Meet the Multi-Talented Milana Vayntrub: The Girl Behind the AT&T Ads - Parents Dome

Meet the Multi-Talented Milana Vayntrub: The Girl Behind the AT&T Ads


Milana Vayntrub has made TV viewers unusually interested in AT&T commercials. With her as the star, the ads feel more like fascinating short films. Having appeared in them since 2013 as a telecommunications company saleswoman, Vayntrub has a way of connecting with her audience, beaming with her girl next door charm. She’s sweet and smiling, with a demeanor that’s far from a hard sell and an angelic face that disarms the audience. But there’s more to his seemingly sweet girl than meets the eye.

In the pages beyond, you will learn how Milana’s career in acting started at the age of five, after which she’s been paired with some of Hollywood’s top leading men. You’ll discover the secrets behind her philanthropic pursuits and so much more. Enjoy! 

Emigrating from the USSR

For much of the 20th century, despite public denouncements of Jewish antisemitism from high-ranking Soviet officials, persecution against the Jewish people was rampant in the USSR. In many places, there had been reports of people being stabbed or beaten up when all they wanted was to celebrate their roots and understand their history.

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Fortunately, unlike many refuseniks in the USSR, Milana Vayntrub’s family was able to leave for the United States. The actress was only two years old when they settled in West Hollywood, which was a geographical prelude to the start of her acting career.

Financial Struggles

The family struggled to make ends meet. It was not easy for refugees to establish themselves, even when they worked doubly hard. The American dream was not as easily attained as it seemed. So, after receiving the go-signal from her parents, Milana started her endeavors in acting.

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It was just meant to be a temporary thing – something to help them get by until the family was able to build up their strength. They never had an inkling that Milana Vayntrub would someday make it big and pull the whole family up with her. 

A Close-Knit Family

Moving to the West didn’t mean the abandonment of old values and practices for Milana. In fact, she seems to hold onto the same values as her family and remains close with her parents, especially her mother.

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They speak their native tongue when they’re at home, even up to this day. She’s proud of her history and where she came from. And she always asks for her family’s permission before doing anything on screen that might cause any misunderstandings. 

Milana’s Sister, Briana

After existing in relative isolation back in the USSR, ostracized as a race for unfair reasons that go back centuries, the Vayntrub family made sure to always be on the lookout for each other moving forward.

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Milana has a younger sister named Briana, who’s just as beautiful but whom Milana has sheltered from unnecessary public exposure. Briana just turned 20 and posted a photograph of herself on social media, which may have upset big sister just a bit, but only because she’s protective of her family’s privacy. 

Bad Experiences, Living in Fear

It was not easy living in the Soviet Union – as many Jewish families there would likely attest – with its many racial restrictions throughout history. It was hard for them to hold onto their identity in a country that arrested its writers and artists, where people disappeared for no apparent reason other than their race.

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Mila Vayntrub’s family is religious, and this added to their chances of being targeted by authorities. They underwent a lot of hardships that way, and that’s why they had to get out of the country as fast as they could. 

To Make One’s Mark in the City of Angels

Milana’s parents had planned for their daughter to take advantage of whatever America had to offer, with its seemingly endless row of opportunities. But at the age of five, and having settled in the country for less than three years, Milana was a cub in the woods.

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They let her try her hand at gymnastics, a staple among Russian children. They searched and exposed her to other extracurricular activities, hoping she would find her niche and work on it, for personal growth and as an investment in the skills necessary to survive in a new environment. 

Travel Documents

As the family had gone through so many difficulties in the past – living in the Soviet Union and striving to gain acceptance into the United States – they knew they could not forget the lessons they’d been given by life. After all, many of their friends and relatives didn’t make it out.

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They keep their old travel documents, like this copy of their US visa, as a reminder of their history. It’s an anchor that ensures they never forget their origins and always appreciate what they have now. They truly do count every blessing.

