreen Green and Squirrel Girl. The show is set to premiere in 2018. The storyline of the show: “Six young people with powers living and working together want to make a difference in the world, even if their powers are not quite as impressive as those of The Avengers. They will have to learn to use their abilities to help people while also struggling with growing up.”
When Milana came to the US when she was young, there was an organization that financed her family’s settlement here. “Milana said, We had a lot of help when we got to America. One of the organizations that helped us, they had a record of all the money they spent on us for our health care bills, and education programs, and so my favorite thing that I’ve done is just pay them back, because they invested in us. It’s my karmic duty to help them, because we’ve been helped so much.”
Milana was on vacation with her father in Greece when she decided to stay and fly out to the island of Lesbos where the Syrian refugees were coming in to try and help as best she could. Being a former refugee herself, this cause spoke to her on the deepest level possible. Here we see her in a car with a Syrian family, taking them to the registration camp from the boat they just came to Lesbos on.
She’s the co-founder of #CantDoNothing
#CantDoNothing is an organization that raises awareness and funding for refugee crises around the world. “It is important for us to emphasize not just the problem, but all the things we can do to end it,” Vayntrub stated “We hope everyone will post about #CantDoNothing on their social media, and challenge three friends to participate by tagging them. I really believe we all have to power to be influencers, to use our voice and create a ripple effect of Good.”
In a sharp change of topic, Milana is a comedian who uses her own experiences and her incredible comedic tone to make people laugh. On what she would like to do next, Milana said, “I would love to keep directing commercials. I love it so much. I love working with brands and ad agencies and old white men who have been doing this for 60 years. I love creating challenging and opposing ideas and using that to make something bigger and better than just my brain or just their brain could have come up with. The creative collaboration is my favorite thing.”
Milana is much more than a pretty face and a terrific actor – she also holds an undergraduate degree in Communications from the University of California San Diego. She got het start in college young as she dropped out of her high school to get her GED when she was just 16. She has used the knowledge she gained during her college years during the creation of her organization.
There’s a whole Reddit page dedicated to Milana and all things funny and adorable about her. Many people are entranced by her body (who could blame them), love how funny and self deprecating she is and want to follow everything that she does. She speaks to all generations as she is relatable and real, unlike many other stars who are making their mark on Hollywood.
She went to private school
In an interview for InStyle magazine, Milana talked about her upbringing. She said, “My parents worked their butts off to afford private school, summer camp, and gymnastics classes (which I’m pretty sure is a prerequisite for all Russian kids) so that I could take part in everything this promised land had to offer.” She has always been beyond appreciative of her parents and all that they did for her.
She always felt like an outsider in her community
“Despite all their love and hard work, as a kid, I remember feeling as though I couldn’t culturally catch up to my peers. Especially when it came to beach towels—these really stupid, but really cool, but actually really stupid towels. All my classmates owned these colorful beach towels with Disney characters on them. I desperately wanted one, but instead, I had this orange and white patterned thing, a glorified Slavic doily—that my parents brought with them from Uzbekistan. To me, it was a smoke signal alerting all potential friends that I was NOT. FROM. HERE.”
Despite growing up in the US, she is proud of her heritage
What you’re seeing here is Milana’s mother and hers visa to come to the United States. Milana was too young to have her own so she was pictured here with her mother. Milana doesn’t remember her home country but grew up in a home where her Russian heritage was very prominent and constant. She grew up hearing Russian and still speaks it with her parents today.
She likes to secretly flash people
Silly girl that is Milana, loves playing around on her down time. She likes spending time with her equally funny friends and be a true comedian all the time. Recently, Milana flashed the outside world from within her hotel room. We doubt anyone could see anything but it was the thought that counts. If anyone could see from outside they sure got a show that day!
Her first crush was George Clooney
When Milana was on ER as Tatiana, George was also on the first season of the show. On Clooney, she said, “It was also season one with George Clooney and he was amazing. I just kept trying to invite him over. He was like, “Yeah, I’ll come over for a playdate.” I was like, “Mom! Can you cook something so we have a reason for him to come over?” My mom and I were both just goo-goo-gaga over him.”
Milana on how she knew she was funny
In an interview for Esquire magazine, Milana was asked about how she knew early in life that being funny was a powerful thing. She said, “Yes. Comedy came early. I knew when I was a kid that I was silly and I knew that I liked people who were funny, but I don’t think I knew I was funny. I didn’t really think about it.”
She knows that she is most famous for being Lily from AT&T
In that same interview, Milana said that she knew that she was most famous for, “Usually my AT&T commercials or my YouTube videos. Sometimes they’ll get introduced to me from the commercials and they’ll go look me up and find my YouTube videos. Or they’ve been a fan for a while and they’re really supportive of the commercials.” She is a jill of all trades!
