Eliska is of European and South American ethnicity with a combined mix of Russian and Brazilian descent, and belongs to the second generation of American immigrants in her family. Her mother, maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather are of complete Russian ethnicity, while her paternal grandmother is Brazilian and father is of half-Brazilian ethnicity. Sursova speaks both Russian and Portuguese and is fluent in English.
Sursova has previously mentioned she favors music genres rock and roll, alternative rock, independent rock, garage rock and grunge music and states that one of her favorite songs of all time is More Than a Feeling by 70's rock band Boston.
Sursova has been described as "exceptionally private," and is notably "uninterested in any real affiliation with the media other than obligatory work related press." Much of Sursova's press attention remains unconfirmed. Sursova is said to typically "avoid questions that address her personal life" during interviews.
As an animal rights and environmental awareness enthusiast, Sursova is involved with a number of related charities including Greenpeace International, Great Ape Project, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Wildlife Warriors Worldwide and advocates particularly for Anti-Fur campaigns, Global Warming prevention and environmental conservation. In addition, Sursova also makes financial contributions to local animal shelters and humane societies including the ASPCA and the Michigan Humane Society.
Her first introduction to the entertainment industry was at age thirteen, when Head of her school's Arts Department set up a meeting for Eliska with an agent, after watching her perform a 'fill-in' role for an absent student during a class performance. Sursova had not initially nominated herself to play the vacant role but was instead chosen by bully-like classmates assuming she would fail and become humiliated. Post-interview, Sursova was invited to join the agency and was cast for her first job within two weeks.
At age thirteen, Sursova was approached by a model agent while attending a casting for television and was signed to the agency sometime later. As a tall thirteen year old (measuring 5 foot 6 in the seventh grade) Sursova gained successful reception and booked campaigns for a series of clients, however her height did not increase with her age and Sursova decided to step away from the industry to concentrate on acting.
Sursova finished high-school with acceptance to selective Ivy League institution Brown University and is occasionally accredited with her intelligence as well as theatrical talent. Sursova chose to defer her studies to pursue acting but plans to return in the future to study Psychology and Philosophy. Other actors to have achieved academic success in this way include Natalie Portman.
Eliska is one of seven children and is part of a blended-family following her father's divorce from her biological mother in 2002.
In her early career, Russian media claimed Sursova's family (on her maternal side) had connections to Krasnaya Mafia (an assortment of organized criminals in the Soviet Union referred to as the Russian Mafia) later suggesting it had forced a multitude of Sursova family members to take refuge in the United States following internal disputes.
During her childhood, Sursova attended a multitude of schools and was partially raised by both her maternal grandmother, a retired dressmaker and paternal grandmother, a retired domestic worker.
Sursova's family was initially poor and gained some financial security during her childhood. Following her birth, Sursova's parents lived in a motor home before moving into a small property several years later.
(When asked her thoughts on fur-wearers):
Eliska Sursova: Karma. You'll probably come back as a Mink.
Eliska Sursova: I'm absolutely in love with the world. The worst thing a person can do is disrespect the environment and the responsibilities we have as people to protect the more vulnerable. It's the single most important thing a human being can do, whether it's donating five dollars to a charity or simply educating themselves about an issue. Being aware is foremost; If you don't know, you won't act and if you don't act, the rest of us are just fighting a losing battle.