1995: Tatiana Appears on the TV Show ER

In spite of her natural good looks and sweet charm, it still took some time before Vayntrub would be recognized as a standout in an extremely competitive industry. She got into commercials fairly easily, though, starting with Mattel Barbie at the age of five, and taking every viable opportunity that came her way.

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She finally landed a bigger role in television in 1995. She was cast on a number of episodes of the series ER, playing the role of Tatiana. This gave her the chance to work alongside George Clooney. 

Milana Meets George Clooney

Vayntrub may only have occupied a relatively minor role in the ER series, but this was not bad at all, considering that she’d just been admitted into the showbiz industry. It also turned out to be a big deal for her because it gave her the opportunity not only to meet but to actually work with George Clooney.

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She adored Clooney, who saw her positive energy as a welcome presence on the set. The two enjoyed each other’s company and were completely at ease, as though they had been old friends. This really inspired the young actress. 

Modeling Experience

Before the budding actress became popular for her role in the AT&T commercials, she spent some time working as a fashion model. People used to see the budding actress sporting various clothing designs, but she was never all that interested in having so much attention on her body.

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Sadly, she was victimized by many disrespectful body shaming posts online. There were many unnecessary remarks made about her, especially in shared photographs that were blatantly photoshopped, not excluding her ads for AT&T. 

Vayntrub’s Guest Appearance on Californication

In the seventh and final season of Californication – a TV series with motifs of sex, violence, and rock and roll surrounding writer Hank Moody (played by David Duchovny) – Vayntrub was cast in an episode titled “Like Father Like Son.” Her role was “the bad actress.”

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Some would say this was a minor achievement, but the role would help push her forward into the limelight. The show was in its final chapter, but this would help Milana land bigger opportunities in the future. The success she’d been working toward was closer now than she ever could have imagined. 

Vayntrub as Navigator in Other Space

The actress felt more natural as a comedian and was glad when she earned the role of Tina Shukshin, the navigator of the UMP Cruiser, which the crew would use to explore outer space. Because of her beauty, it was easy to fit Vayntrub into the role of the love interest of the ship’s commander, Stewart Lipinski.

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The series began in April 2015. It received positive reviews but had to be halted due to the shutdown of Yahoo! Screen the next year. DUST took over the project five years after its original launch.

Milana Vayntrub’s Net Worth

There’s no doubt that Milana Vayntrub is on her way to the top, but that spot is not yet in her grasp. She worked her way from being an unknown child actress in TV commercials to becoming a habitue in short films – a familiar face with potent marketability that people started to really pay attention to.

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She was popular enough that people became curious about her financial worth, which was rumored to be around $500,000. By October 2020, with a lucrative new project in the bag, that estimate jumped to a cool $4 million. 

On Her Way to Silicon Valley

Vayntrub embarked on an acting career to help her family with their finances, but she also realized that she truly enjoyed being an actress. She’s tailor-made for the occupation, and after ER and Californication, it didn’t take long for her to land another minor role, this time in the series Days of Our Lives.

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Perhaps due to the many roles the actress had taken, her presence began to be a powerful drawcard for viewers, so much so that Hollywood execs felt that it was time to raise her to the next level. Soon, Vayntrub was starring in Silicon Valley as Gilfoyle’s girlfriend Tiara.

A Friend to Animals

A peek at her Instagram account will easily lead viewers to assess Vayntrub has a kind-hearted personality, with a number of her posts being all about her pooch and a cat. She spends as much of her idle time with them as she can, and her Instagram wall is filled with snapshots of her kissing her fur babies.

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Her dog has become quite popular as well, perhaps worthy of an IG account of its own, thanks to her shared pictures. Fan art has even been started dedicated to the famous pup! Vayntrub encourages these artworks and is always excited when a new one is sent to her.

Becoming Lily Adams

Becoming AT&T’s Lily Adams was a watershed moment in Milana Vayntrub’s developing career. Anyone who enjoys watching TV or movies could easily note the promise of bigger opportunities to come. She’s a perfect fit for the role, and without knowing it, viewers have found themselves smiling back at her through their screens.

