A Little Girl from Poland’s Dream
An Interview with Joanna Krupa
Model, actress and philanthropist, Joanna Krupa, is a true inspiration to models and actors everywhere, especially to those who grew up in other countries looking to live the American dream. Joanna’s mother came to the US with only $200 in her pocket when Joanna was just 5 years old.
In her own words, Joanna describes her mother’s actions as “worth the risk” as her immigrating into the United States gave Joanna the opportunity to “live a life that was truly a little girl from Poland’s dream.”
We sat down with Joanna, our cover model, to discuss her relationship with her mother, her career, and how becoming a mother, herself, has changed her.
LFG: You’ve been in the modeling and entertainment industry for over 20 years now. Do you still get the same joy from showing up on set?
I am so happy that I was able to live a life that was truly a little girl from Poland’s dream. And that I was able to live the American dream. So, to this day, I am more than honored and happy when I get to work on a tv show or do a photoshoot for an ad campaign. It still brings a lot of happiness and excitement into my life. This also shows me that the modeling industry has changed so much because you can work for a long time so long as you take care of yourself, you have a following, people enjoy what you do, and they appreciate what you do. So, I’m grateful every day that I can still be working and calling what I love work.
LFG: What would you say is your most valuable personality trait that has helped you to remain relevant in this tough industry?
Well, I don’t know if it’s a valuable trait, but I know producers in the past have appreciated that I won’t let anyone mess with me. I’m unpredictable. I remember producers saying they love how unpredictable I am. It’s funny how things change because now, being a mother, I’m the exact opposite. I’m more mellow. It’s crazy when I think that even 7 years ago, I was a lot more outspoken and spontaneous. It’s crazy how much time as a mother can you change.
LFG: Last year, you got to do a photoshoot with your mom for Douglas drug store in Poland. That must have been a special moment! Was your mom open to it right away?
Yes, I did a shoot with my mom for Mother’s Day in Poland. My mother loves that I’m pursuing something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little girl. So, she appreciates it, and she loves Poland because she’s from there. So, every time there’s an opportunity, she loves to be involved. And it’s just beautiful that we can spend all that time and create memories doing projects together. I think it’s just wonderful that I can also involve my family in the career I envisioned for myself since I was young.
LFG: We all remember your mom’s humble and hard beginnings in the U.S. Has your career helped or enriched her on a personal level as a woman? (We love Jolanta!)
I think, overall, me being able to work on something that I love and have wanted to do since I was very young, I think it showed her that she made the right decision to move to the US even though she had $200 in her pocket. I think my success has made her appreciate that she did take that risk, and I think it also showed that no matter how much you’re struggling, if you’re positive and make the best of every moment, you can succeed. I mean, sometimes, we didn’t have a car to get around and maybe I had one or two pairs of jeans. So, I always try to remain humble and remember where we came from. I think, because of this, I also look at things a little differently. Since I didn’t have things handed to me, when I go shopping and see something a little more expensive, I think twice before I purchase it, as I’m not a brand-name person. I don’t think I have to show off with brand names. I think twice before I purchase something that’s expensive.
LFG: Now, you’re a mom, yourself, and you seem to enjoy motherhood more than anything in the world. In what way has motherhood shaped you the most so far?
Motherhood has definitely changed me. Now, when I think of things that maybe were a big stress or seemed important before, I realize they no longer seem important because [my daughter] is my priority. I love being a mother. I love being with my daughter. I love the way she’s evolving- how much she’s talking, how intelligent she is. Nobody will understand how amazing it is to have a child until they actually have one, but it’s the most beautiful thing. It’s the greatest accomplishment that I have had in my whole life.
LFG: Can you share with us one of your sweetest moments with your daughter, Asha?
Every day, she has little sweet gestures or moments. The other day, I was teaching her to say, ‘I love you’ to her grandma, her daddy, and me, and she never really said it unless you asked her to. But yesterday, she just looked at me and said, ‘I love you, Mommy’ without being prompted. It was the most warm and beautiful thing any parent could experience. It was just so sweet. And it was unexpected. She has so many little moments like that. She’s more than I could have ever dreamt for. I’m blessed to be her mom.
LFG: What is your biggest fear when it comes to your daughter and her future?
My biggest fear, in general, for her future is wondering what kind of life she is going to experience. She was born right before COVID hit, so, thankfully, she wasn’t old enough to understand what a lot of kids experienced in school during the pandemic. But it makes me worried, especially now, with the war and what is happening in the world. I truly fear for her future. The crime rate is going up in a lot of states in the US. As a mother, you worry about everything. So, for me, it’s not just one specific thing that I worry about for her future, it’s everything- the crime rate, where we’re going to live, what life will be like. Will she have the same experience as an adult that I did?
LFG: Has your love for animals changed now that you are a mother?
My love for animals has definitely not changed since becoming a mother. I have less time available when it comes to hands-on volunteering and visiting shelters like I used to. But I try to donate more to small organizations that truly do the dirty work and need the money so much more than the big organizations that have millions of dollars behind them. My passion and love for animals will never change. Unless I live on a farm, it will be hard to have all those dogs I once had while I have a daughter. But I teach her to love her dogs like they are her best friends. I want to teach her to have a heart and a passion for animals. I don’t feed her any meat; she’s pretty much vegan. Hopefully, that’s something she will take to heart when she’s older. And when she’s older she can decide what she wants to eat. But as a mother right now, I don’t even give her the opportunity to try meat because I want her to love the healthy stuff. She loves her vegan, non-dairy ice cream sandwiches. She’s a happy baby. I think she, overall, is not missing out on anything.
LFG: If you could re-live one of your past shoots, which one would it be and why?
If I could re-live one of my past shoots, I would love to revisit my PETA campaign, Angel for Animals, with my beloved Rugy who has since passed away. That was probably one of the most amazing PETA ads that I’ve done (I’ve done a few with them) because I was able to do it with my own dog promoting animal rescue, and I would do anything to see him again.
It’s so wonderful to see the beautiful ways in which love has changed Joanna. They say that cycles repeat themselves, and in many instances, that’s a good thing. In the case of Joanna Krupa, it’s most definitely a good thing. We can see the love Joanna’s mother put into her daughter’s life when she took a risk and moved to the United States from Poland. We can see that love transitioning over to Joanna’s baby, Asha, as Joanna teaches her unconditional love for her family and animals, too. Be sure to continue to follow Joanna’s story on her Instagram Here!
Slovak stunner Katarina Van Derham has worked in Hollywood for over a decade, gaining experience in every aspect of media and show business. Knowing the science behind beauty has made her one of the most sought after beauty specialists in the entertainment industry. She is often a judge for model searches and beauty pageants around the world. With a philanthropic heart and passion for leading an ethical lifestyle, Katarina is quickly becoming one of the leading influencers in the vegan and cruelty-free community. katarinavanderham.com