It took Mila Kunis eight years to graduate from high school on That '70s Show, but the Forgetting Sarah Marshall star has turned into quite a woman. So much for growing pains.
This feature originally appeared in Complex's April/May 2008 Issue.
When she was just seven years old, Mila Kunis's parents picked up everything they had- which wasn't much- and left Russia to provide their children with the options they themselves had lacked1. Now, 18 years later, Mila is a working actress and her brother is a Berkeley-educated scientist2. Good move, folks.
In the post- That '70s Show era, Ms. Kunis (a.k.a. Meg Griffin on Family Guy) is finally free to explore the wider world of film3; she's starting with a bang (and a bikini) in Judd Apatow's newest crude comedy, Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In between marathon World of Warcraft sessions4 with boyfriend Macaulay Culkin, she sat down with Complex to talk about swinging Vikings, invisibility, and Chuck Norris. See? Celebrities really are just like us!5
Was acting in a movie with Judd Apatow's crew fun after being on a sitcom for so long?
It's such a different way of making a comedy. Doing '70s was so scripted. It was word for word- you had 20 pages, you don't improv, you don't really have much say, you just kind of do what you're told. You come to a Judd set, and it's a free-for-all. They hire you because they trust you: "Don't fuck up, and enjoy yourself; go have fun." I've never gone through so many feet of film before in my life- you improv and some stuff sticks, some stuff doesn't.
How does traditional acting compare to voice acting?
For Family Guy, I come to work one day out of the month. I come in my pajamas, I hang out and play Ping-Pong, I record a couple pages of stuff, and I leave. I hope that job never ends. It's like money from the sky. People are like, "Oh, can I come visit you at Family Guy?" They come and are like, "That's it? This is all you do?"
Do you like other cartoons?
I do. I come from Donald Duck, Rescue Rangers, you know, old cartoons. I love Gummi Bears.
Your eyes are two different colors, like David Bowie's.
David Bowie lives down the street from me, man! Do you know how fucking rad that is?
Have you seen him?
From a distance. I'd like to think he saw me back, but I don't think he did.
He probably did. Your two-tone eyes probably locked.
Makes sense to me. I have Bowie records that I stole from '70s Show. I jacked 'em so fast. I was like, that is mine!
Have you ever met a karate master?
Does Chuck Norris count?
I did Walker, Texas Ranger when I was 10 years old, and he taught me karate. I can say Chuck Norris taught me how to kick a punching bag.
I did Walker, Texas Ranger when I was 10 years old, and he taught me karate. I can say Chuck Norris taught me how to kick a punching bag. He was the raddest, coolest guy on the planet. He was great to my family.
Do you feel like you missed out on a normal childhood by being an actress? No, I just feel like I'm very privileged. I had a very healthy, normal upbringing. We were very poor, so I never had material things in life, but I always had lots of love and attention. I never fucked up in school because I always had something to look forward to. I had to go to work and to auditions and it was just so exciting and it was something that drove me to be a good person. If I didn't have that, it could have been ugly.
All right, who has dirtier minds, men or women?
A lot of girls go, "Eww, no, I would never!" And they do, they do! Girls lie because they're like, "We can't talk about it." I think it's pretty even.
Do you think humans are naturally monogamous?
Oh, my boyfriend and I had this conversation. We were watching March of the Penguins, and it was all about how they choose their mate for life. It's so beautiful that these penguins, literally, it's their life! I think the society we live in now is too selfish for that. To each their own, but I think everyone is so self-consumed that I don't know if it's in us anymore. I don't know if it ever was, because originally we just had to procreate and it was all about having sex. It's sad, because I don't think people have it in them. Nobody's ever genuine about being happy and content with who they're with.
It's that gift and curse of choice.
Absolutely, it's a gift of choice, but it fucks with your head.
Do you think Vikings were monogamous?
[Laughs.] No way! Vikings? No way.
Do you think it's OK for a guy to talk to his ex?
Absolutely. I think it shows a lot if you have a nice amicable breakup. At one point you loved the person or cared about them, why stop? You don't have to have sex with them or fall back in love, but be nice. It's nice to have a friendly correspondence. I'm the type of girl that says, "Go to lunch with your ex, go have dinner, find out what's happening in her life." You shouldn't stop caring because you fell out of love.
Nobody's ever genuine about being happy and content with who they're with.
How much chest hair is too much?
When it just blends in with the rest of your body, when there's no space anywhere, that's maybe when you have a problem.
Would you like to be able to see through people's clothes?
Would that be my only power?
Can I choose some other power?
No. Would I want to? It wouldn't hurt, but I think I'd get really distracted, because I would do it to everybody. I'd never be able to hold a conversation, I'd just constantly be looking at everyone's private parts.
OK, would you rather be able to be invisible or see through people's clothes?
[Laughs.] Invisible! What kind of question is that?
What would you do?
What wouldn't I do? I would go into the White House, I would go into the Senate. I would go into these people's private homes and feel like I was invading them and it would be the craziest rush. It's the most fucked up thing you could ever do. I think it would be great.
If you could ride any animal, what would it be?
[Interrupts to point outside, where Macaulay and Mila's friend are jumping around and making faces.] I just want to point out to you what my idiot boyfriend and my best friend are doing. Jackasses. Oh, but I've always wanted to swim with dolphins and have that feeling of freedom. Dolphins seem like such peaceful animals.
What would you do if you opened a cabinet in your house and there was a little guy in there, like a little gnome?
Does it talk?
First, I would make sure that I'm not on drugs and that I'm not drunk or anything. And if it was real, I would keep it. I would keep it and take good care of it and find out what it wants to do. I'd be like, "What do you want to do, buddy? What are you here for?" But listen, I'm all for it- it would be one hell of a way to wake up.
1. Mila learned English by watching The Price is Right. Bob Barker spoke slowly enough for her to pick up the language - and to have all her animals spayed and neutered.
2. He contributed to a 2007 Molecular Therapy article about how to use a "zinc finger protein" to repress disease-causing genes. Oh yeah? We beat Super Mario Galaxy. Take that, science!
3. Though she had plenty of TV experience before the Fox juggernaut, she had little big-screen exposure. What's that, you say? Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves? Wrong. Straight to video, sucka!
4. Her favorite character is a Mage who's a level 375 tailor and enchanter. Did we get that right? We could have just as easily said, "Mila Kunis enjoys Space Boggie and has a 43rd-tier grizbot salamander."
Styling by Tara Swennen/Wall Group; Hair by Mara Roszak/Matrix/MagnetLA.com; Makeup by Rachel Goodwin/Chanel/MagnetLA.com; Prop Styling by Jamie Dean/JamieDeanStudio.com
Cover, First, Third, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Images: Top by Ya-Ya; lingerie by Cosabella; shoes by Jimmy Choo; jewelry by Amrapali
Second and Tenth Images: Sweater by Vionnet; shoes by Richard Shah; lingerie by Cosabella
Fourth and Twelfth Images: Dress by Roberto Cavalli; jewelry by David Aubrey
Fifth and Eleventh Images: Dress by Vionnet; lingerie by Cosabella