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Vayntrub entices viewers to actually watch through an entire ad instead of leaving to check out the refrigerator or go to the bathroom. That’s a pretty amazing feat in a world that’s oversaturated in advertising. 

A Relatable Character

Lily Adams speaks straight from the heart, and this is something fans have been quick to perceive. She’s far from the salesperson stereotype that simply recites what the targeted market wants to hear. 

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Vayntrub makes Lily quite relatable. She’s the personification of the character’s mold of kindness, intelligence, and humor – qualities that AT&T is trying to project and which Director Hank Perlman has worked hard to convey through each fleeting, half-a-minute ad. Only someone with Milana’s talent could pull it off. 

A Brilliant Sense of Humor

When she was younger, Milana Vayntrub wished she could be a comedic actress, just like the stars she admired. But she never thought she had those funny bones in her. It took her a while to realize that she was the complete package of beauty and brains, with a wonderful sense of humor.

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She’s gotten comfortable with these qualities now, and she takes any chance she can get to make people laugh. Her ability to harness her strengths and negate her weaknesses is quite impressive, and yet she remains kind and unassuming. 

More Growth and Influence

Milana Vayntrub is living the life her parents dreamed for her and more. She understands that while she was young, they wanted her to be able to take any opportunity that came her way. So nowadays, she actively participates in more than just traditional acting.

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She has accepted offers as a voice talent, invitations for radio appearances, and has taken part in various podcasts. The channels are wide open, her potential continues to grow, and the fields of her career are verdant. Who knows what she could be up to next – the sky’s the limit. 

The Influencer

When the actress heard about the problematic refugee situation in Syria, it brought back her own harrowing experiences of leaving the Soviet Union for a better life in the US. She believed that this time around, it was her turn to help those in need.

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Vayntrub decided to use her influence to dissuade people from holding onto prejudice against the refugees. She spoke out about the humanitarian cause and the need for Americans to look at the problem from the perspective of those who’ve been forced into exile. 

Meeting Refugees in Greece

Vayntrub could not turn her back on the millions of people who have been alienated from their own homes and country even if she tried. Their situation hit home hard, and she has accepted what she believes is her calling – a goal that gives meaning to her life.

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During a vacation in Greece, the actress went out of her way to meet refugee children, and the actress saw bits of herself in all of them. She met their parents and many others to give them warmth, hoping that they will be inspired by her past as it’s a story that’s relatable for all of them. 

Flash of Insight

Speaking about her vacation in Greece, a flash of insight took over Vayntrub. While sharing her experiences with people around the country, she realized that a part of her had been free-floating up until that point. It took her a minute to understand that what she felt was actually “happiness guilt,” which arose from not being there for those in need.

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Self-critical, she committed herself to fighting for refugees from all over the world. This was the day she officially became an activist. She extended her stay in Greece and came up with what would be the foundation of #CantDoNothing. 

Doing the Right Thing

A rising star herself, Milana Vayntrub believes that celebrities are faced with a socio-civic question: are they willing to use the power that comes with their social status and influence to help the marginalized members of society? Or are they merely in it to serve themselves?

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She’s already committed to doing what’s right. She’s using her stardom to speak out for those who are desperately unheard. The actress has been pursuing this goal since 2016, explaining the plight of the refugees, helping them fit in and find jobs, and supporting them as they settle into a new country and a new community. 

#CantDoNothing and Eron Zehavi

As far as Vayntrub is concerned, she’s already 100% committed to creating change in the world by helping millions of refugees, and she’s using her stardom to speak on their behalf, to clear out a web of misunderstanding that only worsens their politically induced homelessness and religious persecution.

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Her influence has caught fire and captured the attention of top entrepreneur Eron Zehavi, who is now involved in the #CantDoNothing mission. The world refugee crisis has two more people who are dedicated and compassionate about their plight, but they still have a long way to go. 

