Irina Voronina, Playboy’s Miss January 2001, is a beautiful mystery. A native of provincial Russia, she spent less and less time in her homeland as a blossoming career in modeling took her to cities all over the world like Milan, Basel, Madrid, and Los Angeles. “Playboy didn’t discover me,” she said, “I discovered Playboy. I was in LA for a few days and I introduced myself at the studio there.”
She has a developing taste for the exotic (“I’m in love with Thai food”), but Irina insists she’s a shy girl who remains unchanged despite her travels. “I like sweet things,” she said. “When I was 14, a boy gave me a bouquet of cornflowers. We were in love. I’ll never forget it.”
From a young age she liked to read, and her favorite writers include Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. As a teenager, Irina enrolled in art school where she studied drawing and developed a rebellious streak. “I lived close to school, and sometimes my whole class would skip and hang out in my apartment,” she said. “All the teachers knew. It made them hate me even more,” she confessed, giggling.
The fall of communism meant little to Irina at first. When she grew up and transformed into the blond beauty we see on these pages, she realized she was free to travel the world. She acquired a visa and set out for Western Europe and a modeling career. “Now,” she told Playboy in 2001, “I have been almost everywhere. Each day is different. One day I’ll have a casting call in Milan, the next day a photo shoot in Spain. At last I’m in the U.S.A.”
Despite her hectic schedule, Irina has enough free time to visit her family back in Russia. “My brother is 31 and has his own family, but we’re still very close.” And though her mother and father divorced 15 years ago, she remains close to both of them. “I grew up with the love of my parents,” she said.
Since appearing in Playboy, Irina’s acting career has kept her busy. She’s had roles on Entourage, MADtv, Reno 911!, Saul of the Mole Men, Supreme Court of Comedy, Svetlana, and iCarly, and in the movies Graduation Night, Epic Movie, and Piranha 3DD, among others.
Irina is a woman of many interests. She’s an artist, and she wants to take business courses in the future. She likes to be spontaneous with men, but she’s hardly impetuous. She hates cold weather and snow, yet she has lived in an alpine city whose name she would not reveal. “It would be like giving away my telephone number,” she explained. “Thank you for understanding. I want to remain a mystery for men, always.”