A specific beauty with a girl-next-door personality, Mila Kunis has been in show business ever since she was nine-years old. Her career reached its peak with the 'That 70’s Show' hit series and now she is working hard on proving herself to the public as a quality actress, with skills that reach far beyond her teenage stardom.
Mila’s full name is Milena Markovna Kunis and she was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Her parents are Elvira, a physics teacher who owns a pharmacy and Mark, who is a mechanical engineer but worked as a cab driver. Mila also has an older brother Michael.
When Mila was seven years old, her parents decided to move the family to USA as they saw no future in USSR for their children, both due to the economic state of the country, as well as religion, since they were Jewish. Her family tried to raise her Jewish as much as they could, she stated, although religion was suppressed in USSR. ‘My whole family was in the Holocaust. My grandparents passed and not many survived. After the Holocaust in Russia, you were not allowed to be religious. So my parents raised me to know I was Jewish. You know who you are inside. You don’t need to tell the whole world.’’, she says.’’ I love my religion. I think it’s a beautiful religion, but I took parts of it that I want for myself. I don’t need to go to temple. I will, but I don’t need to.’
Her family arrived in LA with only $250 in their pockets as they weren’t allowed to take more with them. Luckily, her parents got new jobs quickly, although their degrees were not transferable, and Mila and her brother were in school in a matter of two working days. Mila didn’t know a word of English when she first started class in LA and she recalls the time she spent in second grade as stressful, feeling as if she was blind and deaf since she didn’t quite understand her new surroundings.
When Mila was nine, her father enrolled her in after school acting classes as a way to help her learn English. There, she met her future manager, Susan Curtis. Her first audition was for a Barbie commercial – she got the role immediately. Soon, other commercials followed, as well as television appearances on shows such as Days of Our Lives, Baywatch, 7th Heaven and then films like Gia. ‘I started acting when I was nine as a hobby because it was fun and I could get out of school. I didn’t ever think that I would have it as a job because I didn’t know you could have a job in acting.’, she says about that period of her life.
As a 14-year old girl, in 1998, Mila auditioned for the role of Jackie Burkhart in the pilot of Fox’s sitcom That 70’s Show. All actors needed to be at least 18-years old and Mila told the casting crew that she was going to be 18 on her birthday – not specifying which birthday. Mila got the role and though her secret was soon revealed, the decision was made to keep her as she was the best fit for the role. Although no one expected too much from the show at first, it ran for eight seasons and is now considered a classic, enjoyed by all generations. It can also be marked as the definite beginning of Mila’s career.
That 70’s Show will prove to be a great milestone in Mila’s career. It not only opened the door for her to be a part of many other projects, it was also where she met her future husband, co-star Ashton Kutcher. But the thought of the two of them marrying never crossed her mind while the show was still running.
In 1999 and 2000, Mila won two consecutive Young Star Awards as Best Young Actress in a Comedy TV Series. Mila became a part of another classic sitcom, this time animated Family Guy, giving her voice to the Meg Griffin character. She was only fifteen when she started the show. The show’s creator, Seth MacFarlane, commented that Mila had ‘a very natural quality to Meg that really made what we did with that character kind of really work.’ Mila didn’t alter her voice in any way, she was only instructed to talk slower and more clearly. Mila was also the voice of Meg for the Family Guy Video Game. The role had her nominated in 2007 for an Annie Award in the category of Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production.
In 2001, Mila shot the film Get Over It, then American Psycho 2 a year later, which went straight to DVD. 2004 brought the film Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding, which was released three years later. Then Moving McAllister, again released with a two-year delay, and After Sex and Boot Camp. Unfortunately, none of these projects were strong enough to bring her positive attention from the public and to boost her image as a quality actress.
The year 2008 brought a turn of tables with the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a romantic comedy, and Mila’s role as Rachel Jansen, for which she had to do a lot of improvisation. The film was a commercial success with positive reviews and Mila was nominated for a Teen Choice Award. That same year, Mila played in the action film Max Payne for which she went training in handling guns, boxing and martial arts. The film got mixed reviews and so did Mila, but that didn’t stop her from being nominated for another Teen Choice Award. In 2009, Mila appeared in Extract, then The Book of Eli in 2010 and Date Night that same year.