Putting Her Comedy to Good Use

Having discovered the ability to make people laugh – people would crowd around her for some fun and good old-fashioned laughter – Milana Vayntrub utilized this skill to raise her stock. She’s become a natural comedian on-screen and extends this new reach beyond Hollywood’s sets and studios.

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She’s been expanding her comedic range, even practicing burping on stage. This is going beyond her usual quips, and she enjoys being a self-professed disgusting pro at it, clowning around, making people laugh with her burps.

A Temporary Break from Acting

Like many actors before her, at a certain point in her acting career, Milana Vayntrub wondered how far filmdom would take her. She remembers that as a child actress, she’d embarked on her journey in the showbiz industry merely to help her parents. Could she really depend on it for the rest of her life?

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Vayntrub assessed that it might be time to invest in her education. Years after she obtained her GED, she went to San Diego and enrolled at the University of California, majoring in Communications. 

Milana as Sloane Sandburg

Vayntrub had another chance to appear on TV in This Is Us, a drama series that aired in September 2016 and is now on its sixth season. She took the role of playwright Sloane Sandburg, a reserved and distant character who becomes involved with Kevin, one of the “big three” siblings who auditions for her play.

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Her relationship with Kevin was initially prompted by discord between friends at the Pearson family cabin. It drew out the playwright’s personality, making her bolder and more self-confident, changing her overall demeanor. 

Milana’s Transformation in This Is Us

It is interesting to see how Milana’s character, Sloane Sandburg, transforms herself after becoming involved with Kevin. From her distant self prior to their mix-up at the cabin, Sloane develops into a more assured personality, assertive even, and Milana played this transition process really well.

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The character’s versatility is similar to how Vayntrub is able to immerse herself in various roles, such as being the quirky salesperson from AT&T to becoming a comedian and then a reserved intellectual type in This Is Us

Limited Role in Lizzie McGuire

Vayntrub is a very familiar face in the world of television because she’s participated in various productions and commercials that subtly pushed her presence into our collective subconscious. She even had a non-speaking role in Lizzie McGuire.

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Milana Vayntrub appeared in two seasons of the comedy series that starred Hilary Duff before it was eventually canceled due to contractual issues. She’d already been cast in Days of Our Lives at the time and continued to forge on by appearing in various shows, an episode at a time, making execs eventually notice her.

Obscure Earlier Roles

As a young artist in America, Vayntrub had to take on small roles to build more experience and exposure. She really didn’t mind it at all because she acknowledges that there was still so much to learn. Also, the whole undertaking was fun. She never once had to drag herself to work.

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She had bills to pay, like everyone else, and these small roles came with sizable paychecks. Milana took on the role of Denise in the comedy series Roommates Enemies from 2012 to 2013. At this point, minor roles kept coming, which made her financially independent and able to support her family.

Working with a Talented Cast in All Nighter 

Vayntrub picked up another minor role but in a full-fledged movie this time – All Nighter, which was released in 2017. This film follows the story of Mr. Gallo, a father whose background is a mystery to everyone and who suspects something bad has happened to his daughter in LA, so he drags her ex-boyfriend along to track her down.

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The frantically paced movie didn’t do very well and received mostly negative reviews. But this gave Milana Vayntrub an opportunity to work with a remarkably talented cast, including JK Simmons, Analeigh Tipton, and Emile Hirsch.

The Voice Behind Doreen Green

Milana added to her repertoire by becoming a voice actor for Marvel’s superhero Doreen Green, better known as Squirrel Girl. In this role, the Uzbek-American actress’ mellifluous voice pervades cinematically, filling the atmosphere as the superhero communicates with squirrels to battle against evil.

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The show is making a comeback with New Warriors after its initial appearance in the late 2010s. It’s gotten Vayntrub new followers who’ve enjoyed her company at comic book conventions, attesting to the actress’ friendliness and kindness.

