Mila Kunis Opens Up About Her New Netflix Movie, Ukraine Relief Efforts, and Parenting in America Today

Mila Kunis was just 14 years old when she first joined the hit TV series. the 70’s showPlaying Jackie Burkhart’s plucky character for eight seasons. Since then, Kunis has blossomed during her many years in Hollywood, becoming the versatile actress she is today. His last movie luckiest girl alive (now streaming on Netflix) is a shining example of that, showing the artistic depth Kunis is willing to go to in order to properly tell this rather “heavy” but sadly necessary and timely story.

Kunis stars as the central character Ani FaNelli, a sharp-tongued New York journalist whose seemingly perfect life begins to unravel as she is forced to finally face the traumatic events of her past. To be not only the star of luckiest girl alive but also a producer on the project, I first asked Kunis what joys and satisfactions came from having such an active hand on both sides of the camera.

“I have to tell you, I loved every aspect of it,” Kunis tells me. “I was delighted to understand exactly what the true form of love for artistic creation entails. I loved being able to see the product develop through the editing section, through the marketing, so that I could have some sort of influence, let alone have your influence heard. A lot of times, as an actor, you have an opinion and people are placated by that opinion, but when you’re a producer, they really have to take it into account. It was really lovely to be able to weigh in, based on the passion I have for the project, to make sure it was included in the marketing campaign and all the other facets that go into making movies.”

Jessica Knoll, luckiest girl aliveThe bestselling author/screenwriter/executive producer also spoke briefly with me about the quality of input and impact Kunis had on this film, a project that Knoll reveals was several years in the making.

Knoll begins by saying of Kunis, “She brought a lot of value as a creative partner and producer, not just because she’s smart and has great ideas and all that, but because a lot of us were involved in this project, like in early 2015 when it was decided to first time. A bunch of our producers on this project had been on it ever since. Then Mike Barker, our director, came in in 2018. So when Mila came on right before, it was like December 2020, a lot of us had the eyes on this for a long time. It was incredibly helpful, especially for the finale and the third act, to have Mila come in when she did with a fresh look and her ideas about the arc of the character.”

With luckiest girl alive surfacing multiple serious themes with her thought-provoking narrative, I wondered how Kunis finds a way to comfort and protect her own sanity while working long hours on set and having to maneuver through an emotional script.

“The most honest answer is that I have an amazing support team at home,” says Kunis, speaking of her husband of seven years and father of her two children, Ashton Kutcher. “I have an amazing partner in crime, 24/7, and he makes my life so much easier. I think for me, being totally honest, the work for me is easy, I love it! The work is super concentrated. We only have to worry about one thing: doing your job. All you have to do is show up, be prepared, be ready, be present and then it’s really fun. The hardest thing for me is being away from my family and when I have the peace of mind that my family is happy and healthy and prosperous and doing these amazing things, it makes my job so much easier, which makes my mental health , my mental well-being much greater. So I think for me, just being able to focus on one task, knowing that my partner is taking care of everything else, relieves a lot of stress.”

Now that Netflix subscribers can stream luckiest girl alive whenever and wherever they want, I was curious to know what Kunis’ greatest hope, or maybe even lesson, is that viewers take away from watching this dramatic thriller.

Kunis replies, “I hate being the person who says I hope this starts a conversation. because I never want to tell people to a) think and b) how to think. So, I hope that first of all you are entertained, I really do. I hope you see it and are captivated. I think that’s what makes this project so amazing, is that it really pulls you in pretty quickly and then you’ll get into the characters and the outcome of the story. That’s my first ‘go’ for the project. The second would be if you finish the project and it opens your mind to have a little more empathy or a little less empathy; hopefully a little more empathy towards what’s going on in today’s society and start having uncomfortable conversations. , either with yourself or with your peers or with others. I mean, that’s the icing on the cake that you can’t get people to do, but you hope art inspires people to do across the board.”

Being a mom today and after immersing myself in this film’s sometimes disturbing storyline, which includes teen sexual assault and gun violence in a school setting, I asked Kunis the following question: What message might you have for other parents in the real world? ? Who isn’t sure how to bring up these difficult discussions and protection warnings with their own children today?

“That’s a great question, so when you figure it out, please send me that answer,” Kunis initially jokes. “I’m playing by ear. It’s hard, right? My children are small. There are so many levels to this question. I grew up with earthquake drills. I live in Los Angeles, so we have earthquake drills at school and then we have fire drills at schools. Those are the two exercises I always did in school. Now my kids have a third exercise they have to do and I don’t even need to explain it to them, unfortunately. At a very young age, they start doing the exercises to get the worst possible result when they drop their child off at school.”

Earlier this year, Kunis and Kutcher created a “Stand With Ukraine” GoFundMe page to encourage people to donate to efforts related to the ongoing conflict surrounding Russian forces invading Ukraine. Thanks to the efforts of this Hollywood husband and wife team, they far exceeded their fundraising goal of providing $30 million in aid to the Ukrainian people. Kunis’ initiative and humanitarian efforts led to her being selected as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022.”

Knowing that Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and left there with her family for the US in 1991 when she was only seven years old, I decided to ask Kunis what feelings or thoughts are running through her head most these days about turmoil? that is still happening in her. native country of Eastern Europe.

“You never know what you’re doing,” says Kunis. “You don’t know if you’re rescuing or rebuilding. That’s the constant battle when it comes to something like this: it’s always in flux. When we originally started this, it was about getting refugees out and figuring out how to fix a problem until another country can come in with a billion dollars and do the right job. So that was initially what we did. We just wanted to cure a problem real quick and we knew how to do it and we knew how to do it quickly and efficiently until someone came along who was bigger and better and stronger than us. It happened, as other countries intervened and everything went well in that sense. As for what’s going on inside the country, you just have to keep it in the news. I think as long as people read the news and stay informed about the importance of the outcome of this war, that’s all I can ask for, to be honest.”

From his early That 70’s Show days of her Hollywood career, Kunis would go on to play many more memorable roles in popular films like Black Swan, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Friends with benefits Y Bad mothers. Now with luckiest girl alive as his last leading role, I was wondering if Kunis would say that her professional mindset or her approach and interest towards Hollywood projects has evolved over the years.

“Oh, drastically,” Kunis reveals. “When I’m like 14 to 29 [years old]I worked because I loved it. I loved everything about this industry, I didn’t care what I was doing. I had bills to pay, I had a mortgage, I had a job. It was a job and I was only responsible for myself. When your career takes a little bit of a turn and then all of a sudden you’re very lucky in the projects that you get handed, so to speak, where you don’t have to audition and go through this process, it’s a bit of a curveball. of learning in terms of figuring out which projects to take and which projects not to take. I will say that after having children, everything changed because I had to look at a project and go Is it worth leaving my family for this? It has to be inspiring, it has to be different, I have to scratch some kind of itch to be able to go That is enough for me not to wake up with my children in the morning and not to put them to bed at night.

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