Acting is only one of Valery Nikolaev's talents, but it is the one for which he is best known outside of his native Russia. In film, he made his American debut in The Saint (1997) and followed up with a co-starring role in Oliver Stone's U-Turn. He honed his acting skills through an internship at London's Barbican Centre, followed by studies at New York's Juilliard School, the Moscow Art Theater, and the McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ. In Russia, Nikolaev appeared in many feature films, on stage, and on television, where he was best known for starring in the soap opera Trifles of Life. In addition to his successful acting career, Nikolaev is a professional hockey player and gymnast, a noted dancer, a stage combat instructor, and a linguist.