However, it was her role in Black Swan that drew attention of major critics and wider public to her image and performing abilities. The film got her a Golden Globe for her antagonistic character portrayal of a rival ballet dancer of the protagonist, played by Natalie Portman. Mila went through ballet training for the role, lost 20 pounds, and suffered numerous injuries. It all paid off in the end as the film was such a success it got nominated for five Academy Awards. For her role, she won the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress at the 67th Venice Film Festival and got nominations for a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award.
In 2011, Mia shot a successful romantic comedy with Justin Timberlake called Friends With Benefits. In 2012, she starred in Ted, directed by the Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In 2013, she shot Oz the Great and Powerful. That same year she appeared in a crime thriller Blood Ties. In 2015, she appeared in a less successful film alongside Channing Tatum, Jupiter Ascending. In 2016, Mila played the leading role in the Bad Moms comedy, a film that is scheduled for a sequel to be released in 2017.
In 2014, Mila had launched her own production company, along with a few partners, called Orchard Farm Productions, with a fist-look deal with ABC Studios. Mila is also planning a TV series for the CW network, where she will take the role of an executive producer of the project.
Mila is known to be a grounded person that didn’t let fame spoil her, although she is considered to be one of the most beautiful actresses of her generation. Her public image is not made of controversies, as she is personally very private, and doesn’t even have social media profiles, at least none known to the public, as she believes it is not necessary to put her entire life on display. ‘I think that an actor is more likely to be forgiven in the public’s eye than an actress. There will always be a double standard between males and females, so I think that an actress is more likely to protect her public persona, so to speak, than an actor would be. An actor goes crazy in a hotel room, gets trashed, throws a bench, breaks a window, and he is considered a rock star. An actress does that and she’s sent to rehab and is thought to have problems and issues and can’t get a job.’
In 2007, she appeared in a video for the Funny or Die website, a parody of the MTV show The Hills. The video was a huge success, with over one million views. In 2010, she participated in the Women We Love segment in the Esquire magazine. The proceeds from the photographs they made were donated to the NYC AIDS foundation. That same year, she was the Master of Ceremonies at the Annual Chrysalis Foundation Benefit, a non-profit organization helping economically disadvantaged people.
Mila has been featured on ‘most beautiful people’ types of lists many times, reaching number one of FHM magazine’s list in 2013. She commented on this: ‘You’ve got to base your career on something other than being FHM’s top 100 number one girl. Your looks are going to die out, and then what’s going to be left?’ In 2011, she was invited, via YouTube, to a US Marine Corps Ball by Sgt. Scott Moore. Her friend and colleague, Justin Timberlake saw the video and told Mia about the invitation. Mila accepted. As a loyal friend, Mila defended Justin Timberlake in Russian, in an interview following the promotion of their Friends With Benefits film, when he was asked about his switch from singer to actor. When it comes to politics, she is a supporter of the Democratic Party.
Mila is married to her That 70’s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher and they have two children. Their daughter Wyatt Isabelle was born in 2014 and their son Dimitri Portwood in 2016. She met Ashton when she was just fourteen years old and, as they played a couple in the series, it so happened that he was her first ever kiss. Ashton didn’t know about it then, and Mila did everything in her power to hide this fact and pretended she wasn’t nervous: she even put perfume on to boost her confidence.
Ashton soon got married to Demi Moore and Mila began dating Macaulay Culkin in 2002. Their relationship lasted for eight years. Just as with the rest of her private life, they kept the relationship far from the public eye, saying: ‘I keep my personal life as personal as I physically, mentally, possibly can.’ What is known is that they were close friends with Michael Jackson, as Macaulay is the godfather of his children, and they attended his private funeral in 2009.
The whole crew of That 70’s Show remains good friends and they all stayed in touch even after the show was over. Soon after the break-up with Macaulay, it became obvious that Mila and Ashton were dating, much to the happiness of any fan of That 70’s Show. The couple got engaged in 2014 and married in 2015, hiding both facts from the public for long, as well as Mila’s pregnancies.
In 2011, she revealed that she had struggled with chronic iritis, which even caused temporary blindness in her eye. She suffered from severe migraines and had to insert steroid injections straight into her eye. She had to have surgery to correct the problem.
When it comes to her hobbies, she is a huge fan of the Star Trek franchise, and the World of Warcraft game.
Written by: Tamara Djordjevic