Russian actress Yulia Peresild is starring in the first film made outside Earth. Last week, the actress was blasted off to the International Space Station to film scenes for feature-length adventure film The Challenge . Peresild will play Zhenya, a surgeon who saves the life of a cosmonaut in space. Peresild and Russian director Klim Shipenko will spend 12 days in space to film the 35-40 minute scenes before returning on October 17, according to The New York Times . They have to manage everything themselves, including camera work, lighting, make-up and production, in zero orbit. Inside Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ‘Palace of Secrets’, The Carlyle So, who is Yulia Peresild? Here is a closer look at the 37-year-old star who beat Tom Cruise to become the first actor in space. She has Estonian roots Yulia Peresild was born in 1984 in Pskov, a city located about 20km (12 miles) east from the Estonian border today. Her surname comes from her Estonian great-grandparents, who were deported to Russia, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Her father was an icon painter and her mother worked in a kindergarten. She got her star in acting early Peresild dreamt of becoming an actress since she was a child and pursued it early. Starting from the third grade, she studied acting and singing, and also starred in school theatre plays. When she was 11, she participated in The Morning Star – a TV contest for young talents. She later enrolled in the faculty of Russian philology of the Pskov State Pedagogical Institute. A year later, she left for Moscow and entered the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts. In 2006, she graduated from the college and became a stage actress for various theatres, according to Estonian World . Which celebrities renounced their Chinese citizenships? She’s super famous (and acclaimed) in Russia Peresild has starred in over 30 films and she has also been one of the leading actresses at Moscow’s State Theatre of Nations, according to PeoplePill . She had her big breakthrough when she starred as Sofia in The Edge in 2010, a Russian drama film that was nominated for the 2010 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. At home, Peresild won two big awards – the Russian Guild of Film Critics’ White Elephant Prize and the National Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Russia’s Golden Eagle – for her supporting role in the film. Further success followed with many notable roles in popular Russian films and TV series, like the drama film In the Fog (2012), the comedy series Santa Lucia (2012), the mystical thriller Sonnentau (2012) and the biographical war Battle for Sevastopol (2015) – for which she won the best actress award at the Beijing International Film Festival for the role of Soviet sniper Lyudmila Pavlichenko. The successful career has not only made her one of the most in-demand actresses in Russia, but also made a millionaire with a fortune of about US$1.4 million, per Net Worth Post. She beat over 3,000 applicants to go to space Around 3,000 actresses applied for her role in The Challenge, in an open competition launched last year by Roscosmos, Russia’s state space corporation. After a two-stage selection process that involved tests for creativity and a medical and physical fitness screening, Peresild was the winning name, according to The New York Times . Peresild shared in interviews that adapting to the rigorous demands of training was challenging, particularly learning about the design and handling of the spacecraft. “For the first two weeks, I was learning it until four in the morning every night. There are so many acronyms, and if you don’t learn them all you won’t understand anything else further on,” she told a pre-launch press conference . “It was psychologically, physically and morally hard. But I think that once we achieve the goal, all that will seem not so difficult and we will remember it with a smile.” Inside Matt Damon’s former LA mansion, just sold for millions … and also Tom Cruise Last year, it was announced that the Tom Cruise would make the first movie in orbit with an estimated cost of US$200 million, under the support of Nasa and SpaceX’s eccentric CEO Elon Musk . Cruise and Mr. & Mrs. Smith director Doug Liman were expected to travel to the International Space Station in a capsule owned by Musk’s SpaceX company in October this year for the project. However, the Russian team and Peresild were much faster in the race to space, taking on “the challenge” and making the Hollywood superstar’s mission impossible. She is not married but has a happy family Peresild has kept her life very low key, as she told MiceTimes : “I really hate talking about my personal life. Sometimes colleagues get married, get married and then spread it all on the cover. And if they’re people close to me, I think ... Why did you do it?” It was rumoured that she was dating billionaire Roman Abramovich, but she never confirmed the relationship. Jennifer Lopez or Ben Affleck – who has the higher net worth? Peresild has two daughters – Anna, born in 2009 and Maria, born in 2012. She did not reveal the father of her two children until 2017, when she named Alexey Uchitel, the director of her breakthrough movie The Edge. He is 33 years older than her. “We live well, we help each other as much as we can … We are in excellent relations. One way or another, this is a family,” she told Then24 . Want more stories like this? Sign up here. Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .