Who Is Mila Kunis?
Actress Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983. At the age of seven, she immigrated with her family to Los Angeles, where she began taking acting lessons. After appearing in several television commercials, Kunis landed a co-starring role in the Fox sitcom That ’70s Show in 1998, which led to voice work for the cartoon series Family Guy. Kunis has since enjoyed a successful big screen career, earning notice for roles in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008), Black Swan (2010), Friends with Benefits (2011), Ted (2012) and Bad Moms(2016), among other features.
‘That ’70s Show’ and ‘Family Guy’
In an effort to help their young daughter meet other kids, Kunis’ parents enrolled her in a children’s acting program at the Beverly Hills Studio. There, she met Susan Curtis, a talent manager, who took the reins of Kunis’ career and soon landed the young actress in a number of high-profile TV commercials.
Other opportunities quickly followed, with spot work on a host of television programs, from NBC’s The John Larroquette Show to The WB Television Network’s 7th Heaven.
In 1998 Kunis (who had simplified her first name to Mila) caught her first big break when, at 14, she landed the role of Jackie Burkhart in the new Fox sitcom That ’70s Show. She was cast as a whiny, self-absorbed rich girl, allowing her to perfect and showcase her comic timing. Her work on the program soon led her to Fox’s Family Guy cartoon, where she supplied the voice for the character Meg Griffin.
‘Sarah Marshall,’ ‘Black Swan’ and ‘Bad Moms’
Even while she managed a busy television career, Kunis branched out into film. She co-starred with Kirsten Dunst in the drama Get Over It (2001). A year later, the actress was cast alongside Macaulay Culkin in American Psycho II: All American Girl, sparking a long-term relationship between the two.
Following the end of That ’70s Show in 2006, Kunis started taking on more film work. In 2008 she landed a breakout role as a hotel concierge named Rachel in the comedy hit Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which also starred Jason Segel and Russell Brand. Audiences and critics raved about her performance.
More critical acclaim came her way for the 2010 thriller Black Swan, in which she co-starred with Natalie Portman. Her performance earned Kunis, who dropped 20 pounds and trained for seven weeks as a ballerina, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. That same year, she teamed up with Denzel Washington in the post-apocalyptic Book of Eli.
In 2011 Kunis was back giving audiences a laugh with the romantic comedy Friends with Benefits, which paired the actress with Justin Timberlake. In 2012 she co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in another comedy, Ted, directed by Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. After her turn as the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), she joined Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne for the sci-fi epic Jupiter Ascending (2015).
In between pregnancies, Kunis released the comedy Bad Moms (2016), opposite Kristen Bell, which became a box office hit and fueled the production of the following year’s A Bad Moms Christmas. She was back on the big screen in 2018 with the action comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, alongside Kate McKinnon as her best friend and Justin Theroux as an ex-boyfriend who turns out to be a CIA agent.
Kunis dated Culkin for eight years, before their “amicable” split was announced in early 2011. Years later, while appearing on Dax Shepard’s podcast, she confessed that their breakup was far more difficult than originally portrayed, saying, “I f****d up.”
In 2012 Kunis began dating actor Ashton Kutcher, her longtime co-star and on-screen boyfriend from That ’70s Show. In March 2014, media outlets began reporting that Kunis, 30, and Kutcher, 36, were engaged and Kunis confirmed they were expecting a baby in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in May. The couple welcomed their baby daughter, Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher, on September 30, 2014. In 2015 Kunis and Kutcher were married over the Fourth of July weekend at the Secret Garden at Parrish Ranch in Oak Glen, California, according to People magazine. On November 30, 2016, Kunis gave birth to their second child, a son named Dimitri Portwood Kutcher.
Despite all of her success, Kunis, who didn’t know a word of English when she first arrived in the United States, says she hasn’t forgotten her roots. She lives in Los Angeles, not far from her parents, and when she visits, often speaks Russian with them.
“We came to this country with literally nothing, and so any level of success is important to us,” Kunis has said. “[My parents] never wanted me to become an actress because it’s such an unstable and unpredictable profession. When you’re immigrants, and you have to work hard for everything just to survive, it’s only natural that you worry about having a stable job and income. But I think now they’re more or less convinced that I’m doing pretty well and they don’t have to worry about my career prospects any more.”
Early Life and Move to America
Mila Kunis was born Milena Kunis in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi on August 14, 1983. At the age of seven, Kunis immigrated to the United States with her parents, Mark and Elvira, as well as her older brother, Michael, and eventually settled in Los Angeles.
It proved to be a rough start for the Kunis family, who arrived in their new country with just $250 in their pocket. But Kunis’ parents, who both gave up professional careers to uproot themselves, were determined to make a better life for their children. Mark, a former mechanical engineer, soon found work as a cab driver, while Elvira, who had taught physics in Ukraine, wound up running a pharmacy.
“I didn’t understand the culture,” Kunis has said about first arriving in the United States. “I didn’t understand the people. I didn’t understand the language. My first sentence of my essay to get into college was like, ‘Imagine being blind and deaf at age 7.’ And that’s kind of what it felt like moving to the States. But I got over it pretty fast.”