What she has to say about her character on This Is Us
“Sloane is badass making her dreams come true. Sure, she’s hit some road bumps and let her impulses distract her, but we’ve all been there. The Christmas / Hanukkah episode meant a lot to me for so many reasons. When I was a kid, I learned about Passover from a cartoon called Rugrats, and it really stuck with me. I was excited to potentially teach people the story of Hanukkah. I’ve actually had a teacher tweet at me saying she’s using the scene in her classroom. How cool!”
There was a character made up for her on Family Guy
Her fan base is so large that she, or more specifically Lily from AT&T was mentioned on an episode of Family Guy! It goes like this – Peter asks Louis where she keeps the names of the good looking commercial stars names so he can find out her real name and track her down. Louise says that the list is on the fridge. It’s all so nonchalant.
She was on television way before her first acting gig
While her family made their transition from Tashkent to the United States, they stopped in both Austria and Italy. It was in Italy that the Vayntrub family was interviewed. They were asked questions about where they came from and where they were going. They were in Italy waiting for final approval and visas to get into the United States as there was a holdup at the time they wanted to get in. Here we see little Milana on television with her dad, being asked where she was headed to.
Milana was always very closed with her parents, her father especially. It was with him that she went on a Grecian vacation that was the turning point in her life. It was on this vacation in Greece that Milana ‘ran into’ the Syrian refugee crisis, one that she was ashamed to say she didn’t know much about at that point. It was at the end of this trip with her father that Milana extended her trip and flew to the island of Lesbos.
Her Twitter account is all about her organization
While Milana is a very funny woman and a gifted actress, her philanthropic work with her organization CantDoNothing has been one of the biggest focal points in her life. Her Twitter page has a great balance of her work in both comedy and acting, as well as videos and articles about her organization. Milana knows that social media is the best way to get the word out there about the organization and all that it wants to do for the people of the crisis.
Her words on why she took to social media for her cause: “I took to social media to spread the Can’t Do Nothing word, because the truth is if I see a burger, I want a burger. If I see a kitten, I want to pet a kitten. My hope is that if you see someone doing good, you might want to do some good, too. And if we inspire each other, we can create a ripple effect of good.”
People are freaking out at her latest role
Milana’s latest role is the live role of Squirrel Girl in Marvel’s New Warriors. While Milana herself is very excited to be the legendary character, the public is far more excited! Little girls are dressing up like Squirrel Girl, men are dressing up as Squirrel Girl and Comic Con lost it when she came into the signings and Q&A sessions.
The real reason she dropped out of high school
“I wanted to be an artist. I loved painting, photo-editing and graphic design. Like at a lot of public schools, the arts program was limited, but my local community college had amazing teachers with a boatload of creative courses. I didn’t like high school. I wanted more diversity, flexibility, and freedom. I got in trouble for talking, disagreeing with teachers, and cheating on tests pretty regularly. But the strongest driving force was probably that my boyfriend at the time had dropped out and I thought he was the smartest, coolest, hottest and best person in the world. So the realest answer is: a boy.”
How she became Lily
Milana was asked in an interview about how she got her AT&T gig: “Just your old run-of-the-mill audition. Nobody had any plans of it being a campaign. We shot the first one in November of 2013, and it started airing in December. When I was asked to come back to shoot more, I assumed it was my last time every time… but always hoped it wasn’t.”
Her interview with Dopeness Magazine is the best
For Dopeness magazne, Milana did a photo shoot that was as colorful as her personality. She was also asked many questions about her career and personal life, which she answered in a candid and witty matter, as suits her, of course. About being an actress, Milana said, “Yeah, I always thought I’d be a actress, because I got into it really young. When I was five, I was already doing commercials and by the twelve, I was awkward, chubby and wanted out. The insecurities that come with being a teenager made me think that I wasn’t good enough or that a career in entertainment was unrealistic. It wasn’t until college that I rediscovered how much I loved acting, and it’s also how I made my closest friends.”
On auditioning for the role of Lily
On the day she went in for the audition, Milana said, “Yeah. I was actually having a bad day. I don’t remember why, but I was crying earlier and then had to sit in a waiting room for another 45 minutes. Maybe I did well because I didn’t have any fucks to give? (laughs) But I improvised a lot and eventually they asked me to come back and read with a bunch of different guys to make sure we work well together. We made one commercial that did well, and they kept asking me to come back. It’s been one of the luckiest experiences of me life.”
Her favorite AT&T commercial moment
Her favorite AT&T scene of all happened to be with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Vayntrub said, “Working with Gordon Ramsey was hilarious. The guy had a really hard time not dropping F bombs. This may be bad for his image, but he’s actually a lovely human being.” We will take Milana’s word for it since she seems to be a girl who knows how to get under peoples armor.
She almost quit acting
Somewhere in her teens, Milana thought about quitting acting. This was after she landed a lot of minor roles but before the big breakout one. On almost quitting, she said, “I just kind of stopped for a while because I didn’t think I wanted to do it. I stopped around middle school and high school because I remember thinking, ‘I should probably focus on something more realistic.'”