Online Presence

Milana Vayntrub’s efforts are starting to pay off, and one manifestation of this is her growing presence online. Thanks to the platform the internet creates for like-minded people, the actress is often mentioned in blogs, and her shows are regularly discussed in forums.

Facebook/@Milana Vayntrub Diva Fan Club

Vayntrub has created a stir in the showbiz industry with her consistent work, and its ripples have gathered strength that’s felt on social media. A page on Facebook – the Milana Vayntrub Diva Fan Club – now has more than 7,000 members, not to mention her IG, which has close to a million followers. 

College Theater Program

When Vayntrub took a step back to reconsider her acting career, she decided to enroll at the University of California. During this break, she realized how much she missed making her audience laugh along with her jokes.

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While keeping up with the rigors of her studies, Vayntrub also took part in the school’s theater program. It was like hitting two birds with one stone – being an artist as well as a student of the university, which by the way, has Benicio Del Toro and Neil Patel as alums.

Quitting Show Business?

Milana Vayntrub’s practical side spoke to her. She’d internally deliberated within herself whether to commit wholeheartedly to her acting career. A part of her said that this was probably a foolish and impractical way of doing things. She wanted the security of having other skills and abilities to work with, so the idea of earning a degree seemed to be a good one.

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However, life had a way of keeping her in touch with her artistic side. Thanks to the college theater program, she has never had to totally abandon what truly makes her happy. Nothing out there was strong enough to keep her mind off acting. 

Responding to Online Harassments

Even her most pleasant appearances on television, advertisements included, have attracted sexual harassment from people on the internet. This baffles her, and it hurts her feelings. It’s not like she’s appeared naked out there, yet she still gets off-topic reactions and weird comments from people who apparently find joy in attacking her.

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A group of friends took a picture of her sexy silhouette in a hotel parking lot. They did it for fun because the image looked cool, but they soon had to take it down. Vayntrub is hardly recognizable behind the curtain, but still, it drew unwanted attention and lewd comments. 

Fighting Back

The actress has decided not to take online harassment lightly. She has raised her proverbial dukes to battle it out through her Instagram account. The goal is to raise awareness against this rude behavior and to fight against negative stereotypes and sexism in a positive way.

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Still, the harassment against her continues. Even when she’s just walking around her neighborhood or playing with her dog, someone out there finds a way to tweak her photos and make fun of them for no apparent reason. 

Yetide Badaki, Paul Feig, and AT&T

Speaking out against online harassment may not have thwarted her attackers completely, but it has attracted sympathizers. Hopefully, she will be able to gather more supporters among fans and celebrities, some of whom might have their own bad experiences, enforcing a collective action against similar abuses. 

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Among those who have expressed support for Milana Vayntrub’s plea for harassment awareness are Nigerian-American actress Yetide Badaki, comedian Paul Feig, and AT&T, which just announced that they’d be taking down offensive comments against the actress on their website. 

Interviewing Matt Damon

Vayntrub still keeps expanding her horizons. Not only has she improved so much as an actress, but she’s also showing promise behind the camera. She’s overseen the YouTube series titled “Let’s Talk About Something More Interesting” as its director and has played many roles in it as well.

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The program was officially aired in 2011 with the help of her friend Stevie Nelson. One of the most famous guests they’ve interviewed was Matt Damon. Vayntrub wisely took the opportunity to open up about the water crisis – a subject that Matt deeply cares about – and how the actor had been exposed to poverty during his travels in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world. 

Born to Be on Television

While many people would be camera shy if they had to appear on television, Milana Vayntrub seems to be naturally born for it. Though she turned her back on it for a while, fate seems to lead her back to it. In the early days of their family’s struggles after leaving the USSR, Milana and her dad were incidentally featured on TV.

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They had already taken many trips at that time and were close to getting their US visa. An interviewer approached them to inquire about their situation, along with a few other immigrants who were still in Italy, and Milana happily answered that they were on their way to America.