MOSCOW — Russian spy Anna Chapman has revealed her secrets in her first TV interview: She has a passion for shooting and wants a lion as a pet.
Chapman says she considers the failure of her mission a chance for new opportunities. She said on a talk show late Thursday her dream was to have a lion cub, and one was immediately brought out to her on a leash.
The red-haired 28-year old became a tabloid star as one of ten Russian sleeper agents exposed in the United States and deported this summer in the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.
She also said that Sean Connery is her favorite James Bond and that she admires Angelina Jolie.
From shadows to spotlight
Chapman has made a public name for herself, posing in slinky lingerie, showing up at a space launch and moving in high Kremlin circles since returning to her home country. She is also the celebrity face of a Moscow bank and joined the leadership of the youth wing of the main pro-Kremlin party.
Welcomed back by ex-KGB spy and current President Vladimir Putin in July, Chapman entered the political arena earlier this month when she assumed an advisory role with the Young Guard, the youth wing of the dominant United Russia Party.
Chapman, who had led a double life posing as an American and trying to infiltrate U.S. policymaking circles, delivered a rallying speech at a meeting of the group after joining its Public Council.
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"Let's start to change the country with ourselves," said Chapman, on stage in a curve-hugging red-and-black dress.
"If each of us were gladdened by the new day, then we could do something new and useful," she said. "Be Happy!"
Chapman took on her new role as United Russia gears up for 2011 parliamentary elections which the party hopes will preserve its huge parliamentary majority and set the stage for a commanding win for the Kremlin's presidential candidate in 2012.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.